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POSC 437: Mass Media and Politics: Historical Resources

Research guide for students enrolled in POSC 437.

Historical Resources

Archival Collections

  • American Memory -- contains a collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress Americana collections. There are over 70 collections included in the project. You can search a particular topic or browse through the collections.
  • Chronicling America -- this site from the Library of Congress allows you to search and view American newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
  • C-SPAN Archives -- records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming aired since 1987, now totaling over 160,000 hours. All C-SPAN programs since 1993 are digital and can be viewed online for free.
  • Documenting the American South (DocSouth) -- a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes fourteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.
  • Exploring Constitutional Law -- this site explores some of the great issues and controversies that surround the Constitution, including documents and information relating to the history of the Constitution and full-text legal cases, notes, and other materials.
  • History Matters -- this site serves as a gateway to web resources, teaching materials, first-person primary documents, and guides to analyzing historical evidence in American history.
  • New Deal Network -- a research and teaching resource devoted to the public works, public policies, and arts projects of the New Deal.
  • Oyez Project -- a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work.
  • Presidential Recordings Program -- between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties--FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon--secretly recorded on tape just under 5,000 hours of their meetings and telephone conversations. This site contains those files.
  • Voices of Democracy -- a project is designed to promote the study of great speeches and public debates. The emphasis of the project is on the actual words of those who, throughout American history, have defined the country's guiding principles, debated the great social and political controversies of the nation's history, and shaped the identity and character of the American people.
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 -- a resource site organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S.  The collection includes more than 90 document projects or archives and 2,800 documents and 125,000 pages of additional full-text sources, written by more than 2,240 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.
  • World Newsreels Online -- database containing hundreds of international newsreels produced between 1929 and 1966 that also includes scrolling transcriptions of the audio and the ability to create and export clips.

Public Records and Government Documents

  • 100 Milestone Documents  -- a list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.
  • Core Documents of U.S Democracy -- core group of current and historical Government publications that define our democratic society.
  • National Archives and Records Administration -- official agency site that allows searching of holdings by federal government organization, media, location, and topics.
  • Senate Executive Journals -- contains the minutes of the meetings of the U.S. Senate, including official record of business on petitions, memorials, motions, bills, resolutions, and the votes on them. The Journals also has occasional excerpts from both speeches on the floor of the chamber and communications sent to Congress by the President and the heads of the Executive Departments. The Executive Session Journal of the Senate is a record of its closed session deliberations, mostly on two principal topics: treaties and nominations.
  • United States Historical Census Data  -- data presented here describe the people and the economy of the US for each state and county from 1790 to 1960.
  • U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873 -- consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.