Quick Facts

  • 36,390 titles
  • 43,991 volumes
  • 9,477,227 pages


TIME PERIOD: 1475–1935


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Related Subject Areas
American History
American Literature
British Literature
European History
Latin America/Caribbean
Native Americans
World History

Related Areas of Interest
African American History
American Civil War/Reconstruction
American Revolution
Atlantic Studies
British Empire
U.S. Constitution
U.S. South
Victorian/Romantic Era
Westward Expansion

Based on Joseph Sabin's famed bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana – A Dictionary of Books Relating to America From its Discovery to the Present Time, Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 is an online collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, from the time of their discovery to the early 1900s. Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 is rich in original accounts of discovery and exploration, pioneering and westward expansion, the U.S. Civil War and other military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition, religious history and more.

Covering a span of 400 years in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, this fully searchable digital archive is an essential tool for the study of the western hemisphere. It provides primary source material critical to the understanding of the society, politics, religious beliefs, literature, customs and momentous events of the times.

Summary:  Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 offers an up-close perspective on life in the western hemisphere, encompassing the arrival of the Europeans on the shores of North America in the late 15th century to the first decades of the 20th century. Covering a span of 400 years in North, Central and South America, and the West Indies, this easy-to-use digital collection highlights the society, politics, religious beliefs, culture, contemporary opinions and momentous events of the time. Users will have quick access to documents from an assortment of genres — sermons, political tracts, newspapers, books, pamphlets, maps, legislation, literature and more.

This vast digital collection, drawn from Joseph Sabin’s famed bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana, includes the following topics:

  • Discovery and exploration of the Americas — accounts from British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Danish explorers
  • Colonization — features both American and European views of colonization and first-hand accounts of colonial life in the U.S., Caribbean and throughout Latin America
  • Slavery — memoirs of life under slavery as well as original speeches, lectures, sermons, discourses, reports to legislatures across America, pamphlets, reviews of the day, books and international essays expressing both pro- and anti-slavery sentiments
  • Cities and states — the social and political evolution of America’s major cities and key states such as Boston, New York city, California and Texas
  • Civil War — a wide array of local, national and international memoirs, political tracts, published legislative proceedings and broadsides that detail the rise and resolution of this conflict
  • Reconstruction — records that describe the re-organization and re-establishment of the seceded states in the Union after the Civil War
  • Politics — the story of the birth of campaign literature during the 18th and 19th centuries
  • American women — the education, civil rights, domestic life and employment of women, as well as individual biographical studies
  • Native Americans — essays, booklets, treaties, land tracts, congressional speeches, journals and letters that document the social attitudes and dealings with indigenous populations in North and South America 
  • Immigration — pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, articles and books that describe immigration to the Americas during its 400-year modern history
  • Constitution — pamphlets, letters, speeches and essays provide detailed information about the early political organization of the American colonies and framing of the Constitution

Consisting of hard-to-find primary sources published not only in the United States but across the globe, Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 offers diverse perspectives of the Americas and its unique evolutions.

Discover original accounts of exploration, pioneering and westward expansion.


Significance:  Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 provides a comprehensive basis for the study of the history and culture of all the Americas. It offers critical coverage not found in Readex’s Early American Imprints, including:

  • A wider chronological range — 1500–1926 as opposed to 1639–1819
  • A global perspective to the exploration and development of the western world — Readex includes only works published in the U.S.
  • In-depth material on the U.S. Civil War and on the 19th century in general — a period NOT covered by the Readex products and a period for which material is needed and often requested (more than 80% of the coverage in Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 is from the 19th century)

Full-text search capabilities of hard-to-find primary sources supports intensive studies of the history of the New World.

Source:  Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 came from Gale’s microfilm collection, The Sabin Collection. This collection was based on Joseph Sabin's famed bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America from Its Discovery to the Present Time.  Bibliotheca Americana has been heralded as a cornerstone in the study of the history of the Western Hemisphere. Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 takes the works currently captured from that bibliography and makes them available online.

The books in the collection have been sourced from a variety of libraries, including The Huntington Library, Yale University, American Antiquarian Society and the Library of Congress.

For more information, download a Product Fact Sheet [pdf, 684 KB]

The hard-to-find primary sources in Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 give researchers an up-close perspective on life in the Western Hemisphere.

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