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American Studies 30  

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Library of Congress

  • By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943
    The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s.
  • Lists of Images on Popular Topics
  • Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
    Catalog of about half of the Library's pictorial holdings with over 1 million digital images. This site includes work by the Farm Security Administration and the National Child Labor Committee as well as WPA Posters. The site can be browsed by creator/ related names.
  • Library of Congress Photosets on Flickr
    The Prints & Photographs Division takes care of 14 million of the Library's pictures and features more than 1 million through online catalogs. Offering historical photo collections through Flickr is a welcome opportunity to share some of our most popular images more widely.

Other Government Media Resources

  • Cinemocracy
    In the early 1940s, the United States government commissioned some of the best filmmakers to create propaganda in support of the war effort. The works of the most famous of those directors, John Ford, John Huston, Frank Capra, and William Wyler, are the subjects of this collection. In contrast to today's environment (where many politicians think of Hollywood as the devil and most contemporary political cinema targets the government as irrational and inequitable) in the 1940s, everyone appeared to be on the same side. The films in this collection are examples of Cinemocracy, the relationship between motion pictures and government. These films are from the personal collection of Eric Spiegelman.
  • FedFlix
    FedFlix is a joint venture between the National Technical Information Service and Public.Resource.Org. Here we feature the best movies of the United States Government, from training films to history, from our national parks to the U.S. Fire Academy and the Postal Inspectors, all of these fine flix are available for reuse without any restrictions whatsoever.
  • Presidential Recordings
    The Presidential Recordings Collection is made up of two distinct types of presidential speech: public speeches made by U.S. Presidents and secret recordings made in the White House between 1940 and 1973.

    Many of the recordings originate from the National Archives and the individual presidential libraries that fall under the National Archives. Digital copies of the recordings have been provided by the Scripps Library at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. The Miller Center is a nonpartisan research center at the University of Virginia whose focus is the American presidency.
  • FBI Records: The Vault
    The Vault is the FBI's new electronic reading room, containing 6,700 documents and other media that have been scanned from paper into digital copies. Categories include World War II, Gangster Era.

  • National Archives - Digital Vaults
    The National Archives new "Digital Vaults" exhibit delivers an online experience that is unlike any other. With a database of some 1,200 documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other materials and a keywording system that visually links records, the Digital Vaults enables visitors to customize their exhibit experience and to create posters, movies, and games that can be shared by e-mail. Each record in Digital Vaults is also linked to the National Archives' Archival Research Catalog (ARC), so visitors who want to know more can take the first steps toward a research journey into the National Archives.
  • ARC: Archival Research Catalog (National Archives)
    The Archival Research Catalog (ARC) allows users to search descriptions of the National Archives' holdings.
  • UNT Libraries' World War Poster Collection
    The UNT Libraries' World War Poster Collection consists of over 700 original World War I and World War II posters, 493 of which have been digitized.
  • World War I and II Posters and Postcards (University of Minnesota Libraries)  Icon
    ARTstor has collaborated with the University of Minnesota Libraries to distribute approximately 5,700 images depicting posters and postcards from World Wars I and II. Works by artists such as James Montgomery Flagg, James H. Daugherty, Ben Shahn, Gil Spear, Otto Fischer, and others are represented. The collection is international in scope and contains posters from a range of governmental, commercial, and charitable organizations. Subjects include: veterans' benefits, war bonds and loans, military recruitment and morale, civil defense, industrial production, freedom and loyalty campaigns, international welfare organizations, prices and rationing, transportation, health and safety, labor organizations, films and theater, food production, sports and leisure, recruiting of women in military and non-combatant organizations, special events, and anti-war movements.

Government Documents

  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set [via NewsBank]  Icon
    The Readex/Newsbank U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980) has full text Congressional committee reports and documents originally published in the Serial Set from the 15th through the 96th Congresses, 1817-1980. Also includes the American State Papers (a retrospective collection of materials originating from 1789 through 1838 but published in the second quarter of the 19th century). The U.S. Congressional Serial Set is the bound, sequentially numbered set of volumes of all the Reports, Documents and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Many early agency reports were published originally in congressional editions. The Serial Set constitutes an incomparably rich collection of primary source material on all aspects of American history and government.
  • Proquest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional)  Icon
    Provides detailed indexing from 1789 forwards for publications of Congress: documents, reports, hearings, unpublished hearings, transcripts, laws and regulations, plus legislative histories and information on members of Congress. Proquest Congressional has digital U.S. Congressional hearings collection from 1824-1979.
  • The Activities of the Committee on Public Information
  • Complete Report of the Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (1920)
    The Committee on Public Information, also known as the CPI or the Creel Committee, was an independent agency of the government of the United States created to influence U.S. public opinion regarding American participation in World War I. Over just 28 months, from April 13, 1917, to August 21, 1919, it used every medium available to create enthusiasm for the war effort and enlist public support against foreign attempts to undercut America's war aims.

Related and Secondary Resources

  • PAIS Archive [via Proquest]  Icon
    The PAIS International database contains continually updated records for over half a million journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more. Newspapers and newsletters are not indexed. PAIS International includes publications from over 120 countries throughout the world.
  • Academic Search Complete [via EBSCO]  Icon
    The multi-disciplinary database Academic Search Complete (ASC) provides full-text access to more than 5,500 periodicals, including over 4,600 peer-reviewed journals, and indexing and abstracts for an additional 9,500 journals and 10,000 publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective  Icon
    An electronic version of the classic Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. Readers' Guide Retrospective, produced by The H. W. Wilson Company, is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.

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