Library Company of Philadelphia Electronic Resources-CD-ROM

(Available for Use in the William H. Scheide Reading Room)


Databases and Indexes


Bibliography of Early American Law (BEAL). 1998. Volumes 1-6. Over 14,000 entries for legal treatises and trial literature of American law and legal development published in America to1860. Includes works on foreign, comparative, and international law if published in America. Divided into four large sections: I. Monographs, II. Civil Trials, III. Criminal Trials, and IV. Special Proceedings. “Items in the bibliography include: treatises, bibliographies, commentaries, digests, indexes of cases and statutes, formbooks, lectures, tracts, polemics, biographies, collections of cases and statues on one subject (but not court reports or statutes in a series), trials (both civil and criminal), claims, arbitrations, constitutional conventions, catalogs of law books, crime narratives and confessions, documentary collections as well as addresses, administrative and legislative proceedings, histories, legal manuals, legislative documents (selectively) and special proceedings, and less obvious genres, such as law-related ballads, fiction, children’s books, memoirs, sermons, and plays.”


Letters of Delegates to Congress 1774-1789 Historical Database.1998. Volumes 1-25. Over 20,000 letters by over 300 delegates, as well as diary entries, directives from Congressional committees, debate notes, speeches, minutes of committee proceedings, etc. Each document in its entirety. Databases of the chronology in each volume, the attendance record of each delegate, source location, and abbreviations are provided. Various options in searching are word search, phrase search, wild card search, and proximity search.


The Performing Arts in Colonial American Newspapers, 1690-1783. Text Database and Index. 1997. Index of all references to music, dance, theater, and poetry in American newspapers from 1690 to 1783, including those in French and German. The database contains texts and woodcuts relating to the performing arts, a general index of this data, and a supplementary index of first lines. A bibliography giving the nameplate title, publisher, and location of each issue and supplement read is linked to every citation. 54,411 full-text citations, 235,676 index records, 50,719 bibliographic records, 12,061 lyrics, and 37 woodcuts.


Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American Biographical Index. 1997. Index searches information contained in the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Biographical Archives I and II, giving the location of the full text articles in the Biographical Archives and the sources from which the articles were taken. Functions as a biographical research instrument in its own right by containing 275,000 individuals (with short biographies) that can be accessed though fields, such as name, sex, date, occupation, class, country, and source. Includes a five-language thesaurus (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German.)


Music and Documentaries


Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. 1998. 3 discs. 59 songs accompanying the six -hour documentary series, Africans in America. The music consists of original, collected, and reconstructed performances of historical works, such as hymns, chants, and spirituals, composed and compiled by Bernice Johnson Reagon. A 115-page booklet with original art and photography from the series accompanies the set.


From Ear to Ear: The Passage of African Music Through American Slavery
2006. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Enhanced CD that documents the importance of the influence of African music brought by slaves to the development of American music. Divided into three categories, African, Caribbean, and American, the songs include folk songs, work songs, children’s songs, and spirituals.
The extra features on the CD are an interactive image gallery, video clips, essays, printable lyrics.


Thomas Eakins: Scenes From Modern Life. 2002. Full-length documentary of Eakins, retracing his career in Philadelphia and Europe along with a soundtrack. Mini-documentaries: The Unfinished Portrait, Eakins’ Neighborhood, The Centennial Exhibition of 1876, The Bregler Collection. View highlights from the exhibit, Thomas Eakins: American Realist, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Video postcards feature actor William Zielinski reading Eakins’ postcards to friends and family in Philadelphia.



Teaching Resources


American Dresses 1780-1900: Identification and Significance of 148 Extant Dresses. 2001. 810-page encyclopedic reference with more than 300 photographs and illustrations. 148 dresses were examined, measured, sketched, and described, noting style characteristics, fabric, stitching etc. in order to place each in its historical context and aid the user in learning how to accurately date dresses. A guide to fabric and textile identification, garment handling, basic conservation practices, and sources for more information provided.


A House Divided: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. 1995. Aimed at middle school, high school, and college students this program addresses the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 through transcripts of the debates and video reenactments. An interactive, virtual mansion contains 25 selections of music including parlor, spirituals, and work songs, slave narratives, artwork, 15 political cartoons, and photo essays. Lesson plans and a complete bibliography included.


Lewis and Clark, The National Bicentennial Exhibition, Curriculum and Virtual Exhibition. Components of the Virtual Exhibition includes the Gallery of objects, Themes, offering greater context, such as “A World of Women” and “Discovering Language,” and Journey, an interactive map that follows the path of the expedition. This CD-ROM presents multi-disciplinary curriculum for grades 4-12 utilizing the exhibit.




Samuel Coates. Samuel Coates Journal, 1767-1776.
The journal, which also served as a day book, details business at one of the Philadelphia stores originally owned by John Reynell , the adoptive father of Samuel Coates. Reynell turned over the store’s operations to Coates in 1768, and this journal represents the young man’s first business apprenticeship as a small retailer. The store sold an array of textiles, tools, and household hardware, most of it imported from contacts in England. Customers included prominent Philadelphians, neighborhood shopkeepers, women shopping for household goods, and waterfront craftsmen. Sales to the Pennsylvania Hospital were fairly regular.

The original manuscript is privately owned. This CD features color images of the pages with a zoom feature.


Benjamin Franklin. Experiments and Observations on Electricity. London, 1751.
9 x 7 1/4 inches. Scientific treatise on electricity. Franklin discusses his experiments, including the infamous key and kite experiment, documents his invention of the lightening rod, and analyzes the Leyden Jar. Introduces the still-used terms of plus, minus, and electrical battery. Numerous illustrations.

Benjamin Franklin. Junto Book. 1732.
This Commonplace book contains drafts of letters, articles for the Pennsylvania Gazette, and notes on the Junto, “a Club for mutual Improvement,” formed by Franklin. His “Standing Queries” for the Junto were established in 1728, but this manuscript is dated 1732. The original manuscript is at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and is a part of the Ferdinand Dreer Collection. This CD features 79 color images of the pages with a zoom feature.


Horae Beatae Mariae as usum Romanum. France, 1524.
9 1/4 x 6 inches. Horae Beatae Mariae as usum Romanum (Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary following the Roman Use) contains113 leaves of vellum with a series of twenty-six finished small miniatures of saints and evangelists, and another sixteen more or less full-page illustrations. Colored illustrations from this manuscript can be enlarged through a zoom feature to observe the finest details.


John Milton. Areopagitica. London, 1644.
7 3/8 x 5 7/16 inches. Areopagitica is seen as Milton’s defense to his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, which was condemned, as well an early defense of the freedom of press. View actual pages enhanced with zoom feature.


Picturing Women (archived website).
CD for the archived website of the multi-institution exhibition “Picturing Women,” which ran from January through May 2004. Housed in the companion volume: Re-framing Representations of Women: Figuring, Fashioning, Portraiting and Telling in the 'Picturing' Women Project, edited by Susan Shifrin. Burlington : Ashgate, 2008. (Yb A10135.Q).


Mrs. Rowson. (1762-1824). Charlotte: A tale of truth. 1791.
This CD features a digital reproduction of the 1st British edition of this title, which was published in London for William Lane at Minerva in 1791. The novel tells the story of Charlotte, a young British girl who is seduced, brought to America, and then abandoned. The American edition became a best-selling novel with over 200 editions. The original copy is at the University of Virginia.


William Shakespeare. Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. First Folio, London, 1623.
13 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches. First collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, 13 by 8 inches and 908 pages. Single volume, double- columned edition presents 36 plays, including Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night.


William Shakespeare. Poems. 1640 edition.
5 9/16 x 3 9/16 inches. Small octavo format of the first attempt to collect Shakespeare’s sonnets published by John Benson. Also contains some songs from plays, elegies on Shakespeare, and poems from his contemporaries, such as Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and Sir Walter Raleigh.


Andreas Vesalius. De Humani Corporis Fabrica. Basel, 1543.
16 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches. View each of the 700 folio pages of De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the fabric of the human body.) Latin text of descriptions of the human anatomy based on the author’s own dissections, as well as 171 large woodcut illustrations attributed to a follower of Titian.