This semester you are going to help Special Collections solve a mystery. This manuscript was donated to the MU Libraries by Mrs. Edwin Ball in 1974. Its title page attributes the work to James Noyes, but we know very little else about it. It consists of a series of essays on a wide variety of topics. Titles include "On Female Education," "On Bad Neighbors," and "On the Utility of Dancing," to name a few. The essays are dated between 1794 and 1797. James Noyes (1778-1799) wrote a mathematics textbook and a couple of almanacks around 1793-1794, but we have not been able to establish whether he and the author of this manuscript are one and the same.
Who was James Noyes? Is this manuscript in his hand? Where was it created? Were the essays ever published?
The resources on this page should help you start to piece together the answers.
There are very few early American novels or works of poetry in the collections, but the ones below may be of interest.
Sermons, tracts, and other religious works are one of the strengths of this collection. There are far too many examples in the collections to list here. To find them, look for these subject headings in the MERLIN catalog:
There are many political publications in pamphlet form in the collections. Like sermons, there are too many to list here, but try the following MERLIN searches:
Try searching for specific states and regions combined with the subheading "Description and travel." Results for United States - Description and travel, limited by publication date prior to 1800, are below.
You may also want to see the following sources:
Accounts of Native Americans can often be found in the literature of travel and exploration, but there are also a few works devoted to this subject in the collections:
Most of the periodicals in Special Collections are in microfilm. You can find guides to periodicals on the Special Collections website:
These periodicals can be found in their original format: