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HSS 300 - 1920s & 1930s in the US: Primary Sources - Selected e-Books and Websites
A primary source is a document that shows direct, immediate or firsthand knowledge of a subject or event. It is a document written at the time or on the scene where an event occurred. These include:
Messages and Papers
Other Non-Text Materials
Secondary sources are those writings without direct knowledge of a topic or event. These include biographies, monographs, and general periodical articles. Secondary sources are written by people who did not witness or experience an event but have a great deal of knowledge about the topic. Writers often use primary sources in their writing of secondary sources!
In-depth reports written by award-winning journalists on controversial and important topics of the day, from 1923 to the present. Professionally fact-checked, topics include economics, social issues, international affairs, politics, civil rights, public policy, and more.
This database provides access to more than 2,000 primary sources plus 700 multimedia elements from all aspects of American history from 1493-2009.
It includes speeches, memoirs, poems, historical accounts, and more.
This comprehensive collection of primary and reference sources explores American popular culture from the early 20th century through today.
Primary Sources - e-Books
Below, you will find a selection of e-Books that are, or that contain, primary sources. You may also conduct your own search for primary source e-books in the catalog. Keep in mind that primary sources may be found in reference or secondary source books, so be sure to include the source where you find primary sources in your citations.
Be sure to change the "Format" filter from ALL to Book - Electronic, to limit results to e-books only. You will not have access to books in print this term, unless we also have the e-book (which in many instances, we do).
Search and read full text articles from 28 historical newspapers:
• The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1984)
• Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003)
• The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
• The Baltimore Sun (1837-1987)
• The Boston Globe (1872-1984)
• Chicago Defender (1909-1975)
• Chicago Tribune (1849-1992)
• The Christian Science Monitor (1908-2003)
• Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991)
• Detroit Free Press (1831-1922)
• The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003)
• Hartford Courant (1764-1990)
• Indianapolis Star (1903-1922)
• The Irish Times and The Weekly Irish Times (1859-2015)
• Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)
• Los Angeles Times (1881-1989)
• New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
• New York Times (1851-2014)
• New York Tribune (1841-1922)
• Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2003)
• Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)
• Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
• San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922)
• The Scotsman (1817-1950)
• The St. Louis Post Dispatch (1874-1922)
• The Times of India (1838-2007)
• The Wall Street Journal (1889-1999)
• The Washington Post (1877-1999)
This database contains over 1,100 periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children’s and women’s magazines, and many other historically-significant periodicals.
Established July 6, 1865, The Nation offers a 135-year archive of reporting opinion and criticism. It is an immensely important clearinghouse of primary source material covering the history of politics, culture, books and the arts – in America and around the world.
This database provides the complete full text of The New Republic, a popular press publication that covers topics such as politics, foreign policy, culture, current events, and the arts, from 1914 to the present.
"funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University."
The digitized items in the Alcohol, Temperance and Prohibition Collection are from the Alcoholism and Addiction Studies Collection, as well as from various collections in the Brown University Library — broadsides, sheet music, pamphlets and government publications.
8,000+ historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that document voluntary immigration to the U.S., from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression. TIP: Use the Search and Browse menus at the top of the page to access items. (Harvard Univ. Library)
Chronicling America enhances access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
Statistical Abstract data present here ranges from our most recent edition to the historical abstracts compiled throughout the decades. Some of the data were scanned as an effort to make historical abstract information available to the public. The display of data will continue as historical records become available.
"Caroline A. Henderson, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1901, farmed a land claim in the Oklahoma Panhandle from 1907 until 1966. She struggled against recurring droughts, dust storms, extreme blizzards, and other disasters. And yet, through all of these troubles, she and her husband chose to stay on their land. Henderson’s firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl years are preserved in the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections through the letters that she wrote to friends and family members, along with other writings that she published in Practical Farmer and the Atlantic Monthly." (Mount Holyoke)
Web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) and held by the Library of Congress. Although the photos are available in numerous places, these tools make it easier to explore them. (Yale Univ.)
110+ hours of interviews with 148 people who experienced the Great Depression (originating from The Great Depression a seven-part documentary series from Blackside, Inc., which first aired on PBS in 1993). (Washington Univ.)
Includes economic surveys, data, and articles from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as later decades. Look at the National, International, and Regional tabs. (Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce)