Carnegie Mellon University Libraries


Social History:

Primary Sources

Below are some primary sources that can be found at Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon; Hillman Library, the University of Pittsburgh; the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; and on the Web. Repositories of other primary sources can be found using the resources at History: Databases and Indexes: Archival Resources. If you need help finding primary sources, ask at the Hunt Library reference desk.

Social History:
Primary Sources:

Collections, Papers, and Diaries


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  • American Immigrant Autobiographies. Part I, Manuscript Autobiographies from the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota. Immigration History Research Center. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, c1989. Microfilm.
    HUNT MFILM-3 325.1 A512
    Printed guide has a detailed list of the autobiographies on each reel, as well as a subject index.

  • American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers Project, 1936-1940 (American Memory Project, Library of Congress)

  • American Radicalism Collection (Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries)
    Digital images of text on such subjects as Black Panthers, birth control, Ku Klux Klan, Wounded Knee, Scottsboro Boys, etc.

  • American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 (American Memory, Library of Congress)
    Search by keyword or browse English and Yiddish language playscripts, theater playbills and programs, motion pictures, sound recordings and photographs and memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini.

  • Asher, Robert. Connecticut Workers and Technological Change: Connecticut Workers and a Half Century of Technological Change, 1930-1980, Project. Storrs: Center for Oral History, University of Connecticut, c1983. Microfiche.
    HUNT MFICHE-3 306.3 W926
    Over 150 interviews from workers, union leaders, engineers, and management which offer insight into the impact of technological change on work skills, job satisfaction, relationships between workers, etc. The printed guide, arranged by name of the individual interviewed, gives a brief summary of the interview. An index by occupation is also included. A printed supplement provides overviews of technological changes within the industries included in the study.

  • The Bureau of Social Hygiene Project and Research Files, 1913- 1940: A Collection of the Rockefeller Archive Center of the Rockefeller University. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1980. Microfilm.

  • Cleveland: Virtual Cleveland History (Cleveland State University Library)
    Texts, maps, and images.

  • Documenting the American South

  • Free Speech Movement: Student Protest - U.C. Berkeley, 1964-65 (Library, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Global Cultural Memory (Getty Information Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Eventual goal of the project is to have texts, images, sound and video that document everyday events, lifestyles and achievements.

  • The Great Fire and the Web of Memory (Chicago Historical Society and the Trustees of Northwestern University)
    Eyewitness accounts, contemporary journalism and popular illustrations, fiction, poetry, etc.

  • Internet Modern History Sourcebook
    One of a series of history primary sourcebooks, it contains thousands of sources.

  • Margaret Sanger Papers Project (Department of History, New York University)

  • Martyred President: Sermons Given on the Occasion of the Assassination of President Lincoln (Emory University)
    The full text of 57 sermons, both TIFF images and searchable text files are available.

  • Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library (American Memory, Library of Congress)
    Correspondence, papers, books, etc.

  • Naturalization Records of Allegheny County, 1817-1899. Pittsburgh, PA: County of Allegheny, Office of Records Administration, [1994?]. Microfilm.
    HUNT MFILM-3 974.885 N285

  • New Deal Network (Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Institute for Learning Technologies)

  • 19th Century Schoolbooks. (Digital Research Library, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh)
    Full text collections to search or browse, etc.

  • Out of the Past: 400 Years of Lesbian and Gay History in America (Public Broadcasting Service)
    Companion site to the film of the same name. Includes biographical sketches, bibliographies, timeline, etc.

  • Papers of Daniel Webster. Edited by Charles M. Wiltse. Ann Arbor, University Microfilms; Hanover, N. H.: issued in collaboration with Dartmouth College Library, 1971. Microfilm.
    HUNT MFILM-3 973.5 W37P
    Includes general correspondence, business papers, and congressional and official departmental papers. The printed guide provides a Webster chronology, bibliography, and a general description of the materials on each reel, as well as a detailed index.

  • The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1991.
    HUNT MFILM-3 305.4 S79P

  • The Papers of the Society of American Indians. Edited by John W. Larner. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1987. Microfilm.

  • Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. Microfilm Publications of the Pennsylvania Abolitions Society at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: The Papers of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society: 1775-1975. Sanford, N.C.: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1980. Microfilm.

  • Percy and Ruth Crawford and the Birth of Televangelism: An Exhibit of the Billy Graham Center Archives

  • Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929. (American Memory, Library of Congress)
    Papers, books, pamphlets, and legislative documents, consumer and trade journals, photographs, etc.

  • Records of the American Council for Nationalities Service, 1921-1971: Microfilmed from the Holdings of the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Project coordinator, Mary Moscato. Frederick, MD : University Publications of America, 1990. Microfilm.
    HUNT MFILM-3 325.1 R311.
    50 years of the publications of the Foreign Language Information Service, the Common Council for American Unity, the American Federation of International Institutes, and the American Council for Nationalities Service, which were the most prominent groups for orienting immigrants to American society in the 20th century. Included are the Interpreter Releases from 1923 through 1971, which gave regular, in-depth reports on the numerous state and federal laws and government policies that were of vital interest to the immigrant community, and press releases from 1921 through 1971, which detailed the activities and contributions of, and the difficulties confronting, American immigrants. Also microfilmed is the quarterly journal Common Ground, 1940-1949, a leading journal on American race relations and intercultural affairs as well as The Interpreter, 1923-1930, and its predecessor, The Bulletin, 1922, both of which featured many articles on immigrant life in America. Printed guide has a detailed list of the contents of each reel, as well as a subject index.

  • Rosenzweig, Roy. Who Built America? [computer file]: From the Centennial Celebration of 1876 to the Great War of 1914. Santa Monica, CA: Voyager: American Social History Productions, Inc., c1994.
    Thousands of historical documents, including pictures, photographs, archival audio, and films, etc.
    HUNT MUS-OFC-4 305.562 W6282

  • The Sixties Project. (Kalí Tal, University of Arizona)
    Articles, personal narratives, bibliographies, exhibits, etc.

  • Sunday School Books in 19th Century America: Shaping the Values of Youth: (American Memory, Michigan State University Libraries and Central Michigan University, Clarke Historical Library)

  • Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century. (American Memory, Library of Congress)
    Browse or search 7,949 publicity brochures, promotional advertisements and talent circulars for some 4,546 performers who were part of the Chautauqua circuit.

  • United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Archival Records From the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel: E Reports. Microfilm.

  • Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War (Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia)
    Newspapers, letters, diaries, church records, military records, population records, etc. as two communities, Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, are followed through the Civil War Era.

  • Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection (American Memory, Library of Congress)
    Audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.

  • Witchcraft in Salem Village, now Danvers, Massachusetts (Danvers Archival Center, in Conjunction with The Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia)
    Texts, maps, etc., on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

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Great Britain

  • Anti-Slavery Collection, 18th-19th Centuries From the Library of the Society of Friends. London: World Microfilms Publications, 1978. Microfilm.

  • British History, 1750-1950. (Spartacus Internet Encyclopedia)
    British history from all levels of society. Includes narrative, illustrations, primary sources and bibliography.

  • Byrne, M. St. Clare, editor. The Lisle Letters. 6 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
    HUNT STACKS-2 DA335 .L5 L57

  • English Cartoons and Satirical Prints, 1320-1832, in the British Museum. Cambridge, [Eng.]: Chadwyck-Healey; Teaneck, N.J.: Somerset House, 1978. Microfilm.
    HUNT MFILM-3 741.5 E58.

  • Liberty's Catalogues 1881-1949: Fashion, Design, Furnishings. London, England: Mindata, c1985. Microfiche.
    HUNT MFICHE-3 745 L695
    Reproduces the collection of Liberty's catalogues in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from 1881-1949. Liberty's London store was a leader in the world of furnishings and fashion. The catalogs cover all aspects of the fashions of the period, including hats, dresses, underwear, furniture, antiques, silver and jewelry.

  • Monuments and Dust: The Culture of Victorian London (University of Virginia and University College, London)
    Texts (poems, memoirs, essays, newspaper articles, and prose fiction), data, and maps.

  • State Provision for Social Need: The Beveridge Committee Report on the Welfare State (Public Record Office class PIN 8 and CAB 87/76-82). Marlborough, Wiltshire, England: Adam Matthew, 1992. Microfilm.
    • Reels 1-4. Social insurance and allied services. Series SIC 41.
    • Reels 5-12. Social insurance and allied services (The Beveridge report); Ministry of National Insurance files, 1941-1942.
    • Reels 13-18. Ministry of Health files, 1942-1944.
    • Reel 19. Papers of the Phillips Committee, Dec. 1942-Jan. 1943.
    • Reels 20-26. Ministry of Health files, 1943-1944.

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  • Condition of the French Working Class in the 19th Century. Paris: Microeditions Hachette, [1972]. Microfiche.
    Books and official documents, in French, of descriptive and statistical studies of health, working conditions, poverty, etc. To see all the titles available, do an exact series search on the library catalog
    with Condition of the French Working Class in the 19th Century.

  • Documents of the Revolution of 1848 in France (Hanover Historical Texts Project)

  • French Revolutionary Material, Maclure Collection, University of Pennsylvania Microform. New Haven: Research Publications, Inc., [s.d]. Microfilm.

  • French Revolutionary Pamphlets (Mark Olsen, University of Chicago)

  • Gallica (The Bibliothèque Nationale de France)
    Digitized collections (books, periodicals, etc.) from the National Library of France.

  • Pamphlets and Periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848 (Center for Research Libraries, the University of Chicago Library, and the ARTFL Project)

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  • Marxists Internet Archive
    Biography, letters, writings, etc. of Marxists, documents on the history of Marxism, and and Encyclopedia of Marxism, with glossaries of terms, places, events, people, etc.

  • Nazi and East German Propaganda Guide Page (Randall Bytwerk, Calvin College)
    Collection of English translations of German propaganda materials from the Third Reich and East German eras.

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  • Irish Pamphlets c. 1700-1850. Leiden, Netherlands: IDC, 1988. Microfiche.
    HUNT MFICHE-3 941.5 I682
    Microreproduction of pamphlets in the collection of The Catholic University of America Libraries, Washington, D.C. Personal correspondence, parliamentary proceedings, journalistic and committee reports, and creative writing on Ireland's campaign for Parliamentary reform and the Catholic Question. The pamphlets are filmed in broad subject designations. The printed guide lists all the titles and also provides author, printer, place of printing and year of publication indexes.

  • Views of the Famine (Steve Taylor, Vassar College)
    Engravings, cartoons, and articles from the Illustrated London News, Cork Examiner, Pictorial Times, Punch, plus links to other sites.

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  • Early 19th Century Russian Readership & Culture: A Hypertext Archive (University of Minnesota)
    Collection of resources on early nineteenth-century Russian readership, culture & the press. It consists of texts drawn from fiction, journals, memoirs & travel accounts as well as bibliographies of primary and secondary sources. Altogether, it is a database of approx. 12,000 subscriptions to Russian imprints (1825-1846), related images, and various reference materials.

  • Marxists Internet Archive
    Biography, letters, writings, etc. of Marxists, documents on the history of Marxism, and and Encyclopedia of Marxism, with glossaries of terms, places, events, people, etc.

  • The Russian Revolution [computer file]. Chicago, Ill.: Clearvue/eav; Dallas, TX: ZCI Publishing, c1995.
    HUNT MUS-OFC-4 947.08 R9693A

  • Trotsky, Leon. The Leon Trotsky Papers. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1991. Microfilm.
    Title on container: Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection, series 231. L.D. Trotskii/L.L. Sedov Papers. Biographical material, correspondence, speeches and writings.

  • Trotsky, Leon. The Trotsky Papers, 1917-1922. 2 vols. The Hague, Mouton, 1964-1971.
    HUNT STACKS-2 DK254 .T6 A28 1964

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Social History:
Primary Sources:

Internet Guides to Texts and Documents

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Social History:
Primary Sources:

Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines can be considered either primary or secondary sources, depending the way in which they are used. Ask your professor if you have questions about which they might be considered in the context of your paper. To find information about magazines and newspapers see:

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Social History


See also:
African American History: Primary Sources
Women's History: Primary Sources

April 2011 --
Sue Collins, Senior Librarian,