Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/50

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7. How to find Sources on the Colonies and the Revolution

TO the accumulating mass of original material there was till a few years ago no general guide. The historians writing in the eighteenth century used what they could find. The second group of American historians, headed by George Bancroft, Jared Sparks, and Francis Parkman, made elaborate collections of transcripts of documents. Winsor, Lecky, Tyler, Weeden, Fiske, and others of the present school of historians have liberally used the printed records and may be tracked through their foot-notes.

There are three methods of reaching the sources which bear on colonial and revolutionary history. First, and most convenient for a quick search to verify a particular point, are the elaborate foot-notes in general or local histories. A list of serviceable secondary works will be found below (No. 15). Most important for this purpose are R. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic ; J. G. Palfrey, History of New England ; George Bancroft, History of the United States (original edition) ; W. B. Weeden, Economic and Social History ; M. C. Tyler, History of American Literature and Literary History of the Revolution. Most of such books contain a bibliography of the books cited. In the monographs on colonial history and institutions, especially in the Johns Hopkins University Studies, will also be found reliable foot-notes.

The second method is through the catalogues of libraries containing valuable collections. The most important are those of the Boston Public Library (Bates Hall) and Supplement ; Boston Athenæum ; Peabody Institute (Baltimore) ; and the card catalogue of the Harvard College Library. The catalogues of the state libraries and state his torical societies are also sometimes valuable.

The third method is through special bibliographies of the subject Most elaborate is Joseph Sabin's Dictionary of Books relating to America (19 vols., New York, 1868-1891), which is an attempt to give the titles