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Best of the Web: History & Social Sciences » History » Modern History » Digital Collections

  • A collection of over 160,000 images from rural America during the Great Depression, as well as the war mobilization effort.
  • A collection of over 160,000 images from rural America during the Great Depression, as well as the war mobilization effort.
  • "American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later."
  • Over 29,000 photographs primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida.
  • Searchable digital library of more than 10 billion archived web pages and other cultural artifacts dating back to 1996. The archive also includes texts, movies, live music, and other audio.
  • The collection consists chiefly of portraits of presidents, members of Congress, military officers, justices of the Supreme Court, artists, and other notables.
  • In 1872, Thomas Nast, the premier cartoonist for Harpers Weekly, waged a scorched-earth assault against the presidential campaign of Horace Greeley, the famous and influential founder and editor of the New York Tribune.
  • A Library of Congress collection of 1,118 Civil War photographs which can be searched by keyword, browsed by subject, or viewed by year.
  • Search the full text of hundreds of documents relating to New York State. Local documents include: Proceedings of the bi-centennial celebration of Richmond county, Staten Island, New York. November 1st, 1883 (includes hundreds of names of participants and descriptions of the festiviites) and Facts against rumor: being a brief statement, without note or comment, of the most important facts which transpired in the late difficulties between the vestry and the people of St. Andrew's and Trinity parishes, Staten Island, N.Y., prior to the 5th of February, 1857. By order of committee.
  • This collection offers access to primary materials documenting nearly a century of investigation, arrest, judgment and incarceration of many famous and unknown criminals in New York City. Materials have been gathered from the Lloyd Sealy Library's Special Collections at John Jay College and includes photographs and trial transcripts.
  • This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States including New York City.
  • Digital Gallery provides access to over 337,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs,
  • This site includes a wealth of resources including annotated primary sources on United States, Mexican American and Native American history, and slavery.
  • "This database provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to Katrina Thomas's photographs of ethnic weddings from the late 20th century."
  • Archaeologists and historians rediscover a famous 19th century neighborhood.
  • Archaeologists and historians rediscover a famous nineteenth-century New York neighborhood.
  • The "first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States. The Journal was published weekly in New York City from 1827 to 1829. All 103 issues have been digitized and placed into Adobe Acrobat format."
  • This site presents a wealth of archival treasures and scholarship from Columbia University about the history of one of the world's most famous and influential neighborhoods.
  • An online exhibition from The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.
  • An exhibition from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that includes a timeline, biographies, a section for teachers and other information about the African American community in Harlem.
  • In the "Browse" menu select any of the following topics under "New York City": Castle Garden, East River, Ellis Island, Ferries, Governor's Island, Forts, Harbor, Hell Gate, Hudson River, Statue of Liberty or Wharves & Docks.
  • This browseable site provides access to over 30,000 photographs of life in the west from 1860 to 1920.
  • A digitized collection of books, pamphlets, maps, photographs and historical manuscripts and archives that illustrate the lives of immigrants to the United States as well as the culture they adopted.
  • A digital collection of archived websites, moving images, audio, and texts. This site also provides access to the Prelinger Archive of ephemeral films shot between 1927 and 1983.

  • The Wayback Machine provides 'snapshots' of older versions of 85 billion webpages
  • A repository for 20th century New York City political and social history covering the mayoralties of LaGuardia, Wagner, Beame, Koch, and more.
  • This online collection contains 45 films of New York City dating from 1898 to 1906 from the holdings of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, & Recorded Sound Division. Provides streaming short films from the Edison Company and the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, including footage of Ellis Island, Central Park, skyscrapers, and subways.
  • An interactive recreation of P.T. Barnum's nineteenth century museum on Lower Broadway and the fire that consumed it. Includes essays and an archive.
  • Web-based examination of New York City's African American history includes videos, audio, maps, images and teaching materials.
  • 19th-century prints celebrating the ever-changing face of a thriving, bustling, confident city trace Manhattan's urban evolution. Provided by The New York Public Library.
  • Based on an exhibition mounted by Fordham University.
  • A collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923.
  • The Neighborhood Preservation Center and New York Citys Landmarks Preservation Commission have joined together to provide free online access to Landmark designation reports. Designation reports explain the architectural, historical or cultural significance of an individual landmark or historic district. Work in Progress.
  • A photographic and historical tour of New York's first subway line, the IRT.
  • The Picture Collection Online is an image resource site for those who seek knowledge and inspiration from visual materials. It is a collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923. Search the collection for New York City images.
  • The PBS Series.
  • Web companion to an episode of the PBS television show the American Experience, looks at the construction and impact of New York City's subway system.
  • Include more than 4000 State and National Register of Historic Places nomination forms and their associated photographs.
  • NewYorkHeritage.org is a portal to hundreds of free digital collections about New York State's people, places, and institutions contributed by libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions.
  • Offers audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with ten influential New Yorkers, drawn from the collections of the Oral History Research Office of the Columbia University Libraries.
  • A virtual tour of New York University and Greenwich Village history including a walking tour, biographical sketches and quotes.
  • The online counterpart to the illustrious Mid-Manhattan Librarys Picture Collection, this resource is a collection of 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923. Browse under the subject New York City
  • Seneca Village was Manhattan's first significant community of African American property owners. It existed from 1825 through 1857 and was located between 82nd & 89th Streets and 7th & 8th Avenues. Today, this area is part of Central Park.
  • Thousands of digitized images documenting the people, places, and events of Utah and the surrounding states from 1903 through 1980.
  • A few big cities -- and many more small towns -- long ago made the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut one of the most densely populated regions in North America. This Website presents 12,000 photographs of those three states as they were captured in stereoscopic views from the 1850s to the 1910s.
  • The online edition of a Columbia University Libraries exhibition held from May 25 to September 17, 1994 in conjunction with the international celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
  • The online edition of the Columbia University Libraries exhibition on gay and lesbian history and culture, held in 1994 in conjunction with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the "Stonewall Riots" in New York City.
  • This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire (1911) held by the Cornell University Library. You will find original documents, oral histories, and photographs.
  • This collection explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression by providing access to historical manuscipts, images and other primary sources.
  • This collection explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression by providing access to historical manuscipts, images and other primary sources.