Bits and Pieces

In addition to the bound volumes of nineteenth century United States (not Texan) newspapers, there are a great number of titles of which UT holds only bits and pieces.  For instance, it has The Academist, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee for April 15 and September 2, 1846.  The April 15 issue is unique to UT.  It also has a run of the Family Messenger and National Gleaner, of Philadelphia, from Nov. 15, 1848 to October 31, 1849.  Although the issues on hand cover almost a full year, it is still regarded to be in the “bits and pieces” category because they are not bound.  UT has 56 of these titles up to the year 1850 that are candidates for scanning because either they are unique to UT or are very thinly held.

The bulk of the bits  and pieces fall in the years 1851 to 1899, for which years UT holds about 206 titles such issues (either unique to UT or very thinly held, thus candidates for scanning).  These titles come from all over the United States.  From New England, UT holds 5 titles from New Hampshire, one from Vermont, and 5 from Massachusetts.  From the Middle States, UT holds 4 from Maryland, 27 from New York, 11 from Pennsylvania, and 16 from Washington, D.C.  From the West, UT has one title from Alaska, 7 from California, 2 from Colorado, 1 from Montana, and 1 from New Mexico.  From the Middle West come 7 titles from Indiana, 2 from Iowa, 4 from Kansas, 2 from Michigan, 2 from Nebraska, 12 from Ohio, 2 from Oklahoma and 1 from Wisconsin.

The bulk, as might be inferred from Major Littlefield’s desire that a balanced history of the Civil War be written, come from the Southern States.  There are 13 titles from Alabama, 15 from Arkansas, 40 from Georgia, 7 from Kentucky, 24 from Louisiana, 12 from Mississippi, 11 from Missouri, 6 from North Carolina, 5 from South Carolina, 19 from Tennessee, and 19 from Virginia.  The towns represented range from the large to the minute, from Alapaha, Georgia, to Wetumpka, Alabama, from the only issue of July 1,1873 of the Savannah Advertiser andRepublican,  to the only October 31, 1878 issue of the Wytheville (Virginia) Dispatch.

If you are interested in contributing funds to speed this massive project, please contact Linda Abbey, of UT’s General Libraries, phone (512) 795-4366 or online to the
Historic Newspapers Preservation  link.

About the Author

Mary Bowden is a researcher working at the Texas Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas. A little-known but invaluable treasure of U.S. history and the history of American journalism is archived in the collection of bound United States’ Newspapers at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection began more than a century ago and has been stored in recent years in the Texas Collections Deposit Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The sizeable archive is currently in the early stages of being digitized before being moved to a more climate-controlled environment at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University, on the north side of Austin.

Mary Bowden