Making of America (MOA)

History 336 Amit Parab
Professor Rael Sept. 25, 2001

Making of America (MOA)

1. My primary source is an Internet website. The website is a "digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction". The site contains various journals and books that have in-depth analysis on issues pertaining to American society during this period. According to the web page, the Making of Americas digital library contains 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles written during the 19th Century.

2. The site is a collaborative effort between Cornell University and the University of Michigan. MOA was possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The joint efforts of the project initially began in the fall of 1995. The schools simply select and scan the books and journals into the MOA digital library. The website was made so that research institutions and national consortia can use digitalized material on a large scale. The project wanted to preserve 19th century text, while also giving the public an easy access to written documents.

3. The works that appear in MOA document the periods in between the antebellum period through reconstruction. There are eleven journals and they are: Appleton's, Catholic World, DeBows, Garden and Forest, Ladies Repository, The Old Guard, Overland Monthly, Princeton Review, Southern Literary Messenger, Southern Quarterly Review, and Vanity Fair. There are over 8,000 books so there are various authors. The main focus of the works is to answer how the US infrastructure was established.

4. Even though MOA is a collaborative effort, each school has it's own website. The Michigan website is located at The website affiliated with Cornell is located at They have standard search engines.

5. The website is easy to use. The initial page gives you two options, either you can go the MOA Books or to their journals. (They also have options, which explain the site, but after reading this summary of MOA you will already be familiar with the hows and the whys.) At the next page, a search option is available or you can simply look for a specific journal or author by clicking on browse. The search engine looks through the eleven magazines to find articles that contain the word or phrase you typed in. This is beneficial since a word might appear only once in a whole article, suggesting that the article might not be pertinent to your research. When searching through the MOA book library, it is more beneficial to request a specific author rather than looking for a topic. For both books and journals, page-by-page viewing is available, so you also get to choose what pages you want to view. If you choose to view a book you can either view an entire book or you can request the page you want to view.

6. The works focus in on the subjects involving education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. I found the site to be useful and efficient. Since the site has such a large library (over 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles), the site will be useful for basically any topic.