Database Review

Gale Resources: Archives Unbound

Archives Unbound

Archives Unbound presents subject-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars, researchers, and students at the college and university level. A multi-disciplinary resource, collections cover a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to twentieth-century political history. Particular strengths include U.S. foreign policy; U.S. civil rights; global affairs and colonial studies; and modern history. Collections are chosen based on requests from scholars, archivists, and students.

With Archives Unbound, users can engage with primary sources in ways that were never before possible through a range of powerful features:

Explore Topics

Browse the available collections within a pre-filtered research topic by selecting from the Explore Topics list on the homepage. You will then be directed to the Explore Collections page where you can select a specific collection or narrow your results using the filter options.

Advanced Search Features

Archives Unbound offers a wide range of search indexes and limiters to construct searches that best suit the user’s needs. Users can search across indexes such as keyword, author/creator, document title, and manuscript number, and can add rows to search against more than one index at the same time. The search filters available from advanced search offer the ability to narrow focus to parameters such as certain date ranges, content types, and languages across collections. Also note that users can submit advanced searches without search terms, but just specifying limiters, which enables the user to explore different slices of content.

Term Frequency

This digital humanities tool enables users to explore the frequency of one or more search terms in the content over time, which can suggest the changing importance of particular concepts over the years. It enables users to pose new questions of historical data, e.g., is there a connection between “bread” and “revolution”? Does the frequency of the word “Empire” coincide with the rise of the term “tragedy” and “comedy” in popular discourse?

Term Clusters

Users can discover related terms that commonly occur in relation to their own search term, which helps uncover hidden connections, or can be a helpful starting point in the early stages of research. The term cluster for “disaster” might bring up related topics such as “Mining Disaster,” “Fire,” or “Earthquake,” prompting users down different research paths.

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