"Primary sources - material produced by the person being studied or in the time period under consideration, rather than by someone thinking about the subject later - are a cornerstone of good academic practice." - Pop cultural critic Lily Rothman
Executive Editor. "I Dare You To Search 'Miley, Skidmore' On Twitter." Skidmore Unofficial. Skidmore College, 28 March 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.
The Digital Public Library of America amplifies the value of libraries and cultural organizations as Americans’ most trusted sources of shared knowledge. We do this by collaborating with partners to accelerate innovative tools and ideas that empower and equip libraries to make information more accessible. We work with a national network of partners to make millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions across the country available to all in a one-stop discovery experience.
This collection of life histories consists of approximately 2,900 documents, compiled and transcribed by more than 300 writers from 24 states, working on the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program that was part of the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1940. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents vary in form from narratives to dialogues to reports to case histories. They chronicle vivid life stories of Americans who lived at the turn of the century and include tales of meeting Billy the Kid, surviving the 1871 Chicago fire, pioneer journeys out West, grueling factory work, and the immigrant experience.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA). At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.
The papers of statesman, publisher, scientist, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) consist of approximately 8,000 items spanning the years 1726 to 1907, with most dating from the 1770s and 1780s. The collection's principal strength is its documentation of Franklin's diplomatic roles as a colonial representative in London (1757-1762 and 1764-1775) and France (1776-1785), where he sought to win recognition and funding from European countries during the American Revolution, negotiated the treaty with Britain that ended the war, and served as the first United States minister to France. The papers also document Franklin's work as a scientist, inventor, and observer of the natural world, and his relations with family, friends, and scientific and political colleagues.
The papers of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) span the years 1866-2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1955 to 2000. The collection, which contains approximately 7,500 items in the Manuscript Division, as well as 2,500 photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division, documents many aspects of Parks's private life and public activism on behalf of civil rights for African Americans. The collection is a gift made to the Library in 2016 through the generosity of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Library received the materials in late 2014, formally opened them to researchers in the Library’s reading rooms in February 2015, and now has digitized them for optimal access by the public.
The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The online collection, containing approximately 7,400 items (38,000 images), spans the years 1841-1964, with the bulk of the material dating from 1862 to 1865. Many of Douglass’s earlier writings were destroyed when his house in Rochester, New York, burned in 1872.
The records of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) span the years from 1839 to 1961 but are most numerous for the period 1890 to 1930. The collection consists of approximately 26,700 items (52,078 images), most of which were digitized from 73 microfilm reels. These records reflect NAWSA's multifaceted history, including the activities of precursor organizations involved in the abolition and women's rights movements, state and federal campaigns for women's suffrage, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and international women's suffrage organizing.
The activists interviewed for this project belong to a wide range of occupations, including lawyers, judges, doctors, farmers, journalists, professors, and musicians, among others. The video recordings of their recollections cover a wide range of topics within the freedom struggle, such as the influence of the labor movement, nonviolence and self-defense, religious faith, music, and the experiences of young activists. Actions and events discussed in the interviews include the Freedom Rides (1961), the Albany Movement (1961), the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963), the Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965), the Orangeburg Massacre (1968), the Poor People’s Campaign (1968), sit-ins, and voter registration drives in the South. The murder of fourteen year old Emmett Till in 1955, a horrific event that galvanized many young people into joining the freedom movement, looms large in the memories of many movement veterans.
The F&M World War I Diaries Collection comprises the diaries of David A. Landis, graduate of Franklin and Marshall Academy (1914), and J. Reah Hollinger, graduate of Franklin and Marshall Academy (1913) and Franklin and Marshall College (1917). The diaries document their military service during World War I, covering the years 1918 and 1919.
A collection of reference ebooks in the following subject areas: Biography, Business, History, Law, Literature, Medicine, Nation and World, Religion, Science, Social Science, World Literature and Its Times.
Features thousands of entries published in Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias. Individual Oxford titles to which we subscribe may be found on the Databases - By Subject pages.
Features content from reference book formats such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, and books of quotations, plus subject-specific titles in subjects ranging from agriculture to philosophy to technology.
Access full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books, more than 150 leading history periodicals, nearly 57,000 historical documents, more than 78,000 biographies of historical figures, more than 113,000 historical photos and maps, and more than 80 hours of historical video.
Fully searchable, cover-to-cover reproductions of early American newspapers including titles from all 50 present states. Includes: Early American Newspapers, Series 1 (1690-1876), Early American Newspapers, Series 2 (1758-1900) and Early American Newspapers, Series 3 (1829-1922).