About The Gilded Age

1. About the Database

The Gilded Age brings together primary documents and scholarly commentary into a searchable collection that is the definitive electronic resource for students and scholars researching this important period in American history. When complete, the collection will contain over 50,000 pages of fully searchable text and associated audio and video material. These materials are frequently rare and hard-to-find, and include songs, letters, photographs, cartoons, government documents, and ephemera. In addition, the collection features numerous critical documentary essays that provide scholarly commentary and annotations to selected primary sources. Spanning from 1865 to 1902, The Gilded Age provides insight into the key issues that shaped America in the late nineteenth century, including race and ethnicity, immigration, labor, women's rights, American Indians, political corruption, and monetary policy.

Regular updates of The Gilded Age collection ensure an ever-expanding wealth of fully searchable resources. Essential primary materials have been gathered from a large number of libraries, museums, and archives, including the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, and the Illinois State Library. Researchers will find especially useful an extensive bibliography, developed especially for and exclusive to this collection, and video interviews of leading historians such as Maureen Flanagan (Michigan State University), Michael Kazin (Georgetown University), and James Gilbert (University of Maryland).

To supplement the primary material and to facilitate the teaching of research using primary sources at the university level, the database also includes a collection of critical documentary essays. Compiled by leading scholars in the field and assembled around a major theme or research question, each critical documentary essay consists of twenty to thirty annotated primary-source documents, linked together by an original interpretive essay that provides historical context and insight into the sources. Among the scholars who have created critical documentary essays for The Gilded Age are Samuel Thomas of Michigan State University, Christopher Reed of Roosevelt University, Kim Warren of the University of Kansas, and Daniel Thorp of Virginia Tech. The result of their efforts is a highly visual, annotated record of this critical period in American history.

This collection was developed under the direction of Drew VandeCreek of Northern Illinois University and is based on his award-winning site, Illinois During the Gilded Age, 1866 - 1896.

2. Editorial Policy

The aim of this collection is to provide a comprehensive historical view of America during the Gilded Age so that scholars and students can analyze the evolution of society, government, and culture in the United States between 1865 and 1902. Originally compiled by Drew VandeCreek of Northern Illinois University, the project bibliography has been further developed with input from our scholarly advisors.

Our editorial board:

Drew E. VandeCreek

Drew E. VandeCreek is Director of Digital Projects at Northern Illinois University Libraries. He is a graduate of the College of Wooster, and holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Virginia, where he worked on The Valley of the Shadow Civil War history project at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities.

At Northern Illinois University, he has led the development of a number of significant online humanities resources. They include Lincoln/Net, which examines antebellum American society and culture through the lens of Abraham Lincoln's experiences before the presidency; the American Archives Digitization Project, which presents over twelve million words of primary-source materials from the era of the American Revolution; Mark Twain's Mississippi, which presents a variety of primary-source and interpretive materials shedding light on the Mississippi Valley in the nineteenth century; and Illinois during the Gilded Age, which presents primary-source and interpretive materials illustrating that state's significant role in national development during the late nineteenth century. The present resource has developed as a result of collaboration between Northern Illinois University Libraries and Alexander Street Press, and builds upon the foundation established by Illinois during the Gilded Age.

In April, 2007 Gettysburg College awarded Dr. VandeCreek the eLincoln Prize for best contribution to the field of Civil War and Lincoln studies, recognizing the Lincoln/Net site.

Julie Roy Jeffrey

Julie Roy Jeffrey is a professor of History at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches a variety of courses on American history. She has also had extensive teaching experience in Europe, most recently as the John Adams (Fulbright) Chair in American History at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. She has also taught in Denmark, Italy, and England.

Professor Jeffrey's research has focused on the nineteenth century. She has just completed a study of abolitionist memory after the Civil War that will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in the spring of 2008. Her book, The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Abolitionist Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 1998) won Honorable Mention for the Frederick Douglass Prize and the Choice Award for an Academic Book of Excellence in 1999. Other books include Converting the West: A Biography of Narcissa Whitman (University of Oklahoma Press, 1992) and Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840 - 1880 (Hill and Wang, 1979, revised edition, 1998.) She is also co-author and co-editor of the textbook The American People: The History of a Nation and a Society.

Professor Jeffrey has served as an editor for several history journals and was a member of the Organization of American Historians' Executive Board from 2003 to 2005. She was also a member of the Nominations Committee for the Society for the History of the Early Republic from 2002 to 2004. She is presently a board member of the Beecher House and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery and Abolition at Yale University.

Erika Lee

Erika Lee is an associate professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882 - 1943 (University of North Carolina Press, 2003), which was awarded the 2003 Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award and the Association of Asian American Studies History Book Award. It was named a 2004 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. She has also written several articles on immigration history, including: "Immigrants and Immigration Law: A State of the Field Assessment," in The Journal of American Ethnic History; "Enforcing the Borders: Chinese Exclusion along the U.S. Borders with Canada and Mexico, 1882 - 1924," in The Journal of American History; "American Gatekeeping: Race and Immigration Law in the Twentieth Century," in Not Just Black and White: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity, Then to Now (Russell Sage Foundation, 2004); "A Nation of Immigrants / A Gatekeeping Nation: American Immigration Law and Policy, 1875 - Present," in A Companion to American Immigration History (Blackwell, 2006); and "Hemispheric Orientalism and the 1907 Race Riots on the Pacific Coast," in Amerasia Journal.

Dr. Lee has served on the Executive Board of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation in San Francisco and on the Advisory Board of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. She was also historical consultant for the NEH-funded exhibit Open House: If These Walls Could Talk at the Minnesota Historical Society. The recipient of numerous fellowships and honors, she is currently at work on two book projects: Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (co-authored with Judy Yung) and The 'Yellow Peril' in the Americas: A Transnational History of Asian Migration and Exclusion, 1850 - 1945.

Richard Schneirov

Richard Schneirov is a professor of History at Indiana State University. He specializes in labor, social movements, and American politics from the Civil War and Gilded Age to the Progressive Era. His book Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864 - 1897 (University of Illinois Press, 1998) was awarded the Urban History Association's Prize for Best Book in North American Urban History Published in 1998. With Shelton Stromquist and Nick Salvatore he co-edited The Pullman Strike and the Crisis of the 1890s: Essays on Labor and Politics (University of Illinois Press, 1999). His most recent article is "Thoughts on Periodizing the Gilded Age: Capital Accumulation, Society, and Politics, 1873 - 1898," in The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

Professor Schneirov serves as President of the Indiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors and is a member of the AAUP's National Committee on Contingent Faculty and the Profession.

3. Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all of the scholarly advisors for their guidance and input during the development of the database, as well as the many contributors who masterfully compiled and composed the critical documentary essays. In addition, special thanks to Drew VandeCreek and the Northern Illinois University staff who worked closely with Alexander Street Press to provide a base bibliography for the collection and to source materials.

4. Subscription and Free Trial Information

The Gilded Age is available for one-time purchase of perpetual access, or as an annual subscription. Please contact us at sales@alexanderstreet.com if you wish to begin a subscription or to request a free 30-day trial.

5. Technical Support

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When reporting a problem please include your customer name, e-mail address, phone number, domain name or IP address and that of your web proxy server if used.

6. How to Contribute Materials or Comments

Our goal is to create a unique archive according to the editorial criteria expressed above. We welcome contributions from organizations and individuals, especially if you have materials that are unpublished or of unique interest. Submitting materials to our editors is easy and without obligation on your part.

  • To submit materials for inclusion in The Gilded Age, please contact the Editor at editor@astreetpress.com.
  • If you are a commercial publisher who would like to discuss licensing materials for inclusion in the database, please contact the Editor at editor@astreetpress.com.

7. Errata

Our intention is to have a database without errors. We appreciate all suggestions for improvements, and those who report factual errors. To report errors or to suggest improvements, please email the Editor at editor@astreetpress.com. Please include the author, the document, and the page number. Please also include your email address, so that we can let you know the status of your correction.

8. Copyright

All materials in the database are protected under U.S. and International Copyright Law. Fair use under the law permits reproduction of single copies for personal research and private use. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of protected items requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

9. Cataloging Records

MARC records are available for this collection.

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