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Primary Sources for 20th Century History-- U.Va. Library Databases
Ancestry Library Edition is an academic version of ancestry.com. There are images of original documents and includes narratives, oral histories, indexes and abstracts to other resources. Over 30,000 Ancestry.com record collections and 11 billion records available to search. Record collections span the 1500s–2000s.
Access to Parts I and II
Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 presents important aspects of LGBTQ life in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The archive illuminates the experiences not just of the LGBTQ community as a whole, but of individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions, political orientations, and geographical locations that constitute this community. Historical records of political and social organizations founded by LGBTQ individuals are featured, as well as publications by and for lesbians and gays, and extensive coverage of governmental responses to the AIDS crisis.
Around 150,000 stories are assembled here from life oral history interviews with 2,700 historically significant African Americans including politicians, religious leaders, athletes, musicians, civil rights activists, soldiers, and many more.
News and business information from sources around the world; book reviews, biographical, and other reference sources; U.S. Code, constitution, and court cases. Includes many newspapers. Most entries are full-text, some updated daily.
Mass Observation Online makes available original manuscript and typescript papers created and collected by the Mass Observation organisation, as well as printed publications, photographs and interactive features. A pioneering social research organisation, Mass Observation was founded in 1937 by anthropologist Tom Harrisson, film-maker Humphrey Jennings and poet Charles Madge. Their aim was to create an 'anthropology of ourselves', and by recruiting a team of observers and a panel of volunteer writers they studied the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. This resource covers the original Mass Observation project, the bulk of which was carried out from 1937 until the mid-1950s, offering an unparalleled insight into everyday life in Britain during these transformative years.
Political Extremism and Radicalism in the Twentieth Century is a compilation of rare and unique archival collections covering a wide range of fringe political movements. With an extensive scope of content focused on political extremism and radical thought, this archive is one of the first digital archives covering such a broad assortment of both far-right and left political groups. It offers a diverse mixture of materials, including periodicals, campaign propaganda, government records, oral histories, and various ephemera, which allow researchers to explore unorthodox social and political movements in new and innovative ways and to understand what impact they have had on today’s society.
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest focuses on collections of original archival material from key libraries in Britain and America using printed and manuscript sources, visual material, ephemera and video clips. This digital resource provides primary sources to enable students and scholars to examine these issues in detail.
The literary materials in this collection provides an historical time stamp and current affairs commentary on the transitional period in the Rastafari Movement’s development—a period extending from the early 1970s through to the present. It is a forty-three year period during which the Rastafari Movement has been spreading across the Afro-Atlantic world in one form or another and becoming progressively globalized.
Each title can be viewed separately by clicking on the title found below the Detailed Description section.
Women and Social Movements in the United States is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection includes 108 document projects and archives with almost 4,300 documents and more than 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, written by more than 2,200 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.
Women and Social Movements, International is a collection of primary materials. Through the writings of women activists, their personal letters and diaries, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made, this collection lets you see how women’s social movements shaped much of the events and attitudes that have defined modern life.
The project records and preserves the living memory of African American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South from the 1890s to the 1950s. It is the largest single collection of Jim Crow-era oral histories in the world: visitors to the site can listen to over 175 hours of recordings. Additionally, there are over 10,000 pages of transcripts from the interviews, which "capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making" that made up the African American experience in the South during this period.
Primary source documents from the National Negro Business League, a business organization founded in 1900 by Booker T. Washington. The League included small African American business owners, doctors, farmers, craftsmen, and other professionals. Its goal was to allow business to put economic development at the forefront of getting African-American equality in America.
This collection contains materials on civil rights, the development of civil rights policy, and the debate over civil rights legislation during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and during his tenure as vice president. Contents of this collection includes memoranda, talking points, correspondence, legal briefs, transcripts, news summaries, draft legislation, statements of administration policy (SAP’s), case histories, legislative histories and news-clippings covering a broad range of civil rights issues.
Documents and information about civil rights cases in the United States. Topics include child welfare, school desegregation, election/voting rights, immigration, police profiling, conditions in public housing, jails prisons, mental health facilities.
Video, audio, and text of interviews with leaders in the black community, conducted chiefly by Julian Bond. These oral histories focus on leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America.
Primary source documents related to voting rights activist and civil rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer.
Fannie Lou Hamer was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The collection includes correspondence, financial records, programs, photographs, newspaper articles, invitations, and other printed items. The papers are arranged in the following series: Personal, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Freedom Farms Corporation, Delta Ministry, Mississippians United to Elect Negro Candidates, Delta Opportunities Corporation, and Collected Materials.
Throughout the twentieth century Black Americans of all political persuasions were subject to federal scrutiny, harassment, and prosecution. The Federal Bureau of Investigation enlisted black "confidential special informants" to infiltrate a variety of organizations. Hundreds of documents in this collection were originated by such operatives. The reports provide a wealth of detail on "Negro" radicals and their organizations. In addition to infiltration, the FBI contributed to the infringement of First Amendment freedoms by making its agents a constant visible presence at radical rallies and meetings. This archive is based on original microfilm.
Search over 56,000 pages of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) involvement in notable civil rights and civil liberties issues such as Willie McGee, the Trenton Six, Martinsville Seven and many others. The CRC also held many high profile protests in Washington DC and the UN. Due to its Communist Party affiliations, the Civil Rights Congress was cited as subversive by President Harry S. Truman’s Attorney General, Thomas Clark.
This series contains a collection of essential materials for the study of the early development of the Civil Rights Movement-concerned with the issues of Lynching, Segregation, Race riots, and Employment discrimination. This collection from FDR’s Official File provides insight into his political style and presents an instructive example of how he balanced moral preference with political realities.
This collection includes essential materials for the study of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement at a critical moment in its history. This archive details Operation Oak Tree, the code name for the Army's plans to intervene in Alabama in the event of civil disturbances related to school integration in May 1963. The documents in this collection are sourced from the Records of the Department of the Army, in the custody of the National Archives of the United States.
This collection contains extensive FBI documentation on Meredith’s battle to enroll at The University of Mississippi in 1962 and white political and social backlash, including his correspondence with the NAACP and positive and negative letters he received from around the world during his ordeal.
For most of the twentieth century the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was the principal defender of the rights that citizens can assert against government. These files cover numerous topics that resonate for contemporary research. Subjects include: the first “Red Scare” following the Russian Revolution of 1917; debates in the 1920s on immigration; the American Birth Control League; lynchings in the 1930s; debates on aliens and immigrants in the years immediately preceding the U.S. entry into the Second World War; and the ACLU’s involvement in two of the mid-century’s most important issues: the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.
The collection consists of rare works of poetry, organizational records, print publications, over one hundred articles, poems, plays, and speeches by Baraka, a small amount of personal correspondence, and oral histories. The collection has been arranged into eighteen series.
Digital collection of the NAACP’s archive of internal memos, legal briefings, and direct action summaries from national, legal, and branch offices throughout the U.S. It covers the organization’s involvement in crucial civil rights issues such as lynching, school desegregation, and discrimination in the military, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, etc.
The collection consists of records of the United Domestic Workers Union. It includes digitized Union correspondence, minutes, subject files, financial documents, membership records, and legal documents.
This collection is a unique resource for the study of the era of the American civil rights movement. Included here are transcriptions of close to 700 interviews with those who made history in the struggles for voting rights, against discrimination in housing, for the desegregation of the schools, to expose racism in hiring, in defiance of police brutality, and to address poverty in the African American communities.
The SNCC Digital Gateway portrays how SNCC, alongside thousands of local Black residents, worked for Black people to take control of their political and economic lives. It unveils the inner workings of SNCC as an organization, examining how it coordinated sit-ins and freedom schools, voter registration and economic cooperatives, anti-draft protests and international solidarity struggles.
• Historic materials including documents, photographs, oral history interviews, and audiovisual material hosted in digital collections at repositories across the country
• Profiles examining individuals’ contributions to the Movement
• Events tracing the evolution of SNCC’s organizing
• Inside SNCC pages unveiling the inner workings of SNCC as an organization
• Our Voices sections presenting aspects of SNCC’s history from the eyes of the activists themselves
• Map connecting users to the people who worked–and the events that happened–in a specific place
Primary source documents related to the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated South to test the United States Supreme Court decision in Boynton v. Virginia. Boynton had outlawed racial segregation in the restaurants and waiting rooms in terminals serving buses that crossed state lines.
With more than 12,000 primary source documents, this database provides comprehensive data for the study of contemporary Chinese Anti-Rightest history and other closely related political movements. Fully searchable in either Chinese or English interfaces, and by author, keyword, title, date, subject, and place.
Largest online database for the study of the Cultural Revolution, consisting of primary source documents such as CCP notices, instructions, proclamations, and speeches, with new material added monthly. Searchable by author, subjects, title, dates, keywords, and place in either Chinese or English interface.
The Journal Database for the Republican Period (1911-1949) covers over 20,000 journal titles. The journal database contains information on all aspects of life, including political, economic, military, social, and livelihood. It provides first-hand information to study the history of the Republic China.
Full text (in image) database of books published in Meiji and Taisho era held by the National Diet Library. As of July 2010, 170,000 volumes, excluding children's books and books in Western languages, are available.
Over 35,000 declassified documents used in foreign policy decision-making by the U.S. government. Includes some photographs. These documents have been gathered since 1985 through the use of the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive.
Retrospective, full-text .pdf coverage of hundreds of legal periodicals, U.S. Supreme Court cases, the U.S. Statutes at Large, Congressional Record, hearings and other legislative history materials, Federal Register, U.S. Attorney General opinions, U.S. treaties and agreements, Foreign and International Law, Israel Law Reports, English Reports, Hague Academy Recueil des Cours, Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law collection, and the Virginia Law Weekly archive. Searchable by citation, author/title, and keyword.
U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978 features a fully searchable database of approximately 11 million pages and more than 350,000 separate documents. Approximately 150,000 Supreme Court cases are featured, the majority consisting of those for which the Court did not give a full opinion.
Full text of all UN parliamentary documents, including resolutions and decisions, issued at UN Headquarters in New York and the UN Office at Geneva since 1992 and of many older documents. For older titles not yet in ODS, use AccessUN,
Information by and about the U.S. Congress: documents and reports, Legislative Histories, hearings, and members and committees. Search the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Federal Regulations, The Hill, and Roll Call. Formerly LexisNexis Congressional.
Regulatory Insight creates regulatory histories for individual federal statutes and Executive Orders by compiling pertinent Federal Register articles into a research-friendly workspace similar to the workspace provided in Legislative Insight.
The United Nations iLibrary is the first comprehensive global search, discovery, and viewing source for digital content created by the United Nations. It provides a single digital destination for seamlessly accessing publications, journals, data, and series published by the United Nations Secretariat, and its funds and programs. Every year around 500 new titles are planned to be added to United Nations iLibrary, approximately 70% of which are in English.
Searchable collection of over 70,000 scanned declassified U.S. documents from the 1940s onwards taken from presidential libraries, the CIA, the FBI and other agencies. Covers the Cold War, Vietnam, the civil rights movement and other events.
Foreign policy with a focus on 1960-75. Some earlier and later documents are also included for context, e.g. decisions related to the post-WWII evolution of Europe and Japan and events leading up to the American involvement in the Vietnam war Includes the Berlin Crisis, the Bay of Pigs, the Yom Kippur War, etc.
The Fortunoff Archive currently holds more than 4,400 testimonies, which are comprised of over 12,000 recorded hours of videotape. Testimonies were produced in cooperation with thirty-six affiliated projects across North America, South America, Europe, and Israel. The Fortunoff Archive and its affiliates recorded the testimonies of willing individuals with first-hand experience of the Nazi persecutions, including those who were in hiding, survivors, bystanders, resistants, and liberators. Testimonies were recorded in whatever language the witness preferred, and range in length from 30 minutes to over 40 hours
The Visual History Archive is the Shoah Foundation Institute’s collection of audiovisual interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. With a current collection of more than 54,000 eyewitness testimonies, the Visual History Archive is the largest digital collection of its kind in the world. It preserves history as told by the people who lived it. Each testimony is a unique source of insight and knowledge, offering powerful stories from history that demand to be explored and shared.
This comprehensive news collection is ideal for exploring issues and events at the local, regional, national and international level. Its diverse source types include print and online-only newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. It currently contains over 9,600 sources from 160 countries.
The Charlottesville, VA area newspaper, published daily from 1892 to the present. Issues from 1892 through 1964 have been digitized from the Library's set of microfilm and are available for viewing online.
Company and business information from Dow Jones; articles from over 6,000 newspapers and periodicals plus news photographs. Select "News pages" to browse daily issues of recent newspapers from many countries; use "Search" to find older articles. Access, provided through VIVA Consortium, is limited to 70 concurrent users.
Independent Voices is a digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.
Pravda ("Truth") was the official voice of Soviet communism and the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1918 and 1991. Founded in 1912 in St. Petersburg, Pravda originated as an underground daily workers’ newspaper, and it soon became the main newspaper of the revolutionary wing of the Russian socialist movement. Throughout the Soviet era, party members were obligated to read Pravda. Today, Pravda still remains the official organ of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, an important political faction in contemporary Russian politics.
This collection contains both news reels and scripts from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, VA. These mid-20th century broadcasts were given to the University of Virginia Library for preservation and use. The resulting collection spans 1951 to 1971 and comprises approximately 13,000 clips of 16mm film shown during news programs. It also contains roughly 18,000 pages of the accompanying scripts read on air by anchorpersons.