Thursday, April 2, 2009

Calendar of State Papers, Colonial: America and West Indies, 1574-1739 now online

The Calendars of State Papers, Colonial: America and the West Indies are a key resource for the study of colonial America. As part of a new subscription to British History Online, a database sponsored by the Institute of Historical Research (UK), American historians now have online access to this valuable primary source. A print volume of this set is also available in the British documents section on W2 in Green Library.

The Calendars of State Papers are summaries of hundreds of thousands of handwritten documents relating to the administration of England, and its foreign relations, in the early modern period. This set, originally published in 40 print volumes, includes more than 44,000 transcripts and extended abstracts from 1574 to 1739 dealing with colonial affairs (drawn from manuscripts at the National Archives-UK). The material covers a wide range of subject areas, including orders and grants from central government to local administration; the slave trade; piracy; agriculture; boundary disputes; reports of conferences with Native Americans; plantations; immigration; land grants; industries such as shipbuilding and fisheries; relations with the French, Spanish, and Dutch, including intercepted letters; trade; privateering; war; and reports of court cases.