Promoting, supporting and encouraging the study of the United States since 1955

British Association for American Studies


Resources for American Studies: Issue 55, January 2003


Resources for American Studies: Issue 55, January 2003


  1. BAAS Library and Resources Sub-Committee Meeting June 2002
  2. The National Security Archive
  3. Native American Studies Collections
  4. Newspaper Holdings Database goes live!
  5. Kansas State Historical Society
  6. Review
  7. Useful Websites
  8. Forthcoming Events

BAAS Library and Resources Sub-Committee Meeting June 2002

Minutes of the Committee Meeting held at the British Library, St. Pancras, London, 18 June 2002

Mr R J Bennett (British Library, Boston Spa), Secretary
Miss A Cowden (University of London)
Dr K Halliwell (National Library of Scotland)
Mr D G Heyes (British Library, London)
Ms J Hoare (Cambridge University Library)
Dr I Wallace (JRULM), Chair

1. Apologies
Ms K Bateman (USIS Reference Centre)
Ms L Crawley (JRULM), Treasurer.
Prof. P Davies (BAAS)
Ms C Hodkinson (JRULM)
Ms J Kemble (Eccles Centre)
Mr I Ralston (John Moores University, Liverpool)

2. Minutes of the previous meeting
Min.3. Seminar. Dr Wallace said that he had agreed to progress a future event by email discussion rather than a meeting.

The minutes were signed as a correct record.

3. Matters arising
No matters arising, not otherwise covered in the agenda.

4. Treasurer’s report
Ms Crawley had submitted a written report.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This is my final report as Treasurer of BLARS and I would like to begin by thanking members for their support. In particular I wish to thank both Iain Wallace and Richard Bennett whose encouragement and support throughout my time on the committee has proved invaluable. Both my work and research commitments prevent me from carrying on in the post as Treasurer, hence I wish to resign and give someone else the opportunity to give the position the enthusiasm and time that it deserves.

Turning to the statement of accounts: This has been a slow period for BLARS. On the income side we have carried forward an opening balance of £1544.68 from the last meeting of the 5th February 2002. This figure should increase considerably by the next meeting. As you are aware there are a number of outstanding invoices from advertisers in our Newsletter. We have received no payments since issue 50. To rectify this I have prepared three invoices to be sent to Blackwells, Coutts and Thompson Henry by the next treasurer for issues 51 to 54 of the Newsletter. This will add an extra £1000 to our account – giving a considerable boost to our income.

The total figure for the expenditure side is £103.94 which covers the cost of issue number 54 of the Newsletter.

The balance in hand is currently £1440.74. As on previous occasions, the sum of £463.68 remains earmarked for the Newspaper Project. An amount that has been suggested we could use for a database conversion, if indeed this is deemed necessary. This means that a total of £977.06 signifies the uncommitted balance in hand.

Lisa Crawley
Hon. Treasurer BAAS LARS
18th June 2002

Dr Halliwell asked what the trend was in the Committee’s accounts. Dr Wallace explained that the Committee’s accounts are really a written account of transactions, and that they are managed and underwritten by the BAAS Treasurer, Nick Selby.

Dr Wallace thanked Ms Crawley for all her work to date.

5. Report from Projects Sub-Committee

US Newspaper Holdings in UK & Irish Libraries
Report by Dr Kevin Halliwell.

As of February 2002 all information on US newspaper holdings had been received and entered into the wordfile, with the exception of information from John Rylands University Library Manchester. There was still some information outstanding from the TUC Library on its discontinued titles (the collection is now at the University of North London). Since then I have heard from Christine Coates that it is not likely to be able to commit any time to researching this material, which is uncatalogued. I recently contacted Diana Leitch at JRULM but as yet have had no reply.

Meanwhile I contacted Graham Thompson, who manages the BAAS website, in order to discuss with him mounting the list on the site, preferably as a database. He confirmed that the list could and should go on the BAAS site, preferably in database format. He also said he could see no problems in converting the present tabular wordfile into a database, and that he should be able to do this at the end of June. Adding the JRULM information to the database will not pose any problems as long as it is submitted in the same tabular form.

Dr Wallace commented that he would speak to Diana Leitch at JRULM and emphasise the urgency of the request. ACTION IRW

Dr Halliwell enquired as to the content of the introduction. Dr Wallace proposed that Dr Halliwell draft an introduction for him to check. ACTION KH

It was agreed that Dr Halliwell would ask G Thompson (BAAS Website) for keyword searching of the file by field. ACTION KH

It was proposed and agreed that a note should be included on the database, at the end of the introduction, thanking all the sponsors for their contribution. ACTION KH

Ms Cowden suggested that, as a follow-up to the database, a future seminar should be themed around newspapers and “the media.”

Dr Wallace acknowledged Dr Halliwell’s major contribution to the success of the project and offered him the Committee’s heartfelt thanks.

6. Newsletter

Mr Heyes reported that the next issue No. 54 would be published in August. Mr Bennett was asked to ensure it was mounted on the BAAS website as usual. ACTION RB

Charges for advertising were discussed. Mr Heyes was asked to seek advice from Prof Davies about other journals’ advertising prices. ACTION DH

Dr Wallace proposed that the revenue for issues up to and including No. 54 be chased, and new rates be agreed for No. 55 onwards. He asked Mr Heyes to ask Ms Crawley to forward to him all outstanding invoices. ACTION DH

Following the action from the last meeting, it had been confirmed that funding of the Newsletter should continue on the present basis, and that BAAS had agreed to underwrite it.

Dr Wallace thanked Mr Heyes for his continuing editorial work on the Newsletter.

7. Sub-Committee membership

Chair of the Sub-committee: Dr Wallace reiterated his comment that he is now retired, has other interests to pursue and receives no financial support to attend Sub-committee meetings. He also stressed that he felt that it is not in BAAS’s interests for him to continue as chair. He committed to convening the next meeting, but emphasised that this would definitely be his last. It was also suggested that a role of vice-chair could be taken on by a librarian on the committee. ACTION ALL

Treasurer. Dr Wallace announced to the group that Ms Crawley had communicated to him her resignation as Treasurer to the committee. A volunteer to take over the role was sought. ACTION ALL

Dr Wallace wished to convey the committee’s gratitude to Ms Crawley for her work as Treasurer.

Further new members. Dr Wallace suggested that John Pinfold, now Librarian at the Rothermere Institute, be invited to rejoin the committee. He asked Mr. Bennett to draft a suitable letter. ACTION RB/IRW

Projects sub-committee. Dr Halliwell proposed that this sub-group be abandoned upon the completion of the Newspapers project. It was agreed that working groups would be convened on an ad hoc basis, as required.

8. Next Seminar
It was agreed that it would be unfair to commit the new Chairperson to an event s/he had no part in organising. It was agreed that all members should consider topics, etc, before the next meeting. ACTION ALL

9. Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held on 4 March 2003, at the British Library, Boston Spa. ACTION RB

10. Any other business
1. Miss Cowden raised the issue of dispersal of the US collection at the University of London, which she said should be a matter of grave concern for BAAS. It is used by a wide range of researchers. Dr Wallace asked Mr Bennett to alert Prof Davies in both his roles, as chair of BAAS and head of the Eccles Centre, and to ask him to contact the Vice Chancellor and the Chairman of the University Library Board. ACTION RB

2. Miss Cowden also stressed the need for a representative from ULL on the Sub-committee, once she had retired. ACTION IRW

3. At this point Dr Wallace expressed the Sub-committee’s regret that Ms Cowden would be unable to continue as a representative on the Sub-committee, and offered his own and the Sub-committee’s thanks for the continuous valuable contribution Ms Cowden had made to its work. Dr Wallace pointed out that, apart from himself, she was the only remaining founder member of the group.

The British Library were thanked for their hospitality.

The National Security Archive

The National Security Archive combines a unique range of functions in one non-governmental, non-profit institution. The Archive is simultaneously a research institute on international affairs, a library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information through the FOIA, and an indexer and publisher of the documents in books, microfiche, and electronic formats. The Archive’s approximately $1.8 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues and from private philanthropists such as the Carnegie Corporation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. As a matter of policy, the Archive receives no government funding.

The National Security Archive was founded in 1985 by a group of journalists and scholars who had obtained documentation from the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act and sought a centralised repository for these materials. Over the past decade, the Archive has become the world’s largest non-governmental library of declassified documents. Located on the seventh floor of the George Washington University’s Gelman Library in Washington, D.C., the Archive is designed to apply the latest in computerised indexing technology to the massive amount of material already released by the U.S. government on international affairs, make them accessible to researchers and the public, and go beyond that base to build comprehensive collections of documents on specific topics of greatest interest to scholars and the public.

The Archive’s holdings include more than two million pages of accessioned material in over 200 separate collections. Supporting some 30 terminals, the Archive’s computer system hosts major databases of released documents (over 100,000 records), authority files of individuals and organisations in international affairs (over 30,000 records), and FOIA requests filed by Archive staff and outside requesters on international affairs (over 20,000 records). Despite the Archive’s non-traditional role (since the originals remain inside the government – hopefully), Archive staff have developed extensive expertise with all levels of archival record keeping, ranging from basic collection description to box and file level inventories to individual document cataloguing.

The Archive reading room is open to the public without charge, and has welcomed visitors from 32 foreign countries and across the United States-some of whom stay for weeks. The Archive fields more than 2,500 public service requests for documents and information every year. Archive staff are frequently called on to testify before Congress, lecture at universities, and appear on national broadcasts and in media interviews on the subject of the Freedom of Information Act and various topics in international affairs for which the Archive’s collections provide documentation.

The Archive’s financial affairs are administered by The National Security Archive Fund, Inc., a not-for-profit District of Columbia-based corporation established exclusively to promote research and public education on U.S. governmental and national security decision making and to promote openness in government and government accountability through making government information more widely available to the public. Audited financial reports for the National Security Archive’s activities prior to 1999 are included in the annual audits performed by the CPA firms of Keller Bruner & Company (1993-1998) and Deloitte & Touche (1985-1992) for the Fund for Peace, Inc., a New York-based tax-exempt corporation which served as the Archive’s fiscal sponsor from 1985-1998. As an operating division of the National Security Archive Fund, Inc., the Archive receives tax-deductible funding from foundations, and approximately 20% of the Archive’s annual budget from publication royalties.

The first major publication of the Archive was a 678-page mass-market paperback published by Warner Books in 1987, The Chronology, on the Iran-contra affair. Time magazine called the book “must reading,” and Ted Koppel of ABC News Nightline praised it for including “every known fact about the Iran-contra scandal.”

The second Archive publication project has produced a series of large microform collections of documents on U.S. foreign policy as well as a CD-ROM index to the entire series co-published by the scholarly micropublisher Chadwyck-Healey, Inc. These collections include an average of 16,000 pages of documents released through the FOIA and other governmental processes, accompanied by finding aids which average over 1,700 pages for each collection indices, catalogues, chronologies, glossaries, bibliographies and introductory essays. More than 400 copies of these microfiche collections have been purchased by universities and research libraries and in ten foreign countries. Microform Review stated, “The NSA series is unusual in public document publishing… it makes documents available from the twilight zone between currently released government information, and normal declassification after the elapse of the statutory period.” Government Publications Review wrote, “NSA collections are almost universally praised for adding a new and invaluable research tool to national security studies.”

The Archive publishes document readers for classroom and general public use. One of these series is published by The New Press and distributed by W.W. Norton & Company. The first volume, The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 (415 pp.), appeared in October 1992 (the 30th anniversary of the Crisis), with a foreword by former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; the second reader, The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History (412 pp.), appeared in May 1993 with a foreword by Theodore Draper. The Washington Post Book World recommended the Missile Crisis book to “the reader who wishes to gain a sense of involvement in the travails of the crisis managers;” and the Tampa Tribune described the Iran-contra reader as a “Rosetta Stone” for deciphering the scandal. The third volume, South Africa and the United States: The Declassified History, was published in March 1994. The fourth volume, White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan-Bush White House tried to Destroy (254 pp.), reached bookstores in November 1995, and included a floppy disk containing 260 e-mail messages in addition to the 256-page paperback. The New York Times hailed the book as “a stream of insights into past American policy, spiced with depictions of White House officials in poses they would never adopt for a formal portrait.” The most recent of the documents readers include Bay of Pigs Declassified and The Kissinger Transcripts: The Top Secret Talks with Beijing and Moscow. The second set of readers includes The Prague Spring 1968, published by the Central European University Press in Budapest.

In the process of developing its extensive collections, the Archive has become the leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The Archive has inherited more than 2,000 requests from outside requesters who donated their documents and their pending requests to the Archive, and initiated more than 20,000 other FOIA requests over the past fifteen years. The Archive’s work has set new precedents under the FOIA, including more efficient procedures for document processing at the State Department, less burden on requesters to qualify for waivers of processing fees, and the archival preservation of electronic information held by the government. Archive lawsuits under FOIA have forced the release of previously secret documents ranging from the Kennedy-Khruschev letters during the Cuban Missile Crisis to the diaries of Oliver North during Iran-contra.

The Archive’s expertise in the U.S. FOIA, as well as in archival and library practices, has brought delegations from South Africa, Russia, Hungary, Germany, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, and various Latin American countries to the Archive to learn from this innovative model of a non-governmental institutional memory for formerly secret government documents and the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive is currently working with non-governmental institutions in more than a dozen countries to expand open government laws and practices both here and abroad.

Text courtesy of The National Security Archive.

For more information please see

Native American Studies Collections

Ethnic Studies Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The Berkeley Native American Studies Collection was founded in 1970 as the Native American Studies Library. Linked to the Native American Studies Department at Berkeley, the library became an integral part of the project to interrupt mainstream dominant histories, with research by Native American scholars and their allies in order to produce educational resources meaningful to Native American communities. Since then it has grown into a repository for a number of collections increasingly important to Native American Studies scholars in the United States and Canada. It also provides services on a regular basis to visiting researchers from Europe and elsewhere who are particularly interested in materials on contemporary Native American communities.

Reflecting our collection’s close relationship with the growth of Native American Studies as an academic discipline, we collect materials pertinent to the growth of the field. Because of its location in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay area it is also a repository for a wide range of books, reports, graphics, and vertical file ephemera representing one of the largest urban Indian communities in the United States.

In addition, the Native American Studies Collection is now home to the California Indian Library Collections (CILC). The California Indian Library Collections was created to provide interested people with access to rare materials at their county main libraries. The CILC located materials on Native Californians in archives and museums and duplicated them to allow access. The collections consist of sound recordings, photographs, books, journal articles, unpublished field notes, and other information relating to Native Californians such as the Lake Miwok, Pomo, Wappo, Western Mono, Yokuts and Sierra Miwok Indian peoples. Although funding ended for the main project, CILC decided UC Berkeley’s Native American Studies Collection was the most suitable place for access and opportunities for its further development.

The Native American Microfilm Collection comprises roughly 1,000 dissertations and eighteen different microfilm series encompassing a broad range of materials relevant to the field of Native American Studies that includes Akwesasne Notes, American Indian Quarterly, The John Collier Papers, Indian Rights Association Papers and North American Periodicals 1923-1982.

The Native American Studies Collection also houses about 15,000 monographs. There are representative copies of approximately 1000 serials with about 200 subscriptions active at any point. The Collection subscribes to a large number of American Indian community newspapers and has one of the largest collections of archival community newspaper collections in the United States.

Future directions and opportunities.

Collection Building:

Because we have an association with the University of California at Berkeley, the Native American Studies Collection could utilise an impressive array of connections and resources to build one of the most useful and exciting collections on the West Coast. Berkeley’s founding position in the fields of Anthropology and Archaeology has made it a repository for a vast array of American Indian materials, more than can be described here. Establishing relationships and links between communities, scholars, and materials at Berkeley is an intriguing prospect that could enhance and facilitate respectful conversations on repatriation. The opportunities are large to augment the growth of the scholarship in the field by locating and providing information about access to first class materials. Berkeley’s Native American Studies Department was one of the first in the country. This collection could easily be a natural home for Native American Studies scholars’ papers, thus creating an important opportunity for research. The time has come to begin to reflect and learn the importance and difficulties of establishing NAS in the United States. Such a focus could be of extreme importance.

CILC: The California Indian Library Collections:

There is considerable need to take the wonderful materials gathered in this collection and make them further accessible. This project only did about an eighth of the work that was proposed for it before it was de-funded by the wave of library funding cuts experienced in the last decade. This collection should remain a vital resource to the hundreds of Native American communities in California.

Native American Studies Database:

Thousands of articles, journal essays, newspaper articles, etc., are published yearly about Indian Country. There is a strong need to build a database for scholars in Native American Studies similar to the one available to Chicano/a scholars who have a specialised on-line resource, the Chicano Database. Extremely important information is being buried in the archives or never noticed because there is no cross-referencing or adequate access.

Cross-Cultural Connection:

American Indians and Native American Studies have unique histories in the United States. Yet, Native American peoples have suffered from the same racialisation and prejudice as other people-of-colour communities in the United States. The Native American Studies Collection is housed with and shares support services with the Asian American Studies Library and the Chicano Studies Collection. The opportunity to learn about the triumphs and the struggles of other communities is an enriching and exciting experience.

Text courtesy of the Ethnic Studies Library, University of California, Berkeley.

For more information please see

Newspaper Holdings Database goes live!

By Dr Kevin Halliwell, National Library of Scotland.

A database containing details of all the US newspapers held in UK and Irish libraries, produced by the BAAS Library & Resources Subcommittee, has now gone live on the BAAS website, at http://

The listing of holdings of US newspapers in UK and Irish libraries was initially planned by the American Studies Library Group in co-operation with BAAS, as an updating of D.K. Adams: American Newspaper Holdings in British and Irish Libraries (Keele: BAAS, 1974). Some initial funding was received from UMI, for which we were extremely grateful. The Project Officer at that time, Linda Williamson, sent out questionnaires, asking for confirmation of holdings, additions and deletions from the original list, to all libraries which had notified holdings for the original volume, in Winter 1994, and plans were made for collation and bibliographical research to be carried out at Rhodes House Library by Linda Williamson and Silvia Hildebrand.

The initial intention was to collate the information and to verify all bibliographical details of every title submitted. In the end such detailed research proved impossible with the limited resources available. In the meantime the Eccles Centre at the British Library published a list of its US and Canadian newspaper holdings, (Jean Kemble and Pam Das: United States and Canadian Holdings in the British Library Newspaper Library, London: The Eccles Centre for American Studies, 1996) and a survey carried out by the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) North American Studies Group mounted a Scottish union list of US and Canadian newspaper holdings in Scottish libraries on the website of the National Library of Scotland. The BAAS Library and Resources Sub-committee, successor to the American Studies Library Group, decided that these two listings might form a useful basis for carrying forward the project.

Following the departure of Linda Williamson the project was taken over by Dr Kevin Halliwell at the National Library of Scotland, who had produced the Scottish listing. The information on Scottish holdings was merged into the basic file from the British Library. The decision was taken not to undertake detailed bibliographical research on the titles and as far as possible to accept the information as provided by the individual libraries. Equally, it was decided not to impose a definition of ‘newspaper’ on the libraries that submitted titles and always to include information in cases of doubt.

It was not possible to reflect some of the changes in holdings that have inevitably taken place during the life of the project. Notably, a change in the British Library’s retention policy means that the information on holdings of original copies may now be out-of-date. Also, it was not possible to include information on access to electronic versions of newspapers, now frequently provided by university and research libraries. Limited resources available in some libraries sometimes made the provision of detailed information difficult, and it was not possible, for example, to include details of ceased titles in the TUC Collections at the University of North London.

It is hoped that the present format will provide a useful research tool. Graham Thompson, BAAS webmaster, kindly agreed to convert the original file submitted into a searchable database, and as a result the holdings list can be browsed by newspaper title, by town/city of publication, by state or by holding library. There is a simple title keyword search and an advanced search combining title, location and state.

The database is being constantly updated and corrected and the Project Officer of the BAAS Library and resources Sub-committee, Dr Kevin Halliwell (, would be grateful to hear of any corrections, clarifications, additions and deletions, or any comments on the database.

Kansas State Historical Society

The Kansas Editors’ and Publishers’ Association founded the Kansas State Historical Society in 1875 to save the State’s present and past records. Since that date we have continued to enjoy the support of the state’s newspaper publishers and have built one of America’s most comprehensive state-wide newspaper collections.

For nearly forty years the Society occupied a succession of quarters in the statehouse as its holdings steadily grew. In 1914 the collections were moved to the grand and newly constructed Memorial Building in downtown Topeka. In 1984 the Kansas Museum of History moved to an eighty-acre site in west Topeka near the Potawatomi Mission leaving the remaining agencies still housed in the Memorial Building. The historic Stach School later joined the complex, and in May 1995 the mission was reopened as the Koch Industries Education Center. During July and August 1995 the vast collections of library, archival, manuscript, and archaeological materials were moved to new facilities in the Center for Historical Research on the west Topeka site. Designated as the Kansas History Center, this complex reunited the Society at one location. The Kansas State Historical Society operates both as a non-profit membership organisation and as a specially recognised society supported by state appropriations. More than a half million individuals benefit from our programmes and services each year. All activities and programmes are conducted by the private organisation and the Society’s six divisions; Administration, Cultural Resources, Education/Outreach, Historic Sites, Kansas Museum of History, and Library and Archives.

The state agency operates with an annual appropriation of approximately six million dollars and 140 employees. The non-profit corporation’s ninety-nine-member board of directors and fifteen-member executive committee are responsible for the Society’s overall governance. The corporation also offers membership to the public and institutions, manages grants for the state agency, operates the museum and historic sites stores, and provides fiscal support for various programmes, including the Society’s award-winning magazine, Kansas Heritage, and its scholarly journal, Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains.

The Library and Archives Division of the Kansas State Historical Society collects materials about the history of Kansas and the West. Subject areas include railroad development, trails, westward expansion, frontier and pioneer life, western forts and military life, Indian wars, the Civil War, and western Native American tribal histories and bibliographies. General American historical topics also are included. Our collections also focus on genealogy. Material is available for states east of the Mississippi River, particularly New England and the states immediately surrounding Kansas.

The library collection includes books, magazines, pamphlets, church and school histories, yearbooks, atlases, family histories, genealogical and historical periodicals, published records of state government, poetry, music, and newspapers. The library is a depository for selected federal documents. Access to these materials is through card catalogues, indexes, and finding aids. The library collection is catalogued by Kansas and non-Kansas holdings into the Kansas card catalogue and the general card catalogue, respectively. Stack areas are closed to the public. Researchers fill out call slips and request materials at the retrieval desk. Books do not circulate on interlibrary loan.

In addition, the Kansas State Historical Society Library and Archives Division collects the unpublished private papers of individuals, firms, and organisations in Kansas and the surrounding region. The term papers may include bound and unbound letters, diaries, ledgers and other books of account, reminiscences, articles, business records, minutes, and membership lists. Papers and records in the manuscripts collection are typically created by individuals, businesses, clubs, churches, associations, and other groups. Contrary to what many believe, you don’t have to be famous or notable for us to have or be interested in your papers; in fact, some of our best collections are from ordinary people who wrote down their feelings, experiences, and observations and kept what they had written. We hold over 4,200 catalogued collections totalling over 7,000 cubic feet of material.

The manuscript collections are as varied as Kansas itself. Diaries cover many topics from the territorial to the modern periods including Native Americans, homesteading, agriculture, the military, immigrant colonies, and social life. Items relating to Native Americans include the papers of missionaries, mission school reports, reminiscences, and records of the Saint Louis Superintendency of Indian Affairs. Territorial Kansas is represented by the papers of John Brown, the New England Emigrant Aid Company, settlers, and politicians. Several collections document railroad expansion in the state. The files of The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and its predecessors is the largest. The records of the Kansas Town and Land Company, the land sales subsidiary of the Rock Island Railroad, are also available. Businesses are represented by the records of funeral homes, financial institutions, and retail stores. The papers of writers make up many collections. These include both newspaper people and literary figures. Papers of military leaders complement the records of military units and collections relating to the Spanish-American War and World War I veterans.

Papers of politicians form some of the largest collections. These include personal papers of governors (their official papers are located in State Archives holdings) and personal and official papers of members of the Kansas Legislature and the United States Congress. Other occupations represented include educators, doctors, religious leaders, women’s rights activists, and scientists. The division also holds papers of organisations such as fraternal societies, literary guilds, churches, ethnic groups, and clubs.

During the past century, the Historical Society’s role has expanded beyond its original emphasis on collecting and publishing research. Today we continue these fundamental activities and have added a broad array of interpretive and educational programmes that combine with historic sites, technical assistance, and field service programmes. Through collections, exhibits, programmes, and services, we enrich the lives of thousands and serve in understanding and valuing the heritage of Kansas.

Text courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society.

For further information please see


War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign by Anne J. Bailey. SR Books, $19.95. pp 152, 2003. ISBN 084202851X.
Reviewed by Duncan Heyes, American Collections, British Library.

War and Ruin is volume ten in The American Crisis Series from SR Books, an earlier volume, The Men of Secession and Civil War was reviewed in this newsletter (No. 51 January 2001). In War and Ruin Anne J. Bailey takes the reader on the journey that began in Atlanta and ended 300 miles away in Savannah. She challenges much of the folklore and myth that surrounds the events and provides a lively narrative of the Savannah campaign that has become known as the ‘March to the Sea’.

Against the background of falling Northern morale and a coming presidential election, Sherman dealt a significant blow to Southern morale by defeating and occupying Atlanta. At the time, Atlanta was an important centre of communications and an area of important industrial production for the Confederate war effort. What Sherman did next, was an act that captured the popular imagination. Sherman understood that to remain in Atlanta too long would condemn himself to impotence. Biding his time, Sherman waited until after the re-election of Abraham Lincoln by a landslide victory, before he acted. Then in the autumn of 1864 with an army of 60,000 soldiers he began his advance across the Georgia heartland to the Atlantic. By bringing the effects of war to the homes of civilians, Sherman intended to “make Georgia howl”.

Bailey’s book examines the significance of this event not only in terms of military strategy, but also from a human-interest perspective. The march to the sea, unlike many other key events during the Civil War is not characterised by battles. This was a different way of waging war. Sherman knew that his route to Savannah would meet with very little resistance, but more significantly he understood the effect on Southern morale his actions would have. Bailey argues that it was the psychological fear rather than the activities of Sherman’s army that had the greatest impact on Southern morale.

Supporting an army of 60,000 soldiers on the move posed considerable logistical problems. The army had to live off the land for which foraging parties were detailed. These foraging parties were the basis of the folklore, which built up around Sherman and the destruction of which he was accused. Bailey argues that although it is true that destruction of civilian property occurred, and undoubtedly looting took place, Sherman did not intend a strategy of total war. However, Sherman was well aware of unsanctioned activities and largely turned a blind eye to these actions knowing that unsanctioned acts would cause the greatest fear to civilians. He also recognised the impossibility of policing 60,000 soldiers, and was aware that all the plunder did not get turned over to the commissaries. If exaggerated reports of destruction fuelled the fear of Sherman’s army, conversely, towns which had been spared also added to the myth. Each town that had been by-passed contributed to the folklore surrounding Sherman. One of the best-known stories recounted here, is Sherman’s affection for Cecilia Stovall, a local society beauty and the supposed reason why he spared Augusta.

Sherman mostly ignored military targets during his advance, he needed to get to the inland port of Savannah in order to link up with the Union navy to organise regular supplies. After the battle and occupation of Fort McAllister in December, Savannah was within his grasp and the rapid military evacuation by Confederate soldiers meant that little resistance was offered and Savannah was easily occupied. News of the occupation arrived in Washington on Christmas Eve and Lincoln wrote to the General, “Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah.” The march of 300 miles had served its purpose and dealt a below from which the South would not recover – within four days of the occupation 700 citizens voted to rejoin the Union.

Bailey’s book will appeal to the general reader and student alike, fully indexed and for those wishing to delve deeper, it contains an excellent bibliographical essay. This concise book provides a lively account not only of the military strategy behind the campaign but by including some fascinating contemporary accounts from soldiers in the field provides a personal side to a what was an extraordinary military feat.

Useful Websites

Information Resources on African American Studies.

Hosted at Stanford University this website is aimed primarily at undergraduates and for those just beginning research on African American studies. The site does not provide full text access to works but comprises lists of resources and links to other sites. The site is arranged by type of material such as encyclopaedias; biographical sources; bibliographies and statistics. The site covers not only broad subject areas such as history, culture and biography but also specific topics ranging from music to Black Nationalism.

Center for Oral History, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

“COH preserves the recollections of Hawaii’s people through oral interviews and disseminates oral history transcripts to researchers, students, and the general community.” This site covers a range of oral history projects covering communities; ethnic groups; government; historical events; individual lives and occupations. Full transcripts are available some of which include sound files. The site includes links but these are to other oral history projects rather than to further information on Hawaii.

Alexander Hamilton on the Web.

This site provides a comprehensive guide to the life and works of Alexander Hamilton first Secretary of the Treasury and author of the Federalist Papers. The site includes biographies and images of Hamilton as well as a large number of Hamilton’s writings, including the complete Federalist Papers. The site also provides over 150 links to other related resources.

Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of US Diversity.

This report presents the basic patterns of changes in US population distribution in the last decade. It gives detail at county level of the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This full text report also includes useful maps contrasting the changes in population diversity from the 1990 census to the results of the 2000 census.

Forthcoming Events


The T.S. Eliot Lecture in American Studies.
New Occasions Teach New Duties: Preserving Ordered Liberty in a New Era.
The Hon William H. Webster, Former Director of FBI and CIA.
Tuesday 16 January 2003, Chancellor’s Hall.

Institute of United States Studies Lecture.
A Conversation with Elliot Schwartz.
With Professor Peter Dickinson, and Professor Elliot Schwartz, Bowdoin College.
Wednesday 22 January 2003, Senate Room.

The John M Olin Programme on Politics, Morality & Citizenship.
The Decline of Marriage.
Professor James Q. Wilson, Pepperdine University.
Tuesday 28 January 2003, Chancellor’s Hall.

The Cleanth Brooks Lecture on American Literature and Culture.
Huckleberry Finn and T.S. Eliot.
Professor Denis Donoghue, New York University.
Thursday 6 March 2003, Chancellor’s Hall.

Harry Allen Memorial Lecture.
America and Europe: Shoulder to Shoulder?
Professor Robert Worcester, MORI.
Thursday 20 March 2003, Senate Room.

Caroline Robbins Lecture.
Title tbc.
Professor Gordon Wood, Brown University.
Wednesday 26 March 2003, Senate Room.

New Challenges for the American Presidency.
Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 May 2003, British Library.

Marbury v. Madison.
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 May 2003, Lincoln’s Inn.

Lecture Series on Classic American Poetry

“We’d Rather Have the Iceberg Than the Ship”: Readings in Classic American Poetry from Walt Whitman to Bob Dylan by Grey Gowrie.

O Taste and See! Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop.
Wednesday, 15 January 2003, Senate Room.

You Cannot Stand in the Middle of This? English Eliot, American Auden.
Tuesday, 4 February 2003, Senate Room.

Heartbreak Hotel: Ezra Pound and Robert Lowell.
Tuesday, 25 February 2003, Senate Room.

Dream Songs: John Berryman, Bob Dylan and Mr Bones.
Tuesday, 18 March 2003, Senate Room.

For more information please contact the Institute on tel: 020 7862 8693 or visit the website at


The British Association of American Studies Conference 2003 will be held at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, on the 11-14 April. The annual conference provides an excellent opportunity for librarians to communicate with scholars and postgraduates and keep abreast of developments in the field. For more information please contact Dr Tim Woods, BAAS Conference Secretary, Department of English, Hugh Owen Building, Penglais, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3DY.