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HIST2600: Historical Methods (20th Century U.S. History Focus): Web-Based Digital Collections

Resources for historical methods and research projects, with a focus on materials in the 20th century United States history.

Web-Based Digital Collections

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A large and growing directory of links to historical documents on the web, organized chronologically.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.

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]


Subject Guide

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Richard Kearney
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Electronic Resources Librarian
Reference and Information Services Office, Room 107g
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470