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This guide focuses on resources for researching United States history from the colonial period to the present.
BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news, and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and disconnections) between past and present. With its passionate, intelligent, and irreverent approach, BackStory is fun and essential listening no matter who you are.
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes: texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.
"The purpose of the Historic Fulton Oral History Project is to educate, to raise awareness, and to gain an understanding of life in the Historic Fulton community, located in the East End of Richmond, Virginia. Its need comes from a commitment to preserve the 20th century history of the neighborhood and its residents. This was accomplished through the compilation of the oral histories of Historic Fulton residents, particularly those with strong ties to the Historic Fulton community prior to the City of Richmond's 1970s urban renewal plan.The Historic Fulton Oral History collection contains 17 interviews with 32 named interviewee participants. The interviewees are teachers, activists, clergy, and community leaders who grew up in the predominantly African-American Historic Fulton community in the 1930s through 1950s.The interviewees were also witness to the City of Richmond's 1970s urban renewal plan that permanently changed the landscape of Historic Fulton."
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Lantern is the search platform for the collections of the Media History Digital Library, an open access initiative led by David Pierce and Eric Hoyt. The Media History Digital Library (MHDL) digitizes collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning.
The Library of American Broadcasting (LAB) is the national information resource serving the radio and television industries and the academic communities that rely on its depth and expertise. Its collections of historic documents, professional papers, oral and video histories, books, scripts and photographs are the nation’s most extensive. The LAB has evolved over 35 years to become the broadcast industry’s home page, incorporating computer-age technology with traditional library techniques to supply the parallel needs of the broadcast and academic universes. No longer limited to responding to constituents one-by-one in the reading rooms, it can reach thousands simultaneously through the Internet. The Library’s aggressive industry outreach includes lectures, symposia, print and electronic media, positioned to assure that no area of industry interest is left to chance.
The Library of Congress began collecting motion pictures in 1893 when Thomas Edison and his brilliant assistant W.K.L. Dickson deposited the Edison Kinetoscopic Records for copyright. However, because of the difficulty of safely storing the flammable nitrate film used at the time, the Library retained only the descriptive material relating to motion pictures. In 1942, recognizing the importance of motion pictures and the need to preserve them as a historical record, the Library began the collection of the films themselves. From 1949 on these included films made for television. Today the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS) has responsibility for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation of the motion picture and television collections. The Division operates the Motion Picture and Television Reading Room to provide access and information services to an international community of film and television professionals, archivists, scholars and researchers.
Prelinger Archives was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger in New York City. Over the next twenty years, it grew into a collection of over 60,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. In 2002, the film collection was acquired by the Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Prelinger Archives remains in existence, holding approximately 5,000 digitized and videotape titles (all originally derived from film) and a large collection of home movies, amateur and industrial films acquired since 2002. Its goal remains to collect, preserve, and facilitate access to films of historic significance that haven't been collected elsewhere. Included are films produced by and for many hundreds of important US corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, community and interest groups, and educational institutions. Getty Images represents the collection for stock footage sale, and over 2,800 key titles (now in the process o
Some of the most celebrated, recognizable, and graphic images of the American Civil War come from Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War and George N. Barnard’s Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, both published in 1866. Among the most important pictorial records of the conflict, together they shed a stark light on the destruction witnessed during the war and its aftermath. As legendary examples of early American photography these albums also help us to understand the history of documentary photography and the emergence of the widespread documentation of war.
"This site provides an alternative way of browsing the NYPL's incredible Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection. Its goal is to help you discover the history behind the places you see every day."
"The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress offers broad public access to these materials as a contribution to education and scholarship. The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people."