Editor: Kees-Jan Waterman
Recent years have shown a remarkable increase in interest and awareness
concerning the plight of Native Americans and their role in the creation of
American society. From its vast microfiche archives, IDC has selected a
representative collection of primary sources and early secondary literature
about the Columbian encounter and its profound consequences for both its indigenous
and European participants.
Historians, anthropologists, ethnologists and other scholars increasingly direct
their attention and research to examples of Native Americans' active involvement
in historical developments within North American society.
The sources at their disposal for such research have an obvious, intrinsic
limitation: virtually all historical material on Native Americans consists of
European accounts. In order to overcome this difficulty, scholars from a wide
range of disciplines have developed a separate discipline and research technique
known as ethnohistory. Much of the resulting scholarship has proved the considerable
potential for extracting significant information about Native groups and individuals
from the various European accounts. The significant role of indigenous participants
in North American history therefore receives as much attention as the traditionally
acknowledged impact of the European presence.
The Native American Studies collection is designed to assist the further development
of interdisciplinary study of the subject. To achieve this goal, the catalogue lists
a large selection of primary sources and secondary literature on Native American history.
Many titles relate to the Inuit peoples. Included are valuable collections of primary material,
such as the authoritative seventy-three volume set of Jesuit Relations of New France,
1610-1791, edited by Rueben G. Thwaites and the often consulted reports from 1794 and
1840 concerning the Moravian missions among Lenape (Delaware/ Mohican) Natives. Another
valuable item consists of manuscript sources relating to missionary activities among the
Cree Natives of the Hudson Bay Territories. Apart from sources relating to such missionary
activities, the catalogue contains equally famous travel accounts. Among them are original
or early editions of works by Charlevoix (Histoire et Déscription Générale de
la Nouvelle France, 1744), Bossu (Travels through that part of North America formerly called
Louisiana, 1771), and William Bartram (Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia,
East and West Florida, 1791). To conclude this short list of significant sources, it should be
noted that all relevant volumes from the illustrious Hakluyt Society series can also be found in
the collection. In addition to such eminent works, the catalogue lists original contributions from
sources often overlooked. For example, there is a selection from the official reports to the US
Congress concerning expeditions sent to collect information to be used in planning the Mississippi-Pacific
railroad route (1855-57). Passages from this selection provide informative accounts of the expeditions'
encounters with Apache and other Native groups.
There are a number of significant advantages to acquiring Native American Studies for your
institute's archives. First, availability of the collection allows for further active participation
in the growing interest in Native American history. Second, the various components of this catalogue
may assist you in retaining researchers and other users who would otherwise have to call upon the services
of national libraries' lending departments.
Even if your holdings already contain some of the works in this catalogue, you may still wish to
consider obtaining the collection. Doing so will enable your institute to preserve the original paper
copies of the unique sources under more favourable conditions, (e.g. in 'Special Collections'). This
particularly applies to the various 18th-century sources contained in the collection. Finally, there
is the economic argument - one that should not be ignored in times of ever-increasing budgetary restraints.
Were you to purchase the paper edition of all seventy-three volumes of Jesuit Relations (over 20,000 pages!)
at the regular market rate, the cost would far exceed the IDC price. This collection presents the opportunity
to acquire and consult unique source materials at an economically attractive rate.
The Native American Studies collection is limited to sources and literature concerning the Native peoples
of North America. IDC's previously published extensive collection of material on Latin American indigenous
peoples is included in the CIDOC catalogue, available from IDC on request.
This collection is another example of IDC's established tradition of publishing significant (historical)
sources. The company's forty years' experience in this field guarantees the highest quality
of microfiche filming, storage and reproduction. Rare or unique publications, and editions that are otherwise
difficult to consult for whatever reason, are especially attractive to acquire on microfiche. We are convinced
that the Native American Studies collection contains many such sources.