by David Safier
The Arizona State Library has become a go-to digital source for Arizona history, lore and legend. Its new Digital Arizona Library contains over 500 old and new books, pamphlets, databases and timelines related to Arizona. You can simply go to the site, find something you want and read it online, or you can sign up and get some added features.
For instance, go to Reading Arizona and choose from 12 categories, like "Arizona Cities and Towns: A Historical Collection," "Native Americans of Arizona: A Historical Collection," "University Presses: A Reading Arizona Collection" and "Poisoned Pen Press: A Reading Arizona Collection."
You'll find seven books and pamphlets relating to Tucson, like "Arizona: The Wonderful Country, Tucson its Metropolis," dating from 1881. Most of the material on Native Americans is old and written by Anglos, though the 1906 book, "Geronimo's Story of His Life" says it's Geronimo's words "Taken down and edited by S. M. Barrett."
The "Current Issues" section includes the 2014 "Aztlan Arizona: Mexican American Educational Empowerment, 1968-1978" and the 2012 "Innocent Until Interrogated: The True Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre and the Tucson Four." If you're up for Arizona-based mysteries, you'll find the David Mapstone Mysteries by Jon Talton, the Lena Jones Mysteries by Betty Web and The Drive Saga by James Sallis.
Not for everyone, but for the interested dabbler or the serious researcher, there's a lot to chew on.