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American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Advanced Search Strategies


Due to its large scope, the AAS Historical Periodicals Collection might seem intimidating to search.  However, by using one or more of the search strategies outlined here, you'll be able to better focus your results and find what you need!

Title Lists by Subject

Each periodical title in the AAS Historical Periodicals collection is assigned to at least one broad subject category.  This can be useful if you know, broadly speaking, the kind of periodical you want to explore, but don't know specific titles. 

For example, you may wish to explore anti-slavery journals from the 1840s and 1850s, or perhaps you are interested in magazines aimed specifically at children.  In these cases, title lists organized by subject categories will help you identify specific periodicals to investigate.

EBSCO provides titles lists with subject categories for each of the five series in both HTML and Excel formats.  Downloading the list in Excel format will allow you to sort by category.

Series 1 Titles (1684-1820)

Coverage List:


Series 2 Titles (1821-1837)

Coverage List:

 

Series 3 Titles (1838-1852)

Coverage List:


Series 4 Titles (1853-1865)

Coverage List:


Series 5 Titles (1866-1912)

Coverage List:

 

Once you have specific titles, you can follow Option A or Option B as outlined in the middle column.

 

Search by Publication Title

Option A: When you know the specific title you want to explore, use the "Publications" search function to access all of the available issues.

For example, suppose you want to look at Silent World, a magazine advocating education for the deaf.  Using the advanced search interface for AAS Historical Periodicals Series 5, click on "Publications" in the upper left and then search for Silent World.  You'll see that AAS provides access to an issue from 1876.

Masthead of Silent World

Masthead of Silent World.

 

Option B: When you want to search for a specific word or author in one or more specific publications, you can use the field limiter function in the advanced search interface. 

Suppose you want to see whether the word "suffrage" ever makes an appearance in Godey's Lady's Book:
Illustration of search for "suffrage" in Godey's Lady's Book

The search results provide links to six instances where "suffrage" appears in the magazine.

 

 

Combined Searches

The AAS Historical Periodicals collection is organized into five, date-delimited sets.  However, there may be times when you need or want to run searches that don't fall neatly within these date ranges.  Fortunately, you can search more than one of the series at a time.  Here's how:

1.  Go to any of the AAS Historical Periodicals series.  In this example, we'll go to Series 1, which covers up to 1820.  However, you want your search to include journals in the early 1830s, too.

2.  Click "choose databases" and then select the other AAS Historical Periodicals series you'd like to search.  In this case, you'll want to search Series 2 as well.
Illustration of "Choose Databases" option

 

Illustration of Selection of more than one AAS series

3.  Now run your search.  In this case, we'll search for the term "Cherokee."

4.  Once you have your results, you can further refine the dates by using the date slider bar on the left hand side of the results page.
Illustration of Date Slider Bar