New American Antiquarian Society Database is a Hidden Treasure for Research

Updated 5/2019 with Captain Cache’s Curiosities Podcast episode

Ahoy there! ‘Tis I, Capt’n Cache, here to tell ye about a new digital resource available at yer Library District. Our mateys over at the Front Range Community College have gone ahead and added a new database from EBSCO to the Answer Cache eResources so it be available to everyone!

It be called American Antiquarian Society and it be providin’ digital access to a treasure trove of primary sources and old American periodicals published as far back as the time o’ the Puritans all the way up to the 1800s.

So, the essays and advertisements and illustrations ye be findin’ in the database collection…they be reachin’ into every facet of American life back to the late 17th century.  Blow me down but that be a long time ago!

The American Antiquarian Society resource be coverin’ subjects like health and medicine, yer religion, family life, the history of slavery, women’s issues, and so much more!

The database really be a collection of five different ones that ye can be searchin’ individually or all together. When ye get to the Research page on the library’s website, ye be seein’ that the American Antiquarian Society be broken out into yer five time periods.

The Library District’s Research page lists all eResources in alphabetical order and by research category.

Click on the time period ye want to be searchin’ and this be bringin’ ye to the EBSCO database page. From here ye can be choosin’ additional time periods to include in yer search. Just click “Choose databases” and you add or remove any of the American Antiquarian resources or any of yer other EBSCO subscriptions. Then ye be doin’ yer research just like ye would with the other eResources.

You can choose any databases to include in your research just by choosing them.

Now as I was makin’ me-self familiar with the new resource, I decided to be conductin’ me own inquiries. So I searched the database for information about yer pirates back in the day. I was hopin’ to learn a bit more about me ancestors and what it was like to be sailin’ the seas in the olden days.

Were these ol’ salts just like me: sailin’ the ocean in me ship and readin’ loads of books?

Did they be makin’ land searchin’ for knowledge and talkin’ with the scallywags, I mean yer librarian types?

(Hmmm, did they even be havin’ libraries and librarians back then?)

Anyway, I started me investigation across all five of yer time periods and with yer simple keyword search, “pirate.”

Sink me! It returned more than 2,000 different items, so I decided to put some of those filters on me search to limit the results. Now, if ye don’t know about usin’ the filters, be sure to ask a scallywag – er, a librarian – to be helpin’ you.

(I tell ye, it saves ye time and headaches bigger than after drinking Bookmark Bill’s homemade grog.)

So with me results narrowed, I began me readin’ about pirates of old. After I got through a few articles and essays from magazines like Gentleman’s Magazine and New England Farmer, I start to be noticin’ a trend that I didn’t be expectin’.

These old pirates be nothin’ like yer Capt’n Cache!

To be honest, the history of pirates be violent and criminal. These old rapscallions be pillagin’ and plunderin’ every ol frigate in sight! During the 18th century, they ransacked the East India Company’s ships at every turn throughout the high seas.

“A View of the Attack Made on the Fort of Geriah by Admiral Watson” (Feb. 13, 1756)

Later reports talk about how they pirates be goin’ after yer schooners near Cuba and Puerto Rico and Jamaica. There be regular updates about pirate activity in each of yer publications during this time. And not a once did any of the reports mention about the pirates readin’ any books!

All I can be concludin’ from me research is that the ancestors be a bunch of hornswagglers who don’t be fit to sail with me! The lot of them wouldn’t be knowin’ a book if they be marooned in yer library! And don’t even get me started on all the maimin’ and kidnappin’ from the likes of the pirate Tulagee Angria in the Indian Ocean (menace of the East India Co.) and Vincent Benavides throughout South America. Arrgh!

A biography of Vincent Benavides from 1827. From EBSCO’s American Antiquarian Society.

Fortunately fer me friends, Capt’n Cache is all about seekin’ knowledge and satisfyin’ me curiosity through the eResources at  the Library. Even though I didn’t be likin’ what I learned about pirates from hundreds of years ago, I know that the American Antiquarian Society database be a great research tool.

Visit the Library District’s webpage and click on yer green Research tab to access the collection. Ye be findin’ it under the A-Z list and under yer Homework, Genealogy, and History categories. If ye got questions, be sure to call on a scallywag – ugh, I mean a librarian.

Until next time mateys! Have fun with yer researchin’ at the library.