Making of America (MOA) represents a major collaborative endeavor to preserve and make accessible through digital technology a significant body of primary sources related to development of the U.S. infrastructure. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MOA seeks to involve research institutions and national consortia to develop common protocols and consensus for the selection, conversion, storage, retrieval, and use of digitized materials on a large, distributed scale.

The initial phase of the project, begun in the fall of 1995, focused on developing a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and Cornell University. Drawing on the depth of primary materials at the Michigan and Cornell libraries, these two institutions are developing a thematically-related digital library documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. At the University of Michigan, approximately 1,600 books and ten journals with imprints primarily between 1850 - 1877 were selected, scanned, and made available through the present system. Librarians, researchers, and instructors continue to work together to determine the content of this digital library and to evaluate the impact of this resource on research and teaching at both institutions. The Cornell Making of America pages are available at:

In 1999, the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate used many elements of the Making of America model in digitizing the ten-volume journal Garden and Forest. This journal is now available through a collaborative effort between the Library of Congress and the University of Michigan. Future developments will include the implementation of cross-collection searching that will provide users integrated access to MOA materials at both institutions.

For more specific information about the MOA Project, see the sections below:


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