Introduction to the Archive

The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) is a collection of electronic texts and links to texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820. Open to the public for research and teaching purposes, EADA is published and supported by the University of Maryland Libraries’ e-Publishing Initiative, under the general editorship of Professor Ralph Bauer. The site was originally developed with the assistance of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). Intended as a long-term and inter-disciplinary project committed to exploring the intersections between traditional humanities research and digital technologies, it invites scholars from all disciplines to submit their editions of early American texts for publication on this site. Texts may be submitted with or without introductions and annotations as MS Word files. Full credit will be given to contributing guest editors for their work.

The EADA Database and the “Gateway to Early American Authors on the Web”

EADA consists of two basic components: a) the EADA Database and b) the “Gateway to Early American Authors on the Web.”

a) In the EADA Database, you can find texts that are housed at EADA itself, which makes it possible for you to search for specific terms, such as author, title, and subject, within and across the texts. EADA vouches for the accuracy of the header information as well as for the authenticity and quality of the texts contained in its database, which is continually and gradually expanding. Several of our texts also include page images that can be exported and magnified by right-clicking on them and selecting “view image.” If you do not find the early American text you are looking for in the EADA database, you may also consult the

b) “Gateway to Early American Authors on the Web,” which allows you to browse a list of early American authors whose texts are available both on sites that others have posted on the World Wide Web as well as texts from this site, the Early Americas Digital Archive. Texts external to the EADA Database cannot be searched with the EADA Search Engine; nor can EADA vouch for the authenticity or quality of any of the texts external to its database and referred to in the Gateway.


In May of 2002, the Society of Early Americanists launched its initiative in Teaching Early Ibero/Anglo American Studies by hosting the first “Early Ibero/Anglo Americanist Summit” in Tucson, Arizona. This event gathered roughly one hundred scholars from various fields and languages in order to use new research examining early American literatures from a hemispheric perspective, to develop a collection of texts, model curricula, and teaching materials that embody a hemispheric approach to the study of the early Americas, and to generate professional and intellectual exchanges among scholars from various fields. For the purpose of this event, the program committee constructed an electronic anthology as an archival basis for discussion and granted restricted access to Summit Participant. The Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities (MITH) generously provided the technological equipment and the server space necessary for the construction of this anthology. This Summit Anthology became the foundation for the present Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA). However, unlike the password protected Summit Anthology, EADA is accessible to the general public for teaching and research purposes.

 EADA Policy Statement

All texts published by EADA have either been scanned from sources in the public domain or obtained by permission from other internet sites, which are given credit in the header. Subsequently, all texts have been edited to an original source as copy copy text. If texts have been included for which no source could be found in the public domain, permission to publish has been obtained from the copy-right owner. Contributing guest editors are fully credited for their work on our “List of Guest editors page,” which contains their name, a paragraph of biographical information, and a link to their works on EADA.

Submitting guest editions

If you are interested in contributing a guest edition of an early American text, please contact Ralph Bauer at

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