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Web-Based Digital Collections
Digital Public Library of America
DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format.
- The Alger Hiss Story: A Search for the Truth
- "The Alger Hiss Story" web site recreates one of the most important legal cases in U.S. Cold War history, often cited as a turning point in 20th century American thinking. The site is dedicated to students of recent American history at all levels, including high school, college, and post-graduate work; to the research community of scholars, archivists, and teachers; and to a wide general audience.
- AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History
- A large and growing directory of links to historical documents on the web, organized chronologically. Maintained by by George Laughead Jr., manager of the World Wide Web Virtual Library for United States History.
- American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
- This site "contains a slightly expanded and fully searchable version of the print publication 'American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States' ... with added illustrations and links to existing digitized material located throughout the Library of Congress Web site." Includes books, maps, manuscripts, music, images, and other research materials. Browsable and searchable. From the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress. [Librarians' Internet Index]
- Cold War International History Project
- The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War, and seeks to accelerate the process of integrating new sources, materials and perspectives from the former "Communist bloc" with the historiography of the Cold War which has been written over the past few decades largely by Western scholars reliant on Western archival sources. It also seeks to transcend barriers of language, geography, and regional specialization to create new links among scholars interested in Cold War history. The site features numerous archival document collections, readers, and other publications on a wide variety of Cold War topics.
- Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History
- This site provides access to PDF images of original typewritten transcripts of hundreds of invaluable first-person accounts of Native peoples representing all tribes in Oklahoma. Beginning in 1966, tobacco heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke funded seven American Indian oral history projects, including one based at the University of Oklahoma. These projects played a major role in the development of the field of oral history. From 1967 to 1972, interviews were conducted with hundreds of Oklahoma Indians, covering the history and culture of each nation with accounts of ceremonies, gatherings, stories, customs, social conditions, religious beliefs, and daily life. Topics range from Kiowa genealogical information to the Kiowa use of feathers, the Seneca False Face dance, Caddo Ghost Dance, Delaware allotment, Kickapoo wild plant foods, and repeating themes including funerals, hand games, and the Native American Church. The oral histories are organized for browsing by tribe and are searchable by interviewee, interviewer, tape number, and keyword searching of the full text of the transcript. The original index to the collection has been scanned as well.
- Free Speech Movement: Student Protest - University of California, Berkeley, 1964-65
- Joint project of the Bancroft Library and the Free Speech Movement Archives is an impressive online collection of documents related to the Free Speech Movement. Included here are primary source materials including the texts of speeches, oral histories, books, pamphlets, reports, meeting minutes, and much more. The entire collection can be searched or browsed.
- Historic Government Publications from World War II: A Digital Library
- Site hosted by Southern Methodist University features just over 200 government documents from World War II. Plans are to enhance the database to approximately double its size by May 2002, when 300-500 documents will be included. Users can either view the documents in a simple list (sortable by title, author, or publication date) or perform a fielded search (title, author, subject, or keyword).
- Internet Modern History Sourcebook
- Vast, comprehensive site designed by Paul Halsall of the University of North Florida collects together an enormous amount of primary source material that ranges over the entire modern period. The site was designed to support the needs of teachers and students in college survey courses in modern Western Civilization, and every major theme in History 102 (The West and the World) is addressed by the documents available here. Well-organized and worth exploring.
- King Resources at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
- In 2005, Stanford University professor Clayborne Carson, lifelong civil rights activist, established the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Twenty years earlier, Coretta Scott King asked Carson to direct a project preserving and editing her husband's papers; this is one of the major initiatives of the institute. Its other main concern is to further King's civil rights work of hope and reconciliation. The section of the site on King Resources is among the best on the site, containing selected audio-visual material, photo galleries, sermons, speeches, timelines and chronologies, and other resources for students and scholar.
- Library of Congress: Digital Collections
- The Library of Congress maintain numerous multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library's Americana collections. Over 330 historical collections are now available through this site, including over several million digitized items (e.g., maps, pamphlets, sheet music, photographs, broadsides, films, sound recordings, notebooks, periodicals and manuscripts). Among the many notable collections in American Memory is Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting.
- Mississippi Freedom Summer Project 1964 Digital Collection
- Organized and sponsored by the Miami University (Ohio) library, this digital project consists of 765 documents, 27 videos, and suggested curriculum guides for classes from first grade through college. Among the documents are newspaper articles, speeches, newsletters, and photographs. Many of the documents are from a conference sponsored by the university in September 2004. These items should be separated from the records from 1964. Most of the 27 videos highlight speeches presented at the 40th anniversary conferences, including comments from Freedom Summer participants and an assessment of their activism.
- National Woman's Party Digital Collection
- The National Woman's Party Digital Collection contains selected items that can be browsed through one of four groups: Suffrage (1848-1920), Equal Rights (1923-1990), International (1925), and Contemporary (1970-present), with the bulk of material found under the Suffrage and Equal Rights headings. Digitized items include scrapbooks, photographs, political cartoons, and artifacts such as banners, sashes, and costumes. There is also an advanced text search option as well as links to the museum's main page, fees and instructions for obtaining reproductions, and other women's history Internet sources, including those with quite similar materials.
- New Deal Network
- The New Deal Network is a research and teaching resource devoted to the public works and arts projects of the New Deal. At the core of the site is a database of primary source materials - photographs, political cartoons, and texts (speeches, letters, and other historic documents) - gathered from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress, and other sources. Currently there are over 20,000 items in this database, many of them previously accessible only to scholars. Unlike many databases on the Web, which represent the holdings of a particular institution, the New Deal Network is drawing from a wide variety of sources around the country to create a theme-based archive.
- Pittsburgh and Beyond: The Experience of the Jewish Community, from the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section
- The NCJW Oral History Project provides a compelling insight into the growth of an important American Jewish community and the contributions made by the people interviewed. Over a span of 32 years, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Pittsburgh Section, conducted more than 500 oral history interviews focused on the Jewish community – the history, the traditions, the contributions – of its members. The hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of audiotape accumulated by a surprisingly small group of dedicated volunteers are an invaluable resource. The interviews provide windows into the Jewish community's impact on academic, business, civic, cultural, medical, political, religious, and social evolution and development in Pittsburgh, as well as national and international events. This Web site consists of 516 interviews conducted between 1968 and 2001.
- Presidential Libraries (National Archives and Records Administration)
- The Presidential Libraries are repositories for preserving and making available the papers, records, and other historical materials of U.S. Presidents since Herbert Hoover. Each one contains a museum and provides an active series of public programs. When a President leaves office, NARA establishes a Presidential project until a new Presidential library is built and transferred to the Government. This site contains links to each library.
- The Sixties Project (University of Virginia at Charlottesville)
- Resources here include a discussion list, articles (from "Vietnam Generation"), book reviews, personal narratives, poetry, primary documents, and exhibits of visual materials. An excellent resource.
- Studs Terkel: Conversations with America
- "This site, developed by the Chicago Historical Society, is a tribute to Studs Terkel, the noted oral historian, author, and radio host for over fifty years. Organized into galleries that are largely centered around the extensive interviews that Mr. Terkel did for each of one of his books, each section contains dozens of audio clips of these long-form interviews. A biography section of Mr. Terkel documents some of his many endeavors, including more audio clips of him speaking about his family history and growing up in Chicago. Complementing this section is a multimedia interview with Mr. Terkel, divided into sections featuring him talking about his books, writing oral history, and documenting everyday life in the United States. Well-designed and organized, the site provides a thorough portrait of this prodigious and talented American storyteller." [Internet Scout Project]
- WESSWEB: Western European Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries
- Useful collection of online resource guides to European studies prepared by library specialists in the field. Includes regional, historical, and contemporary sources, texts and text collections, library resources, and book reviews.
War Report: Iraq War and Afghan Aftermath
This helpful archive of links to research, editorials, papers, and other written material on the situation in both Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002 to 2009 is provided by the Project on Defense Alternatives. The Project was founded in 1991, and part of its mission is to "adapt security policy to the challenges and opportunities of the post-Cold War era. Toward this end it promotes consideration of the broadest range of defense options." Their advisory board is made up of an impressive range of scholars, policymakers, and scientists. The War Report page itself contains numerous links to a wide array of sources, including special reports from the United Nations on the opium economy in Afghanistan and reports on the status of nuclear inspections in Iraq. Equally valuable are numerous links to news coverage from around the world, including the Guardian, BBC News, Eurasian Insight, and Global Affairs Commentary.
Presidential Oral History
The Miller Center at the University of Virginia has "systematically and comprehensively debriefed" dozens of important figures from the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton. In addition, they are currently building up archives for George W. Bush's presidency, and have gathered many more interviews from key players in the presidencies of Herbert Hoover and Lyndon B. Johnson. Transcripts, audio recordings, and sometimes videos of these interviews are available on the website, and it makes for fascinating reading. For instance, an interview with William Harrman, who served as security at President Hoover's rural camp, gives insight not only into Hoover himself, but into how politics was done during the Great Depression.
National Archives: Records of Rights
This new permanent collection at the National Archives showcases documents and images related to "the ongoing struggle of Americans to define, attain, and protect their rights." Readers may want to begin with the Online Exhibit. Here they will find six informative categories: Equal Rights, Rights to Freedom and Justice, Rights to Privacy and Sexuality, Workplace Rights, First Amendment Rights, and Rights of Native Americans. Each category contains well-researched annotations and plenty of primary sources to spice up lesson plans and classroom activities. For instance, the Equal Rights section provides a chronology of the history of rights in the United States, from the 15th Amendment onward. Interested readers may also enjoy the Museum Exhibit, which details the Exhibit Concept and offers sections on African Americans, Women, and Immigrants.
The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
The mission of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is to document "the lives of women of the past and present for the future." The library is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and interested parties can peruse the Library's announcements, scholarship opportunities, and digital collections here. The Picks and Finds area is a great place to start, as it contains a range of interesting posts and essays like "Dining with Dissent: Politics and Protest in Vegetarian Cookbooks." Visitors shouldn't miss the selections from the Kip Tiernan papers. Mary Jane "Kip" Tiernan was known for her work with organizations that aided the poor, homeless, and socially oppressed. One of her most notable accomplishments was the creation of Rosie's Place, which was the first emergency drop-in shelter for women in the United States.
The Krueger-Scott Oral History Collection
The Krueger-Scott Oral History Collection documents the experiences of African Americans who migrated to Newark, New Jersey between 1910-1970. Launched in the late 1990s, the project is a partnership between Rutgers University-Newark Center for Migration and the Global City, a number of local libraries and museums, and volunteers. The team interviewed over 120 Newark residents who either migrated to the city themselves or were first-generation Newark residents. Visitors to this collection can explore these remarkable interviews in a number of ways. On the site's homepage, visitors can listen to a handful of featured interviews in full. Interviewees include E. Alma Flagg, who was born in Georgia in 1916 and eventually served as the first principal of a racially integrated Newark Public School and later as the district's Assistant Superintendent. Perhaps most notable among this collection is the variety of Media Projects that feature these interviews. One such project centers on an interview with Coyt Jones, father of poet Amiri Baraka and grandfather of current Newark mayor Ras Baraka. As a whole, this collection of powerful interviews adds important insight into Newark's history and the experiences of African Americans during the Great Migration.