American Literature and History
The Research Society for American Periodicals has a useful list of resources with links to full-text sites.
Early America Digital Archives is a University of Maryland site with “a collection of electronic texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820.”
Chronicling America: America’s Historic Newspapers has newspapers from 1789–1924.
The Digital Public Library of America includes photographs, maps, books, oral histories, etc. from libraries and museums across America.
Cornell University’s Making of America site has numerous searchable open-access periodicals, such as the Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. See the full list of open-access titles here. Issues of the newspaper The Independent can be accessed from UPenn’s online books page, a strong resource for numerous other titles.
Some of the American literature resources from NINES: Nineteenth Century Scholarship Online include the following:
- The Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe
- The Dickinson Archive
- The Willa Cather Archive
- The Ambrose Bierce Project
- The Walt Whitman Archive (including the text of letters to Walt Whitman from his mother)
- Herman Melville’s Typee: A Fluid Text Edition.
American Memory (from the Library of Congress) has numerous resources on such topics as Advertising, African American History; Immigration, American Expansion; Native American History; War, Military; and Women’s History. I strongly recommend browsing through their other collections here if you are working on an American topic (or even a seemingly unrelated topic, like ballroom dance, child labor, or Lewis Carroll). See also an easily readable print list of some of the Library of Congress collections here.
African American History
Umbra Search African American History is a great open-access site with “access to over 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions across the United States.”
JSTOR came out with the Charlottesville Syllabus: Readings on the History of Hate in America in August 2017; the readings may interest many of you who would like to learn more about current and past race relations in the U.S.
While not precisely an open-access resource, you might get good ideas about current debates on race (and useful sources to seek out) at Black Perspectives. The site includes, among other things, blog posts by scholars, featured books, and book reviews.
For resources on slavery and slave narratives, see the following:
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s North American Slave Narratives page at Documenting the American South.
- The Library of Congress’s Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1938 (Many slave narratives were actually collected during the twentieth century as a part of the WPA.)
- The Frederick Douglass Papers (National Library of Congress)
- From Slavery to Freedom: The African American Pamphlet Collection (1822–1909)
- American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
- The Gladstone Collection of African American Photographs (Library of Congress)
- You can also read William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator (1831–65), a famous abolitionist paper or learn about an abolitionist annual put together by women, The Liberty Bell. The Table of Contents for all fifteen volumes is available here. Read some of Lydia Maria Child’s contributions to it here. The 1845 volume is available from Internet Archive; you may also find other volumes there if you do a search.
- The text of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as first published serially in the National Era, is available here. However, original scans of the paper are not available at this site.
The Asian American Experience
- Asian Nation
- The Chinese American experience from Harper’s Weekly, 1857–92
- Chinese in California (30 collections from Calisphere), including the Chinese in California Virtual Collection: Selections from the Bancroft Library
- Chinese in California (Library of Congress)
- Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. See also their Chinese in America timeline.
- Digital History’s “Asian Voices”
- The Japanese American Digital Relocation Archive (JARDA)
- Japanese American Internet Camp Newspapers (Library of Congress)
- Korean American Digital Archive
Please let me know of other open-access resources that belong on this page.
Return to the Open-Access Resources main page.