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Using this Guide
Use this guide to explore a selection of digital archives (i.e. archival databases) held by Penn Libraries that are relevant to your course, as well as to gain an understanding of navigating the Penn Library website to find resources.
For any research or Library service questions, and/or to arrange a research consultation, don't hesitate to email the subject specialist librarian listed on the right side of this guide.
Selected Digital Archives: 19th Century
Victorian Popular Culture - Music Hall, Theatre & Popular Entertainment
The primary sources in this module not only celebrate well-known and popular forms of entertainment [such as variety, vaudeville and theater] but also highlights lesser-known activities and leisure interests. Advertising posters, guidebooks, admission tickets and handbills represent the diverse forms of entertainment available to growing numbers of people from the late Georgian period and throughout the Victorian and Edwardian era. ...Highlights from the collection include a set of early pantomime programmes; unique material from the May Moore Duprez archive; and visual material related to Belle Vue, Manchester's popular Zoological Gardens.
Children's Literature and Culture
"Explore the golden age of children’s literature and chart the evolution from chapbooks to the ‘book beautifuls’ of the early twentieth century. This digital resource showcases a broad range of richly illustrated primary source material which reveals the history and literature of childhood between the 1820s and 1920s." --Publisher's Description
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive
Documents on the arguments for and against slavery during the 17th-19th centuries, the worldwide Abolitionist movement and its internal debates, perspectives on colonization, slavery and the US Constitution, the changing world of African Americans in the American South.
Independent voices : an open access collection of an Alternative Press
A four-year project to digitize over 1 million pages from the magazines, journals, and newspapers of the alternative press archives of participating libraries. Starting with collections by feminists and the GI press, the collection will grow to include small literary magazines, underground newspapers, LGBT periodicals, the minority press (Latino, Black and Native American) and the extreme right-wing press.
Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ history and culture since 1940.
"... provides a robust and significant collection of primary sources for the historical study of sex, sexuality, and gender. With material dating back to the sixteenth century, researchers and scholars can examine how sexual norms have changed over time, health and hygiene, the development of sex education, the rise of sexology, changing gender roles, social movements and activism, erotica, and many other interesting topical areas. This growing archival program offers rich research opportunities across a wide span of human history."
Confidential print. Latin America, 1833-1969
"Covering revolutions, territorial changes and political movements, foreign financial interests, industrial and infrastructural development (including the building of the Panama Canal), wars, slavery, immigration from Europe and relations with indigenous peoples, amongst other topics, the files in this title form a vital resource for any scholar of Latin American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."
Migration to New Worlds
"Migration to New Worlds explores the movement of peoples from Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia. Split across two modules, and including collections from 26 archives, libraries and museums, Migration to New Worlds brings together the movement and memories of millions across two centuries of mass migration.... The Century of Immigration concentrates on the period 1800 to 1924 and covers all aspects of the migration experience, from motives and departures to arrival and permanent settlement."
LGBT thought and culture.
"... an online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection includes documents ranging from letters, speeches, interviews, and ephemera covering the political evolution of gay rights as well as memoirs, biographies, poetry, letters and works of fiction that illuminate the lives of lesbians, gays, transgendered, and bisexual individuals and the community..."
Public Health Archives: Public Health in Modern America, 1890-1970
"... documents the rise of the twentieth-century public health system in the United States through correspondence, reports, pamphlets, ephemera, and more. For scholars in the fields of American history, American studies, history of science and medicine, public health studies, sociology, political science, psychology, and economics, it documents through primary sources that record the evolution and impact of public health legislation, policies, and campaigns at the local, national, and federal levels..."
Digital transgender archive.
"The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based in Worcester, Massachusetts at the College of the Holy Cross, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than twenty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and private collections."--Overview page.
The Making of the Modern World
"an extraordinary series which covers the history of Western trade, encompassing the coal, iron, and steel industries, the railway industry, the cotton industry, banking and finance, and the emergence of the modern corporation. It is also strong in the rise of the modern labor movement, the evolving status of slavery, the condition and making of the working class, colonization, the Atlantic world, Latin American/Caribbean studies, social history, gender, and the economic theories that championed and challenged capitalism in the nineteenth century. "
North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950
Fulltext of letters and diaries, published and manuscript, of American women during the Colonial period through 1950. Biographical information is provided for each writer. Primary source materials are searchable by document type and subject, relevant historical events, and author-specific information including author name, date, age, marital status, maternal status, and geographical location when writing, age at marriage and at first childbirth, number of marriages and of children, nationality and race, religion, occupation, and relevant personal events.
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings
"Presenting content from across the globe, this diverse and comprehensive resource features thousands of audio field recordings and interviews, educational recordings, film footage, field notebooks, slides, correspondence and ephemera from over 60 fields of study, including sites in West Africa, North America, South East Asia and more." -Publisher's Description