HIST 103: US Immigration History- Kang

Primary Source Databases

Go to the Library web site for a more extensive list of primary source databases for American History and for the complete list of primary source databases, follow this path:  Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic resources types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases.

Some examples

  • HarpWeek
    Full-image reproductions of Harper's Weekly from its beginning in 1857 to 1912. Provides access to information about 19th and early 20th century advertising, illustrations, culture, history, literature, and notable figures.
  • Making of America (Cornell University)
    Access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles from 22 journals with 19th century imprints. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Making of America is a collaboration between the libraries of Cornell University and the University of Michigan to document American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction by drawing upon the primary materials at these two institutions. The Michigan site is available at: http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/
  • Making of America (University of Michigan)
    Access to 9,500 books and almost 2500 digitized issues of 12 journals published in the 19th century. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Making of America is a collaboration between the libraries of Cornell University and the University of Michigan to document American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction by drawing upon unique primary materials held at each institution. The Cornell site is available at: http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/index.html
  • Everyday Life and Women in America
    Providing access to primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History, Duke University and The New York Public Library. It comprises thousands of fully searchable images (alongside transcriptions) of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective
    Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982.
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries
    Include approximately 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries by more than 1000 women. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions. Also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography.

Primary Sources on the Internet

Just a few examples of what's out there - but be careful to evaluate what you find!

American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library

Consists of more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical Library of Congress collections. The primary source and archival materials relating in the project cover topics from art and architecture to performing arts to technology and applied sciences.

American Slave: A Composite Autobiography
A digitized collection of over 2,300 narratives of former slaves. Interviews were conducted by writers and journalists as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s.


American Social History Online
Provides access to 175 digitized library collections related to U.S. social history.

Chronicling America
This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. To date, over 200,000 pages of California newspapers have been digitized.
Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents
Includes the text of more than 100 historic US documents from the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact to the Truman Doctrine and the "I Have a Dream" speech.

James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center
Gateway to collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered history and culture, emphasizing the San Francisco Bay Area. Part of the San Francisco Public Library

Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Census Counts. Contains historical census data from 1790-1860, 1990 & 2000; historical census statistics on the foreign-born. Print copies of the US Census (1790-2000) located in North Reading Room, 2nd floor, Doe Library, gref section, HA201 call number

Immigration... the Changing Face of America. Library of Congress collection. An introduction to the study of immigration to the United States


Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930. Web-based collection of selected historical materials documenting immigration to the US from the Harvard libraries

Making of America (Cornell University)
Access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles from 22 journals with 19th century imprints. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Making of America is a collaboration between the libraries of Cornell University and the University of Michigan to document American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction by drawing upon the primary materials at these two institutions. The Michigan site is available at: http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/


Making of America (University of Michigan)
Access to 9,500 books and almost 2500 digitized issues of 12 journals published in the 19th century. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Making of America is a collaboration between the libraries of Cornell University and the University of Michigan to document American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction by drawing upon unique primary materials held at each institution. The Cornell site is available at: http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/index.html

Finding Primary Sources overview

Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:

For specific search strategies, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

Searching Article Databases for Primary Sources

Historical Newspapers [Proquest] is a great primary resource.

advanced (tab)

negro*  (citation and document text)

freeman (citation and document text)

immigra* (citation and document text)

from:  1/1/1870  12/31/1910

Watch the movie version!  (1 min 45 sec)

Note:  if you aren't finding enough, think of new terms, or think more broadly:

mendez v. westminster = 0 results

try instead:

school*  (citation and document text)

segregat* (citation and document text)

mexican* (citation and document text)

from:  1/1/1945   12/31/1948

 

Last Update: December 20, 2012 12:08