All of the titles are from those listed in Joseph Sabin’s bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana, or Dictionary of Books Relating to America. Tricia Clayton, in a review in The Charleston Advisor, notes that Sabin’s effort to comprehensively list imprints about the Americas was conceived in 1866 but not completed until 1935, finally listing over 106,000 titles in 250,000 editions.1
Source of the digitized content
The first portion of the digital content came from titles already assembled in Gale’s multivolume microfiche product The Sabin Collection, consisting of material primarily from The Huntington Library and the Library of Congress. Titles were subsequently reproduced from originals at Yale University Library and the American Antiquarian Society, first in both digital format and microfiche, and more recently in digital format only. The total number of titles scanned from microfiche, according to the publisher, is 28,169. As of October, 2010 there is a total of 36,390 titles/43,991 volumes in the digital collection. The publisher has indicated that the final goal for the digital collection is around 55,000- titles. At one time it was hoped to include around 75,000 titles of the 106,000 listed by Sabin, but logistical arrangements have caused the goal to be revised.
Clayton searched to compare date range hits with EEBO, ECCP, and the Early American Imprints Series I and II (Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker), suggesting a small percentage of overlap. The publisher has confirmed estimates of maximum overlap based on analyzing publicly available data (title lists and spec sheets) from other collections:
Timetable for release
The collection was launched in December, 2005. Gale continues to add content at a rate of approximately 1 million pages per year, in two releases. Completion is expected in 2013.
A list of holding institutions posted by Gale as of March, 2010, indicated sixty U.S. institutions, including over thirty CRL members. As of October, 2010, thirty-five libraries reported holdings in WorldCat (OCLC #63205055).