I’ve only discovered this site recently, but have been absolutely thrilled with it so far. In lieu of explaining the function of the site, I’ll paste it from their page:
Rag Linen is an online museum and educational archive of rare and historic printed newspapers, which serve as the first drafts of history and the critical primary source material for historians, authors and teachers. The collection also features some notable periodicals, documents, broadsides and books.
Before 1870, newspapers were printed on a heavy-duty paper made by pulping linen rags, often from clothes or ship sails. Thanks to the durability of rag linen paper and Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, history’s most important events from the 15th through the 19th centuries are often well preserved in printed form. The historic accounts printed within the pages of these newspapers and periodicals come to life in the Rag Linen blog.
With historic newspapers you’ll travel back in time to read reports from the Late Middle Ages, the European Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. You’ll learn about the evolution of the British Empire and the settling of the first American colonies. You’ll understand the pain and suffering from countless European and American wars, including these major conflicts:
* The Eighty Years’ War (1566-1648)
* The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)
* The English Civil Wars (1642-1651)
* King Philip’s War (1675-1676)
* The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748)
* The French and Indian War (1756-1763)
* The American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
* The War of 1812 (1812-1815)
* The American Civil War (1861-1865)
I love this site! I love seeing the firsthand documents from pivotal events in our country’s history, complete with the S that looks like some sort of F (picture above, explanation here). One of the coolest things I’ve found on Rag Linen so far is the original correspondence between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and the subsequent articles written after Hamilton’s death.
Also, as an avid fan of the American Revolutionary period, seeing things that were printed by Benjamin Franklin is just awesome.
This week’s site: Rag Linen