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American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library Library of Congress, American Memory. This expansive archive of American history and culture features photographs, prints, motion pictures, manuscripts, printed books, pamphlets, maps, and sound recordings going back to roughly 1490. Currently this site includes more than 9 million digital items from more than 100 collections on subjects ranging from African-American political pamphlets to California folk music, from baseball to the Civil War. Most topical sites include special presentations introducing particular depositories or providing historical context for archival materials. Visitors can search collections separately or all at once by keyword and type of source (photos and prints, documents, films, sound recordings, or maps). In addition, the Learning Page provides well-organized help for using the collections, including sample teaching assignments. WWW.History includes individual annotations for many of the current collections. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO, VIDEO. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Documenting the American South University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Libraries. See JAH web review by Crandall Shifflett. Reviewed 2002-03-01. This database presents nearly 1,400 primary documents about the American South in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Culled from the premier collections at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC), the database features ten major projects. Presenting the beginnings of the University of North Carolina, “The First Century of the First State University,” offers “materials that document the creation and growth” of the University. “Oral Histories of th American South” has made 500 oral history interviews on the civil rights, environmental, industrial, and political history of the South. First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860–1920 offers approximately 140 diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives, and concentrates on women, blacks, workers, and American Indians. (See separate History Matters entry for more details.) “North American Slave Narratives” also furnishes about 250 texts. And the “Library of Southern Literature” makes available an additional 51 titles in Southern literature. “The Church in the Southern Black Community, Beginnings to 1920,” traces “how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.” "The Southern Homefront, 1861–1865“ documents ”non-military aspects of Southern life during the Civil War.“ “The North Carolina Experience, Beginnings to 1940” provides approximately 575 histories, descriptive accounts, institutional reports, works of fiction, images, oral histories, and songs. “North Carolinians and the Great War” offers approximately 170 documents on effects of World War I and its legacy. Finally, ”True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina" analyzes 121 documents written by students attending the University of North Carolina. The projects are accompanied by essays from the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, and are searchable by author, keyword, and title. They reflect a larger effort, begun in 1995, to digitize the Southern collections at UNC. Resources Available: TEXT. Website last visited on 2007-10-18.
Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Jerry Goldman, Northwestern University. See JAH web review by Melvin I. Urofsky. Reviewed 2001-09-01. Features audio files, abstracts, transcriptions of oral arguments, and written opinions on more than 3,300 Supreme Court cases. Includes more than 3,000 hours of audio of arguments in selected cases going back to 1955 and all cases since 1995. Users can access cases through keyword searches or a list of 13 broad categories, including civil rights, due process, first amendment, judicial power, privacy, and unions. Also provides easy access to the 20 “most popular cases”—such as Roe v. Wade (abortion), Gideon v. Wainwright (right to counsel), Plessy v. Ferguson (segregation), Grutter v. Bollinger (racial preferences in school admissions decisions), and Bush v. Gore— determined by numbers of hits to the site. Also offers images and biographical outlines for every justice who has served on the Court. “The Pending Docket” provides briefs of pending cases, along with links to relevant opinions; additional material on selected cases; a summary highlighting cases decided in the previous session with a breakdown of the voting of individual justices; and a forum for discussions of selected recent cases. The site also includes a “virtual tour” of the Court building; links to all the written opinions of the Court since 1893; and audio of speeches by a handful of justices. Of great value for those practicing law and studying its history. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO. Website last visited on 2007-10-18.
Digital History Steven Mintz and Sara McNeil. See JAH web review by Simon Appleford and Vernon Burton. Reviewed 2008-03-01. Provides multimedia resources and links for teaching American history and conducting basic research, while focusing on slavery, ethnic history, private life, technological achievement, and American film. Presents more than 600 documents pertaining to American politics, diplomacy, social history, slavery, Mexican American history, and Native American history, searchable by author, time period, subject, and keyword, and annotated with essays of 300–500 words each. The site offers a full U.S. history textbook and more than 1,500 searchable and briefly annotated links to American history-related sites, including approximately 150 links to historic Supreme Court decisions, 330 links to audio files of historic speeches, and more than 450 links to audio files and transcripts of historians discussing their own books. Also includes five high school lesson plans; 39 fact sheets with quotations and study questions on major historical topics; 10 essays (800 words) on past controversies, such as the Vietnam War, socialism, and the war on poverty; seven essays presenting historical background on more recent controversies, such as hostage crises and NATO in Kosovo; and essays of more than 10,000 words each on the history of American film and private life in America. Four current exhibits offer 217 photographs, ca. 1896–1903, from the Calhoun Industrial School in Alabama, a freedmen’s school; 19 watercolor sketches by a Civil War soldier; seven letters between 18th-century English historian Catharine Macaulay and American historian Mercy Otis Warren; and an 1865 letter from Frederick Douglass to Mary Todd Lincoln. A valuable site for high school students and teachers looking for comprehensive guidance from professional historians on the current state of debate on many topics in American history. Resources Available: IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Famous Trials Douglas Linder, Professor of Law, University of Missouri, Kansas City. See JAH web review by Jerry Goldman. Reviewed 2001-09-01. Law professor Douglas Linder created this exceptional legal history site. It includes fascinating treatments of over 50 of the most prominent court trials in American history, including: Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925); Rosenberg Trial (1951); Leopold and Loeb Trial (1924); Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692); Scottsboro Trials (1931–1937); Bill Haywood Trial (1907); My Lai Courts Martial (1970); Nuremberg Trials (1945–49); Dakota Conflict Trials (1862); Mississippi Burning Trial (1967); Chicago Seven Conspiracy (1969–70); Johnson Impeachment Trial (1868); O.J. Simpson Trial (1995); The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (1895); Hauptmann (Lindbergh) Trial (1935); Sweet Trials (1925–1926); Amistad Trials (1839–1840); Sheriff Shipp Trial (1907–1909); Susan B. Anthony Trial (1873); the Sacco and Vanzetti Trial (1921); Clinton Impeachment Trial (1999); Moussaoui 9/11 Trial (2006); and the Black Sox Trial (1921). Most trial pages include a 750–1000-word essay on the historical background of the case, links to biographies (roughly 500 words) of key figures in the trials, and approximately 15–25 primary documents related to each trial, including transcripts of testimony, media coverage, depositions, and government documents. Cases also contain images, links to related websites, and a bibliography of scholarly works. There are also links to biographies of 5 “trial heroes,” including famous trial lawyer Clarence Darrow, and a “Exploring Constitutional Law” site that offers 83 important constitutional topics for class discussion, such as gay rights, student searches, and the electoral college debates. Each topic includes a 250–300-word introduction to the issue and links to roughly ten related primary documents and court opinions. These topics are designed for classroom use and include issue questions for discussion. Another link explores the Supreme Court and includes items such as biographies of past and present justices, a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building, and a term calendar. Three interactive learning sites on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers are also offered. This exceptional site can serve as a valuable resource for studying many aspects of legal and constitutional history.
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Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-10-11.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture Stephen Railton, University of Virginia. See JAH web review by Ellen Noonan. Reviewed 2001-12-01. This well-designed site explores Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin “as an American cultural phenomenon.” The section of “Pre Texts, 1830–1852” provides dozens of texts, songs, and images from the various genres Stowe drew upon: Christian Texts, Sentimental Culture, Anti-Slavery Texts, and Minstrel Shows. The section on Uncle Tom’s Cabin includes Stowe’s preface, multiple versions of the text, playable songs from the novel, and Stowe’s defense against criticism, The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. A third section focuses on responses to the book from 1852 to 1930, including 25 reviews, over 400 articles and notes, nearly 100 responses from African Americans, and almost 70 of pro-slavery responses. The final section explores “Other Media,” including children’s books, songs, games, and theatrical versions. 15 interpretive exhibits challenge students to explore how slavery and race were defined and redefined as well as how various characters assumed a range of political and social meanings. Excellent for teachers and students. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO. Website last visited on 2007-10-11.
Wright American Fiction, 1851–1875 Committee on Institutional Cooperation; Indiana University Digital Library Program. See JAH web review by Robert K. Nelson. Reviewed 2003-06-01. An ambitious attempt to digitize 19th century American fiction as listed in Lyle Wright’s bibliography, American Fiction, 1815–1875, this collection of texts is a work-in-progress. At present, the site offers 2,887 texts by 1,456 authors. Of these, 1,124 have been edited and SGML encoded so that users may access chapter and story divisions through table of contents hyperlinks. The remaining 1,763 texts have not been proofed, but still can be perused either as facsimiles of original pages or in unedited transcriptions. Most valuable is the ability to perform word searches on the whole database. A most valuable site for those studying American literature and popular culture of the 19th century. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-11-06.
California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849–1900 American Memory, Library of Congress. See JAH web review by William E. Brown, Jr.. Reviewed 2002-09-01. The 190 works presented on this site—approximately 40,000 written pages and more than 3,000 illustrations—provide eyewitness accounts covering California history from the Gold Rush through the end of the 19th century. Most authors represented are white, educated, male Americans, including reporters detailing Gold Rush incidents and visitors from the 1880s attracted to a highly-publicized romantic vision of California life. The narratives, in the form of diaries, descriptions, guidebooks, and subsequent reminiscences, portray “pioneer experience, encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them, the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California’s emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams.” A map of California from 1900, texts, 20 illustrations and photographs, a bibliography for further reading, and a comprehensive discussion of the collection’s strengths and weaknesses provide useful context for first-person accounts. A special presentation recounts early California history illustrated with paintings, engravings, and photographs. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-10-01.
American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870–1920 American Memory, Library of Congress. See JAH web review by Robert W. Snyder. Reviewed 2004-07-01. This collection documents the development of vaudeville and other popular entertainment forms from the 1870s to the 1920s. It includes 334 English and Yiddish playscripts, 146 theater programs and playbills, 61 motion pictures, and 10 sound recordings. This site also features 143 photos and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of magician Harry Houdini and an essay with links to specific items entitled “Houdini: A Biographical Chronology.” Search by keyword or browse the subject and author indexes. The site is linked to the Library of Congress Exhibition “Bob Hope and American Variety.” Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO, VIDEO. Website last visited on 2007-10-02.
African-American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818–1907 American Memory, Library of Congress. See JAH web review by Randall Burkett. Reviewed 2005-12-01. This site presents approximately 350 African-American pamphlets and documents, most of them produced between 1875 and 1900. These works provide “a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture” in a number of forms, including sermons, organization reports, college catalogs, graduation orations, slave narratives, Congressional speeches, poetry, and playscripts. Topics covered include segregation, voting rights, violence against African Americans, and the colonization movement. Authors include Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love. Information about publication and a short description (75 words) of content accompanies each pamphlet. The site also offers a timeline of African-American history from 1852 to 1925 and reproductions of original documents and illustrations. A special presentation “The Progress of a People,” recreates a meeting of the National Afro-American Council in December 1898. A rich resource for studying 19th- and early 20th-century African-American leaders and representatives of African-American religious, civic, and social organizations. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-10-02.
Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848–1921 American Memory, Library of Congress. See JAH web review by Eileen V. Wallis. Reviewed 2012-03-01. This site, representing a subset of items from the Library of Congress' National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Collection, consists of 167 books, pamphlets, handbooks, reports, speeches, and other artifacts totaling some 10,000 pages dealing with the suffrage movement in America. Much of the larger collection was donated by Carrie Chapman Catt, the Association’s longtime president. Also included are works from the libraries of some of the organization’s officers and members, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Alice Stone Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Smith Miller, and Mary A. Livermore. Formed in 1890, NAWSA secured the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 through a series of well-organized state campaigns. The site includes 2 bibliographies of related works on the suffrage campaign, a 700-word essay on Catt, a timeline entitled “One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview,” and links to 11 related collections. While a special application is necessary to view reproductions of documents and illustrations, texts of documents have been scanned and are word-searchable. Also see the site’s pictorial partner at . Useful for studying women in politics, female leaders, and suffrage. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-10-03.
Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World’s Transportation Commission, 1894–1896 American Memory, Library of Congress. This photo archive contains over 900 images made by American photographer William Henry Jackson (1843–1942) during an 1890’s tour of North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania. The World’s Transportation Commission, an organization formed to aid American business interests abroad, commissioned Jackson. The photographs, originally exhibited in Chicago’s Field Columbian Museum, focus on transportation systems—especially railroads—tourist sites, indigenous life, and locations of natural beauty. Nearly 687 of the images are from lantern slides, many of which were hand-colored. Many of the photographs appeared in Harper’s Weekly. This collection is valuable for those interested in late-19th-century photography and American views of exotic places. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-09-27.
WWW-Virtual Library, History Central Catalogue History Index Network, University of Kansas. Created by an international group of volunteer institutions, this site offers a gateway with thousands of links to general history resources and seeks to provide “effective tools for practicing historians wishing to work online.“ Links are presented for the following categories: ”Research: Methods and Materials“; ”Eras and Epochs“; ”Historical Topics“; and ”By Countries and Regions." Resources Available: TEXT. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Mark Twain in His Times Stephen Railton, University of Virginia. See JAH web review by Carl Smith. Reviewed 2001-06-01. This impressive, engaging site is based on the University of Virginia Barrett Collection of Mark Twain’s works and life. Three of the eight sections focus on Twain’s life and career, including the creation of his popular image, the marketing and promotion of his texts, and live performances. The other five sections center on major works, including Innocents Abroad, Tom Sawyer, and Pudd’nhead Wilson. Each section is placed within a historical context, providing background as well as thought-provoking questions and interactive exhibits. The site includes an extensive collection of text sources, including 50 published texts or lectures, 16 letters, over 100 texts and excerpts from other late-19th-century authors, 29 items from publishers, including promotional material, 80 newspaper and magazine articles, 35 obituary notices, and over 100 contemporary reviews. In addition, there are hundreds of illustrations and photographs of and by Twain, as well as interactive graphic displays such as an essay on the role of images that explores the issue of Huck Finn and racism through the various American illustrations of Jim and a display of Mark Twain’s various signatures that encourages students to explore Clemens, Twain, and identity. This is an invaluable resource for high school and college teachers and students. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO. Website last visited on 2007-10-03.
New York Public Library Digital Gallery New York Public Library. This massive collection presents more than 550,000 images relevant to both U.S. and world history, from the earliest days of print culture to the present. These images consist primarily of historical maps, posters, prints and photographs, illuminated manuscript pages, and images drawn from published books. For browsing, the materials are divided by subject heading, library of origin, the name of the item’s creator and/or publisher, and by collection: Arts & Literature; Cities & Building; Culture & Society; History & Geography; Industry & Technology; Nature & Science; and Printing & Graphics. Within these broad collection headings, the images are further subdivided into more specific groupings, for example, Indonesian dance, dress and fashion, Civil War medical care, and New York City apartment buildings. Keyword and Advanced Search options are useful for those wishing to locate specific items. All images can be downloaded for personal use and are accompanied by detailed biographic information, though users will have to turn elsewhere for further historical context. Resources Available: IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: History & Social Studies U.S. Department of Education. This megasite brings together resources for teaching U.S. and world history from the far corners of the web. Most of these websites boast large collections of primary sources from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, the National Archives and Records Administration, and prominent universities. There are more than 600 websites listed for U.S. history alone, divided by time period and topic: Business & Work, Ethnic Groups, Famous People, Government, Movements, States & Regions, Wars, and Other Social Studies. While most of these websites are either primary source archives (for example, History of the American West, 1860–1920) or virtual exhibits, many offer lesson plans and ready-made student activities, such as EDSITEment, created by the National Endowment for the Humanities. A good place to begin is the (Subject Map), which lists resources by sub-topic, including African Americans (67 resources), Women’s History (37 resources), and Natural Disasters (16 resources). Each resource is accompanied by a brief annotation that facilitates quick browsing.
Resources Available: TEXT. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490–1920 American Memory, Library of Congress. Features more than 200 “social dance manuals” and related materials in western dance history, from Burgundian dances of the Late Middle Ages to Ragtime dances in vogue between 1890 and World War I. The site offers a rich selection of manuals—including the rare document, Les basses danses de Marguerite d’Autriche, published around 1490—as well as histories, theoretical studies, treatises on etiquette, antidance literature, and other items. Designed to “illuminate the manner in which people have joyfully expressed themselves as they dance for and with one another,” the site also provides a 13,000-word introductory essay, “Western Social Dance: An Overview of the Collection,” which is illustrated with 44 images, 75 video clips demonstrating selected dances from the manuals, and a bibliography of 77 titles. A well-organized presentation that will interest students of dance and of the cultural history of Europe and the U.S. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, VIDEO. Website last visited on 2008-10-09.
Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Government William C. Fray and Lisa A. Spar. This website, sponsored by Yale Law School with the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), is a collection of over 3,500 full-text documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy, and government. The documents are divided into four century categories: pre-18th, 18th, 19th, and 20th. Includes treaties, presidential papers and addresses, and colonial charters, as well as state and federal constitutional and legal documents. The documents are grouped into 64 Major Collection categories as well, such as Thomas Jefferson’s papers, American diplomacy, and the Cold War. All materials can be accessed through an alphabetical list, through the Major Collections page, through the four century pages, or by a keyword search. All of the search modes are easily navigable. Though most of these documents are directly related to American history, the site also includes over 100 documents on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance history, European history, and modern diplomatic documents such as the Hamas Covenant. The site is ideal for researching American diplomacy, constitutional, political, and legal history.
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Resources Available: TEXT. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
SCETI: Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image University of Pennsylvania Special Collections Library. These eclectic special collection materials span the 17th to the 20th centuries. Visitors can search material from nine collections and visit 14 exhibitions. The collection “A Crisis of the Union” on the Civil War presents 224 pamphlets, broadsides, clippings, paintings, and maps to address the “causes, conduct, and consequences” of the war. A collection devoted to Theodore Dreiser presents correspondence, variant editions of the novel Sister Carrie, an early manuscript for Jennie Gerhardt, and scholarly essays. A collection of approximately 4,000 photographs from singer Marian Anderson’s papers is complemented by an exhibit that includes more than 40 audio and video recordings. A collection on the history of chemistry emphasizes the pre-1850 period with monographs on chemistry and alchemy, and more than 3,000 prints and photographs of scientists, laboratories, and apparatus. The Robert and Molly Freedman archive of Jewish Music recordings includes 26,000 catalog entries in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew and six sample recordings. Exhibits celebrate the work of Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokowski. Women’s history is represented by the diaries of five American and one English woman written between 1850 and 1909. Diaries range from one to 30 years and are both indexed by date and available for reading as text. An exhibit titled “Household Words” presents writing by women about food from the 15th to the 20th century. An exhibit on the colonization of the Americas as it appeared in print presents illustrations, maps, and manuscripts from the age of exploration. The site also includes an exhibit on the development of the ENIAC computer and a selection of 49 works from the University of Pennsylvania’s art museum. he English Renaissance in Context (ERIC) provides tutorials and a database of texts to help students analyze Shakespearean works and plays. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO, VIDEO. Website last visited on 2007-12-04.
Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850–1920 American Memory, Library of Congress. See JAH web review by Char Miller. Reviewed 2010-03-01. Part of the Library of Congress’s American Memory online collection, this site documents the formation of the movement to conserve and protect America’s natural heritage through published works, manuscript documents, images, and motion picture footage drawn from the collections of the Library of Congress. The site contains 62 books and pamphlets, 140 Federal statutes and Congressional resolutions, 34 additional legislative documents, excerpts from the Congressional Globe and the Congressional Record, 360 presidential proclamations, 170 prints and photographs, two historic manuscripts, and two motion pictures. Site visitors can view such holdings as 20 Alfred Bierstadt paintings, period travel literature, a photographic record of Yosemite, Congressional acts regarding conservation and the establishment of national parks. The site provides an annotated chronology of selected events in the development of the conservation movement, with links to pertinent documents and images. The chronology is broken into six periods: 1847–1871; 1872–1889; 1890–1900; 1901–1907; 1908–1911; and 1912–1920. The site is easily navigable and is searchable by subject, author, and keyword. Ideal for researching the history of national parks, nature, and conservation movements in the United States. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, VIDEO. Website last visited on 2007-11-15.
U.S. Senate Historical Office U.S. Senate Historical Office. See JAH web review by Drew E. VandeCreek. Reviewed 2004-06-01. This collection of essays about the history of the U.S. Senate begins with a brief overview (900 words). More than 140 “historical minutes” (300 words) discuss interesting events in the Senate from 1789 to 1980. Events include the caning of Charles Sumner in 1856, the 1914 ban on smoking in the Senate chamber, and a 1935 Huey Long filibuster. The complete texts of 15 oral histories, of 40 to 700 pages, of retired senators and Senate staff members are available and 15 others may be ordered. The oral histories cover 1910 to 1984 and deal with a wide range of issues, including the desegregation of the staff, the McCarthy hearings, preparations to impeach Nixon, rhetorical rules of debate, and the impact of computers on the work of the senate. Staff members include pages, the Sergeant at Arms, aides, administrative assistants, and the first African-American Government Documents Clerk. A collection of 26 essays (500 to 3000 words) discuss Senate procedure, leadership, officers of the Senate, and general information, such as the development of the oath of office. Other essays include 2,400 words on the president pro-tempore and a 1,300 word essay on the 1959 committee, chaired by John F. Kennedy, that designated the five most outstanding senators in American history. The site also includes a section of frequently asked questions about the Senate and links to a directory that provides a 150-word biography of every senator and vice president as well as many congress people and staff members. Statistics about majority and minority leaders and the practice of switching parties are also provided. The minutes of Senate Republican Conferences from 1911 to 1964 and Senate Democratic Conferences from 1903 to 1964 are available in their entirety. Visitors may also read the full texts of eight lectures given by statesmen, such as George Bush and Senator Robert C. Byrd as part of the Leaders Lectures series established in 1988 by Trent Lott. The site is easy to navigate and will be useful for research in the history of American political institutions. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Virginia Historical Society Virginia Historical Society. Since 1831, the Virginia Historical Society has been collecting materials documenting the lives of Virginians. This website provides information for researchers and the broader public interested in visiting the Society’s headquarters in Richmond, including a collections catalog, finding guides to specific collections, and information about physical exhibitions. The website also includes significant digital holdings. While only five percent of the collection has been digitized, this represents more than 5,000 items, grouped into 14 digital collections. These collections include maps, drawings, paintings, postcards, prints and engravings, 19th century photography, as well as topical collections on African Americans, the Civil War, the Retreat Hospital in Richmond, Virginia’s manufacturing of arms, the 1852 Virginia General Assembly Composite Portrait, the Reynolds Metal Company (forthcoming), the Garden Club of Virginia (forthcoming), and selections from the Society’s ongoing exhibition, The Story of Virginia. The entire collections catalog is keyword searchable, and includes an option to limit the search to digitized materials. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2009-02-15.
African American Sheet Music, 1850–1920 American Memory, Library of Congress and Brown University. See JAH web review by Karen Sotiropoulos. Reviewed 2001-12-01. This collection presents 1,305 pieces of sheet music composed by and about African Americans, ranging chronologically from antebellum minstrel shows to early 20th-century African-American musical comedies. Includes works by renowned black composers and lyricists, such as James A. Bland, Will Marion Cook, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Bert Williams, George Walker, Alex Rogers, Jesse A. Shipp, Bob Cole, James Weldon Johnson, J. Rosamond Johnson, James Reese Europe, and Eubie Blake. A “Special Presentation: The Development of an African-American Musical Theatre, 1865–1910” provides a chronological overview that allows users to explore “the emergence of African-American performers and musical troupes, first in blackface minstrelsy, and later at the beginnings of the African-American musical stage in the late 1890s.” In addition, sheet music can be studied to examine racial depictions, both visually, on sheet music covers, and in lyrics; styles of music, such as ragtime, jazz, and spirituals; and a variety of topics of interest to popular audiences, including gender relations, urbanization, and wars. Includes a useful 80-title bibliography and 15-title discography. Much of the material is disturbing due to its heavy dependence on racial caricatures; however, students can gain insight into racial attitudes through an informed use of this site. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-08.
Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota. See JAH web review by Joel Perlmann. Reviewed 2003-06-01. Currently provides 22 census data samples and 65 million records from 13 federal censuses covering the period 1850–1990. These data “collectively comprise our richest source of quantitative information on long-term changes in the American population.” The project has applied uniform codes to previously published and newly created data samples. Rather than offering data in aggregated tabular form, the site offers data on individuals and households, allowing researchers to tailor tabulations to their specific interests. Includes data on fertility, marriage, immigration, internal migration, work, occupational structure, education, ethnicity, and household composition. Offers extensive documentation on procedures used to transform data and includes 13 links to other census-related sites. A complementary project to provide multiple data samples from every country from the 1960s to 2000 is underway. Currently this international series offers information and interpretive essays on Kenya, Vietnam, Mexico, Hungary, and Brazil. Of major importance for those doing serious research in social history, the site will probably be forbidding to novices. Resources Available: TEXT. Website last visited on 2008-10-08.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of South Carolina University of South Carolina Libraries Digital Collections. See JAH web review by John M. Sherrer and Helena Ferguson. Reviewed 2008-09-01. The 580 maps of more than 80 South Carolina towns and cities in this archive reveal urban landscapes and the locations of businesses, mills, colleges, depots, and other buildings between 1884 and 1923. The collection includes 232 unpublished, hand-drafted maps from the years 1899 to 1937. All maps are displayed with original color coding. Users can zoom in and out of maps and can pan right, left, up, or down to examine details. Every map is accompanied by bibliographic data. The full collection can be browsed or the user can choose to browse just the unpublished maps. The collection can be searched by city, year of publication, and county. The maps provide many details about mills and are particularly useful in revealing spatial relationships and location of railroad lines. There is also a link to the Union List of Sanborn and other fire insurance maps. An extremely useful resource for those researching the business or urban history of South Carolina in the decades around 1900. Resources Available: IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-09.
The Dramas of Haymarket Carl Smith, Northwestern University, and Chicago Historical Society. See JAH web review by Martin Blatt. Reviewed 2001-12-01. Curated by Carl Smith, Professor of English and American Studies at Northwestern University in a collaborative effort with the Chicago Historical Society, this rich site provides an online exhibit commemorating one of the most notorious incidents in late-nineteenth-century labor history, the Haymarket Affair. On May 4, 1886, two workers were killed in a struggle between police and locked-out union members at the McCormick Reaper factory. On May 5, 1886, someone threw a dynamite bomb into a group of Chicago policemen sent to control the ensuing protest, killing seven. This site is an online exhibit of selected materials from the Chicago Historical Society’s Haymarket Affair Digital Collection. Organized in the form of a drama, the site contains a prologue, five acts, and an epilogue, all arranged chronologically. The prologue, “Whither America,” covers the period between Chicago’s Great Fire in 1871 through 1880, with emphasis on the railroad strike of 1877 and other developments in the radicalization of American workers. Act I, “Subterranean Fire,” discusses the widening class divisions and resulting rising level of violence in America. Act II, “Let Your Tragedy be Enacted Here,” recounts the demonstrations of 1886, the protestors’ meeting, and the bombing. Act III, “Toils of the Law,” covers the legal proceedings beginning with the “red scare” and police “witch hunt” following the bombing and continuing through the sentencing of the convicted anarchists in October 1886. Act IV, “Voice of People,” relates the legal and public appeals ending with the executions of 1887. Act V, “Raising the Dead,” moves from the funerals of the executed men to Governor John P. Altgeld’s pardon of the surviving defendants in 1893. The epilogue, “Drama Without End,” deals with the contested heritage of Haymarket, including centennial events in 1986. Each part consists of a 500-word interpretive essay and topical sections including a total of over 50 visual materials, such as images of artifacts, photographs, and engravings of the people involved in the Haymarket Affair, and over 30 facsimiles of selected manuscripts and printed materials. Each “Act” contains a final section that includes full-text transcriptions of documents from the Haymarket Digital Collection. The site also includes virtual tours of the Haymarket area and of Forest Home Cemetery, where a monument to the convicted men is located, and audio recordings of contemporary labor songs. This site is beautifully contextualized, well-presented, and easy to navigate. It contains a keyword search engine as well as a table of contents. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO. Website last visited on 2008-10-08.
Heading West & Touring West New York Public Library. See JAH web review by William D. Rowley. Reviewed 2008-09-01. This site is home to two related exhibits about the exploration and settlement of the American west. “Heading West” is a collection of 15 maps produced between 1540 and 1900 and divided into five categories: imagining, exploring, settling, mining, and traveling. A 700-word essay introduces the exhibit and each image is accompanied by 50–400 words of explanation. The site links to 16 other sites about exploration and maps of the west. “Touring West” is a collection of materials about performers who toured the west in the 19th century. It is divided into five sections: travel, abolitionists, railroads, recitals, and heroics. Visitors will find 3 images in each section and 50–400 words of explanation. The images include prints and photographs of performers, programs, and promotional posters. An introductory essay of 500-words describes the collection. The site offers 15 links to sites about performance. Both exhibits will be useful to those interested in the west, performance, or search of illustrations. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.
Kentuckiana Digital Library Kentucky Virtual Library. Provides a wealth of historical material from 15 Kentucky colleges, universities, libraries, and historical societies. Includes nearly 8,000 photographs; 95 full-text books, manuscripts, and journals, from 1784 to 1971; 94 oral history interviews; 78 issues of the magazine Mountain Life & Work, from 1925–62; and 22 issues of the publication Works Progress Administration in Kentucky: Narrative Reports, covering 1935–37. Includes photographic collections of renowned photographer Russell Lee, who documented health conditions resulting from coal industry practices; Roy Stryker, head of the Farm Security Administration photographic project; and others that provide images of a variety of cities, towns, schools, camps, and disappearing cultures. Presents oral histories pertaining to Supreme Court Justice Stanley F. Reed, U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper, the Frontier Nursing Service, American military veterans, Appalachian fiddlers, and the transition of an area from farming to an industrial economy. Texts include Civil War diaries, religious tracts, speeches, correspondence, and scrapbooks. Includes documents on colonization societies, civil rights, education, railroads, feuding, the Kentucky Derby, exploits of Daniel Boone, pioneer surgery, and a recollection of Abraham Lincoln. Valuable for those studying changes in the social and cultural history of the state. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES, AUDIO. Website last visited on 2007-11-23.
Digital Library of Georgia University of Georgia Libraries. Provides an enormous amount of material digitized from collections housed in libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions in the state of Georgia. Legal materials include more than 17,000 public state government documents from 1994 to the present, updated daily, and a complete set of Acts and Resolutions from 1799 to 1995. A set of “Southeastern Native American Documents” provides approximately 2,000 letters, legal documents, military orders, financial papers, and archeological images covering the period 1730–1842. Materials from the Civil War-era include a soldier’s diary and two collections of letters, one from the wife of an Atlanta lawyer and plantation owner. The site provides a collection of 80 full-text, word-searchable versions of books from the early nineteenth century to the 1920s and three historic newspapers. The site also includes approximately 2,500 political cartoons by Clifford H. “Baldy” Baldowski, from 1946–1982; copies from a first-hand account of a violent incident of civil unrest during a political rally in 1868; Jimmy Carter’s diaries of 1971–75 and 1977–81; annual reports of the mayor of Savannah, 1865–1917; photographs of African Americans from around Augusta in the late 19th century; and 1,500 architectural and landscape photographs from the 1940s to the 1980s. A valuable collection for students of southern life, politics, law, and culture. Resources Available: IMAGES. Website last visited on 2007-11-23.
Ohio Memory: An Online Scrapbook of Ohio History Ohio Memory Project. See JAH web review by Susan E. Gray. Reviewed 2003-12-01. In honor of the state of Ohio’s bicentennial in 2003, this site was created to digitize and make accessible extensive collections residing in a variety of Ohio archives, libraries, museums, and local historical societies. At present, more than 330 Ohio institutions have contributed more than 4,100 collections covering Ohio life, culture, and history from prehistoric times to 1903. Currently the site provides more than 26,000 images: 2,786 audiovisual items; 768 historical objects, artifacts, buildings, or sites; 106 natural history specimens; 809 published works; and 691 collections of unpublished material. Users can search by word, date, or place, and browse by format, place, subject heading, or institution. Displayed materials are presented chronologically on scrapbook pages with 9 selections per page. The site provides descriptions and cataloging information for each entry, including links to related sites. Visitors can zoom into individual images for close inspection and create their own annotated scrapbook for future use. The site includes a “Learning Resources” section with 22 categories, including African Americans, agriculture, American Indians, arts and entertainment, business and labor, civil liberties, daily life, education, immigration and ethnic heritage, government, religion, science and technology, sports, and women. This section provides essays of up to 2,000 words illustrated with relevant material. Objects range from 500,000,000-year-old fossils to a 19th-century amputating kit to a 161-page book of poems by a Youngstown steel worker known as the “Puddler Poet.” Valuable for those looking to understand a wide variety of historical topics from a local or regional perspective. Resources Available: TEXT, IMAGES. Website last visited on 2008-10-06.