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About the Project


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. Funded originally by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MOA sought 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 Cornell University and the University of Michigan. Drawing on the depth of primary materials within their respective libraries, these two institutions developed a thematically-related digital library documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. At Cornell University, 109 monographs (267 volumes) and 22 journals (955 volumes) with imprints primarily between 1840 - 1900 were selected, scanned, and made available. Librarians, researchers, and instructors have worked 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 University of Michigan's Making of America pages are available at:

Current online holdings:

  • Pages: 907,750
  • Monograph Volumes: 267
  • Serial Volumes: 955