What follows is an object lesson in personal style (and maybe other things as well). For about as long as I can recall, anyhow since I was an undergraduate, I've practised the solitary vice of trolling library shelves and hauling piles of books away to leaf through (sometimes to read, sometimes to skim), and I'm still honing my skills. It's hard for me to recognize that not just everybody loves to do this, and that my own skills in the pursuit have evolved over more than 35 years of practise. So I thought I'd try to write up my own process, though it's hard to record the skittering from thought to inspiration to association that makes it all so much fun.
Let's say we wanted to find out about Hannibal MO in some year, or Missouri as frontier territory... how might we go about it? What resources are available to us that we can lay hands upon?
My first inspiration was to do a search on Annie for the subject 'Missouri' and see what the Library of Congress offered in terms of headings, and see what book titles are to be found under those headings. That led me to
Missouri Frontier And Pioneer Life 1 Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder : the woman behin LEYBURN 2 Nathan Boone and the American frontier LEYBURN 3 The pioneer editor in Missouri, 1808-1860 LEYBURN(not something I'd known I was going to find). The Nathan Boone book looks like it might be downright useful, both for itself and for the other subject headings:
AUTHOR Hurt, R. Douglas. TITLE Nathan Boone and the American frontier / R. Douglas Hurt. PUBLISHER Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c1998. SUBJECT Boone, Nathan, 1781-1856. Pioneers -- Missouri -- Biography. Frontier and pioneer life -- Missouri. Missouri -- Biography. Leyburn Library F466.B68 H87 1998I tried a keyword search for Hannibal; most of the results have to do with Hannibal the Carthaginian general, but there's also
AUTHOR Wecter, Dixon, 1906-1950. TITLE Sam Clemens of Hannibal. PUBLISHER Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1952. SUBJECT Twain, Mark, 1835-1910. Leyburn Library PS1332 .W4which may not have all that much about Hannibal.
Now here's a problem: we don't have all that much (no big surprise), but we'd like to know more about what there is on the subject... so what we want is a larger library's online catalog. My favorite for these purposes is Harvard, and here's the toothsome harvest from a search for the keywords 'hannibal missouri' (18 hits total, but I've winnowed out the useless):
%AUTHOR: Evans, John D. %TITLE: A Tom Sawyer companion: an autobiographical guided tour with Mark Twain. %PUB. INFO: Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, c1993. %SUBJECTS: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910. Adventures of Tom Sawyer. \ Twain, Mark, 1835-1910--Homes and haunts--Missouri--Hannibal. \ Autobiographical fiction, American--History and criticism. \ Adventure stories, American--History and criticism. \ Authors, American--19th century--Biography. \ Literary landmarks- -Missouri--Hannibal. \ Hannibal (Mo.) in literature. %AUTHOR: Ruger, A. %TITLE: Bird's eye view of the city of Hannibal, Marion Co., Missouri. %PUB. INFO: [Hannibal?] 1869. [Ithaca, N.Y., Historic Urban Plans, 1970] %DESCRIPTION: Perspective map not drawn to scale. 1 col. map 51 x 59 cm. %NOTES: Facsimile. "Reproduced from an original lithograph in the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas.". Indexed for points of interest. %SUBJECTS: Maps--Facsimiles. \ Hannibal (Mo.)--Aerial views. %AUTHOR: United States. Mississippi River Commission. %TITLE: Flood control and navigation maps of the Mississippi River: Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico, including navigation charts, middle Mississippi River below Hannibal, Missouri. %EDITION: 23d ed. %PUB. INFO: Vicksburg, Miss.: Office of the President, Mississippi River Commission, 1955. %NOTES: Scale of principal maps 1:62,500. Cover title. Earlier editions published under title: Maps of the Mississippi River, Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana. On each map: Corps of Engineers. U.S. Army. %AUTHOR: Bennett, Howard Franklin. %TITLE: The Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad and the development of northern Missouri: 1847-1870; a study of land and colonization policies. %NOTES: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University, 1951. %TITLE: Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri: presented to the city by Hon. George A. Mahan and Mrs. George A. Mahan and dedicated as a memorial May 15th 1912. %PUB. INFO: [Hannibal, Mo.: Hannibal Commercial Club, 1912] %SUBJECTS: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910--Homes and haunts--Missouri--Hannibal. %AUTHOR: Wied-Neuwied, Maximilian, Prinz von, 1782-1867. %TITLE: Maximilian, prince of Wied's, Travels in the interior of North American, 1832-1834. %PUB. INFO: Cleveland, O., The A.H., Clark company, 1905-06. %DESCRIPTION: 3 v. plates, facsim. 25 cm. and atlas of 81 pl., (incl. ports.) fold. map. 53 cm. %SERIES: Early western travels, 1748-1846 ... v. 22-25 %NOTES: German original, Coblenz, 1839-1841, published under title: "Reise in das innere Nord-America ..." The present edition is a reprint of the London edition of 1843, translated by H. Evans Lloyd, with the addition of the Indian vocabularies now first translated from the German edition by Asa C. Tilton. The plates of the atlas are from sketches made by Karl Bodmer. %SUBJECTS: Bodmer, Charles, illus. \ Indians of North America. \ Indians of North America--Languages. \ Natural history--United States. \ United States- -Description and travel. \ American Indians (by tribes)--Mandan. \ Bot.- -Missouri River. \ United States--Description--1830-1847. %AUTHOR: Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company. %TITLE: Farms and homes in northern Missouri. The Hannibal and St. Joseph R.R.co. offer over 500,000 acres of the best prairie and timber farming lands in the west, for sale ... %PUB. INFO: [Boston, Franklin printing house, 1862?] %NOTES: "Inducements to emigrate to northern Missouri" printed on inside of front and back covers. %AUTHOR: Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company. %TITLE: The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company have received by grant from Congress over 600,000 acres of the choicest farming & wood lands, the greater portion of which is now in the market, and the remainder will be offered from time to time ... These lands are situated ... in northern Missouri. %PUB. INFO: Hannibal, Mo., Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Office, 1860. %NOTES: Cover dated 1859. Later eds. pub. with title: Farms and homes in northern Missouri. %SUBJECTS: Railroad land grants--Missouri.This stuff starts all sorts of thoughts going, even without being able to get at the books. A search of a Missouri university online catalog might be even more fruitful, of course.
Record 1 of 7 LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. F157.D4 J67 1989. AUTHOR Jordan, Terry G. TITLE The American backwoods frontier : an ethnic and ecological interpretation / Terry G. Jordan and Matti Kaups. IMPRINT Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1989. SERIES Creating the North American landscape. SUBJECT Ethnology -- Delaware River Region (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) Human geography -- Delaware River Region (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) Delaware River Region (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) -- Civilization. Finnish Americans -- Delaware River Region (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) -- History. Frontier and pioneer life -- Delaware River Region (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) Leyburn Library F157.D4 J67 1989 NOT CHK'D OUT LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. G1201.S1 W44 1995. AUTHOR Wexler, Alan. TITLE Atlas of westward expansion / Alan Wexler ; maps and pen-and-ink drawings by Molly Braun ; Carl Waldman, editorial consultant. IMPRINT [New York, N.Y.] : Facts On File, c1995. NOTE Mainly covers the period 1754-1917. CONTENTS Colonial America looks west (1754-1795) -- The United States extends its empire (1796-1811) -- Crisis on the frontier (1812- 1820) -- An expanding nation (1821-1845) -- A transcontinental republic (1846-1853) -- Wealth of the west (1854-1860) -- Reshaping the west (1861-1867) -- Frontier's end (1868-1900) -- The real significance of the fronitier. SUBJECT United States -- Historical geography -- Maps. United States -- Territorial expansion -- Maps. United States -- Territorial expansion -- Chronology. Leyburn Library G1201.S1 W44 1995 NOT CHK'D OUT LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. E179.5 .A44 1959. AUTHOR Allen, H. C. (Harry Cranbrook), 1917- TITLE Bush and backwoods; a comparison of the frontier in Australia and the United States. IMPRINT [East Lansing] Michigan State University Press, 1959. SUBJECT Frontier and pioneer life -- United States. Frontier and pioneer life -- Australia. United States -- Historical geography. Australia -- Historical geography. Leyburn Library E179.5 .A44 1959 NOT CHK'D OUT
This one has a chapter "Turner and two continents"
LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. F128.44 .W93 1988. AUTHOR Wyckoff, William. TITLE The developer's frontier : the making of the western New York landscape / William Wyckoff. IMPRINT New Haven : Yale University Press, c1988. SUBJECT New York (State) -- Historical geography. Land settlement patterns -- New York (State) -- History. Land use, Rural -- New York (State) -- History. Frontier and pioneer life -- New York (State) Cities and towns -- New York (State) -- History. Leyburn Library F128.44 .W93 1988 NOT CHK'D OUT LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. F681 .S55 1995. AUTHOR Shortridge, James R., 1944- TITLE Peopling the plains : who settled where in frontier Kansas / James R. Shortridge. IMPRINT Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c1995. SUBJECT Kansas -- History. Kansas -- Geography. Land settlement patterns -- Kansas -- History. Kansas -- Population -- History. Leyburn Library F681 .S55 1995 NOT CHK'D OUT LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. F212 .S68 1998. TITLE The southern colonial backcountry : interdisciplinary perspectives on frontier communities / edited by David Colin Crass ... [et al.] IMPRINT Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c1998. CONTENTS Southern backcountry / Robert D. Mitchell -- Muddied waters / Michael J. Puglisi -- Shadow land / Turk McCleskey -- From creeks to crackers / Edward Cashin -- Taverns and communities / Daniel B. Thorp -- Economic development in the South Carolina backcountry / Kenneth E. Lewis -- Fer ways off from the big house / Monica L. Beck -- Here are frame houses and brick chimneys / Charles H. Faulkner -- Seeing early Appalachian communities through the lenses of history, geography, and sociology / David C. Hsiung -- Between two cultures / Elizabeth Arnett Fields -- Folk art, architecture, and artifact / Donald W. Linebaugh. SUBJECT Southern States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775. Southern States -- History -- 1775-1865. Southern States -- Antiquities. Excavations (Archaeology) -- Southern States. Frontier and pioneer life -- Southern States. Leyburn Library F212 .S68 1998 NOT CHK'D OUT LOCATIONS LEYBURN CALL NO. F212 .O88 1989. AUTHOR Otto, John Solomon. TITLE The Southern frontiers, 1607-1860 : the agricultural evolution of the colonial and antebellum South / John Solomon Otto. IMPRINT New York : Greenwood Press, 1989. SUBJECT Frontier and pioneer life -- Southern States. Agriculture -- Southern States -- History. Human geography -- Southern States. Southern States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775. Southern States -- History -- 1775-1865. Leyburn Library F212 .O88 1989 NOT CHK'D OUT
It occurred to me to use Periodicals Contents Index (accessible via 'Periodical Indexes' on the Library Gateway's Research Resources page), which helps one find articles in a large number of OLD journals... VERY useful resource. I did a search for 'jackson and frontier', with considerable success.
And even cursory (not to say random...) poking at bibliographies in the above books produces gems:
AUTHOR Mitchell, Robert D., 1940- TITLE Commercialism and frontier : perspectives on the early Shenandoah Valley / Robert D. Mitchell. PUBLISHER Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1977. SUBJECT Land settlement -- Shenandoah River Valley -- History. Shenandoah River Valley -- Economic conditions. Leyburn Library HD211.V8 M58 TITLE Appalachian frontiers : settlement, society & development in the preindustrial era / edited by Robert D. Mitchell. PUBLISHER Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c1991. NOTE Originated with papers presented at the Conference on the Appalachian Frontier, held in May 1985 at James Madison University and Mary Baldwin College, and sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Historical Institute and the American Frontier Culture Foundation. SUBJECT Appalachian Region -- History -- Congresses. Frontier and pioneer life -- Appalachian Region -- Congresses. Leyburn Library F106 .A58 1991And the above led me to
AUTHOR Caruso, John Anthony. TITLE The Appalachian frontier; America's first surge westward. Maps by Francis J. Mitchell. PUBLISHER Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill  SUBJECT Frontier and pioneer life -- Kentucky. Frontier and pioneer life -- Tennessee. Leyburn Library F396 .C32
Beck, Warren A Historical atlas of the American West / by Warren A. Beck and Ynez D. Haase Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1989 Leyburn Library FOLIO G1381.S1 B4 1989