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In the Archives
Historians often rely on archives for research - places where original and unique documents of the past are preserved. The best source in the world for Gustavus college history is on the third floor of the library in the College and Church Archives. Here papers, photos, and artifacts are selected for their historical value and are preserved. Some of the collections have been digitized, but not all by a long shot. To use the archives, it's best to make an appointment or stop by and be prepared to wait as archives staff find what you need.
If another archives may have what you want, see if they have a website. Often, even if archival material hasn't been digitized, archivists may have created "finding aids" that list what's available. You might even be able to request that a particular document be scanned for you, depending on whether you can identify what you want and archives staff have time to help. (They are often run on a shoestring budget.)
In the Stacks
There is no primary sources section in the library. Try searching for a topic and adding the word "sources" or "letters" or "personal narrative" or "diaries" or search for the name of a historical figure as an author. You also will find leads to primary sources within secondary sources. In addition, the library has several sets of facsimiles - reprinted books.
- The American Negro: His History and Literature
- The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography
- The Black Women Oral History Project
- The Early English Text Society Series
- The Early Modern Englishwoman-a Facsimile Library of Essential Works
- The English Experience, Its Record in Early Printed Books Published in Facsimile
- Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation
- The March of America Facsimile Series
- Russia Observed
- Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Women Writers
We also have historical runs of a number of popular magazines. These are shelved on the lower level alphabetically by title. There's a printed index to popular American magazines, The Reader's Guide, available in the Reference section to help you search by subject and year.
American Culture Series - Shelved in Microfilm Room under Reprint Series Ref Z 1215 .A583
A large collections of microfilmed books and pamphlets, with a printed index to its contents.
American Women's Diaries - Microfilm Room - CT 3260 .A64 1984
This collection of microfilm reproduces the diaries of women who lived and traveled in the western U.S., New England, and the South.
Cornell University Collection of Women's Rights Pamphlets - Microfilm Room - Microfiche HQ 1236 .C675 1974
This collection of microfiche contains 117 pamphlets published between 1814 and 1912.
FBI File on Malcolm X - Microfilm E 185.97 .L5 F23 1996
Papers of the NAACP: Part 4, Vorting Rights Campaign, 1916-1950 with supplement: General Office Files, 1956-1965 - Microfilm E185.5 .N276 1986, pt.4
A firsthand record of the activities of the NAACP in the fight for voting rights. Includes information on voter registration campaigns, reports on the political climate of the times, committee recommendations, accounts of resistance to voter registration campaigns, etc. Indexed by subject and by principal correspondent.
Primary Sources Online
In addition to the image sources listed on the first tab of this guide, many projects and organizations make digitized materials available online. Here are some examples.
National Security Archive
From George Washington University, this is the Website of a project that has collected the world's largest non-governmental archive of declassified documents, many of them covering controversial issues and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Though many documents are not accessible through the Web site, there are large collections of papers called briefing books on a variety of foreign affairs topics. This site is a rich set of primary source documents on key international issues.
FBI Records: The Vault
A collection of documents from the past that have previously been the subject of a Freedom of Information request. They include files about celebrities, political figures, organizations, and government programs.
America in Protest: Records of Anti-Vietnam War Organizations--Vietnam Veterans Against the War
This collection consists of FBI reports dealing with various aspects of antiwar work carried out by the VVAW. The collection also includes surveillance on a variety of other antiwar groups and individuals, with an emphasis on student groups and Communist organizations. Covers 1967-1975.
American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism
These FBI files provide detailed information on the evolution of AIM as an organization of social protest and the development of Native American radicalism. Covers 1968-1979.
Early English Books Online
Contains digital facsimile images of nearly 100,000 books in English printed between 1473 and 1700 - virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America, plus works in English printed elsewhere. Texts range from the first book printed in English by William Caxton through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the English Civil War. Included are works by Malory, Bacon, More, Erasmus, Boyle, Newton, Galileo; musical exercises by Henry Purcell; novels by Aphra Behn; prayer books, pamphlets, and proclamations; almanacs, calendars, and many other primary sources.
Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984 Digital Archive
This collection of FBI files provides source materials for major social movements and key figures in early twentieth century black history and it provides a window into the development of America’s first systematic domestic surveillance programs.
Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers: Perspectives on Day-to-Day Life Digital Archive
This digital collection of Japanese relocation camp newspapers records the concerns and the day-to-day life of the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II.
New York Times Historical
The full text of the New York Times from 1851 to 4 years ago -- covering the entire publishing history of the newspaper back to the first issue. The newspaper text is fully indexed and searchable and the database also contains full-page images, including graphics.
Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin and the Daughters of Bilitis
This collection, from the library of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, documents the work of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, founders in 1955 of the first lesbian rights organization in U.S. history, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). They also were instrumental in the formation and growth of other related social movements, including the contemporary women’s rights movement. Covers 1955-1984.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926
Makes available online works captured from Joseph Sabin's bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America from Its Discovery to the Present Time. Contains information about North, Central and South America, the Arctic and Antarctica and the West Indies. Offers original accounts of exploration, pioneering, settlement, the western movement, military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition. Provides access to 33,000 titles, with over 8 million pages of text.
Slavery and Anti-Slavery Part 1 : Debates over Slavery and Abolition
Includes collections from the United States and Europe on the worldwide movement for the abolition of slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Contains 1.5 million cross-searchable pages, including over 7,000 books, 79 serials, 16 manuscript collections and 377 Supreme Court records and briefs.
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