Database of the Week: American Memory

This begins the first week of a series of posts to share some of the main attractions featured in our many databases.

American Memory contains digitized materials from the Library of Congress covering 1400s to present.

This database is an interesting resource for those doing research or simply learning more about various aspects of American History.

The browsing options make it easy to search by topic, time period, or place. If you’re looking for one media in particular, you can search based on collections containing maps, photos, sheet music, sound recordings, and more.

Some of the topics and highlights from them include:

  • Advertising–Check out By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA.
  • Culture/Folklife– Listen to recordings from “Now what a time” (mp3): Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals.
  • Environment–View an 1858 map of the Grand Canyon.
  • Immigration– Read “California as I Saw It”: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years.
  • Performing Arts–Listen to Hispano Music (mp3) & Culture from the Northern Rio including music and poetry in Spanish and translated into English.
  • Native American History–Take a look at the Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian: Photographic Images.
  • Sports and Recreation–Flip through Baseball Cards from 1887-1914.
  • Architecture, Landscape—Study drawings and photos  of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.

You can find the American Memory database though the USF library homepage- On the right side of the page click on the Databases icon, then choose the Databases A-Z link. From that list you will find American Memory.

If you find something great, share it below in our comments section.

4 thoughts on “Database of the Week: American Memory”

    1. cool find, eric. it’s interesting there’s a video called “arrests in china town” on that page.

      i recently went to a talk given by rebecca solnit about her new book, a paradise built in hell, which is about disasters and how they bring people together and form community. she said the most tragic disasters are those where the authorities value personal property over human life, which was the case in the 1906 earthquake and katrina. hundreds of people were actually killed by the armed guards sent in to protect private property in the wake of the 1906 earthquake, not to mention all those who were arrested. it’s sad–one man was actually shot and killed because they mistook him trying to unbury a victim from ruble as a looter trying to pillage for goods…

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