ProQuest is unlocking the rich, primary source material it acquired with University Publications of America (UPA) through a new digital archive called ProQuest History Vault. Its first three modules are being released this year and will provide researchers with a unique, unfiltered view into the Black Freedom Struggle and U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War era. Modules are planned to complement course curricula and these modules match two of the most widely-studied topics in 20th-century history.
“UPA holds an incredible trove of primary source material,” said Rod Gauvin, ProQuest Senior Vice President of Publishing. “Through a meticulous digitization process, material that’s absolutely central to how American history unfolded can now be shared, searched, and explored more fully than ever before.”
ProQuest History Vault marks the first time primary source materials from University Publications of America (UPA) have been available in a digital format. Digitization allows not only remote access, but also enables single source access and simplified searching of this extraordinarily varied historical content. Original archival arrangement schemes are preserved, and metadata records and PDFs of the original documents are packaged together at the archival folder level, replicating the user experience of browsing through archival boxes to find research treasures. Records from federal agencies, letters, papers, photographs, scrapbooks, financial records, and diaries are among the unique resources. Further, ProQuest History Vault is being developed with controlled vocabulary indexing and full-text, faceted searching that enables researchers to drill to targeted results. Users can also opt to page through an entire collection to explore at a more relaxed pace. Major events in history are indexed and those records are accessible through a timeline of events to help put individual documents into historical context.
The first two modules of ProQuest History Vault cover the breadth of The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century from the perspective of the men, women, and sometimes even children, who waged one of the most inspiring social movements in American history. Spanning from the founding of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs at the close of the 19th century to the riots that followed the verdict in the Rodney King police brutality case in the last decade of the 20th century, the first Black Freedom Struggle module consists of 37 collections of records from federal government agencies. They include sources like the FBI Files on Martin Luther King and records from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations that detail the interaction between civil rights leaders and organizations and the highest levels of the federal government. But perhaps more poignant, immediate and genuine struggle may be seen through the unique view into the day-to-day, such as the records of the Interstate Commerce Commission on discrimination in transportation, which captures the difficulties Black Americans faced when traveling. The second Black Freedom Struggle module is comprised of 36 collections of personal papers and organizational records, including those of Claude A. Barnett, the founder of the Associated Negro Press, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The third module in ProQuest History Vault consists of collections on the Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy from 1960–1975. It covers U.S. involvement in the region from the early days of the Kennedy administration, through the escalation of the war during the Johnson administration, to the final resolution of the war at the Paris Peace Talks and the evacuation of U.S. troops in 1973. Documents in this module trace the actions and decisions at the highest levels in U.S. foreign policy, as well as events on the ground in Vietnam, from the perspective of State Department officials, Associated Press reporters, and members of the U.S. armed forces, including the Marines and the Military Assistance Command Vietnam. While documents pertaining to the Vietnam War are at the center of this module, the strong collections in this module highlight all of the most important foreign policy issues facing the nation between 1960 and 1975.
ProQuest History Vault will eventually house 23 million pages of digitized archival content that supports African American Studies, Women’s Studies, American History, and Political Science, among other areas. Institutions can build their collections over time to provide an unparalleled research experience for their students and faculty who would otherwise be unable to access materials held at geographically-dispersed archives.
For more information, visit www.proquest.com.