Primary Sources? We’ve got places to find ’em!

LOCAmericanMemoryOne of the most interesting online resources I’ve come across is the Library of Congress’ American Memory Collection. This is a compilation of many digital collections that have to do with all aspects of American life and history. There are tons of primary sources–so be sure to look here if your history assignment calls for them! From Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements to The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920 the topics touch all aspects of history in the United States and are come in lots of forms. There are transcripts of interviews, audio recordings, photos, silent films, pictures of posters and other ephemera, and more.


John Kelly’s Fine Shoes image accessed via

One of my favorites so far has been the Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection, which features recordings and musical transcriptions of a famous fiddler’s tunes. You can hear the famous fiddler play and speak about the songs, and find the accompanying sheet music and download if for your own use.

For teachers and education majors out there, the Library of Congress has great tools for lesson planning. Using grade levels, common cores, and subjects they will connect you with great resources to use in your classes.

Teachers copyThe American Memory Collection unites a lot of unique digital collections. While it’s easy to browse and get caught up in each collection, a user can also search their topic easily–either within one specific theme or collection, or the entire American Memory. You never know what treasures you might find!

Advertising Ephemera Collection – Database #A0116

Emergence of Advertising On-Line Project

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library