For MARC records for History Vault, you are invited to go to the following site and download the records that match your purchases.
Note: MARC records are created for each collection within a module. To see the collections within the modules available at your institution, go to the History Vault home page. click on the link to Read More that is beneath the image illustration the subject area, and from that page, select the link to Browse Collections after the name of the module.
Individual modules, module descriptions, and subject areas within History Vault have permanent links. (Note, individual collections also have links, follow the directions above, in the MARC Records box, to get to the collection descriptions with links).
Subject (thematic) areas are listed below in bold. As new modules are introduced to the subject areas, users will either need to update these links themselves, or check this page again to copy the new URL.
Individual modules are listed below each subject. Titles are hyperlinked, and the URL is also included in text to facilitate copying.
American Indians and the American West
American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971 This module consists of a variety of collections as well as selected first-hand accounts on Indian Wars and westward migration. This collection focuses on American Indians in the first half of the 20th century and there are a number of excellent collections on American Indians in the 19th century, with a focus on the interaction among white settlers, the U.S. federal government, and Indian tribes.
American Politics and Society
American Politics and Society from JFK to Watergate, 1960–1975 An exceptional compilation of document types from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon presidencies as well as records from federal agencies. Issues of the challenging times chronicled span women’s rights, environmental issues, urban renewal, rural development, tax reform, civil rights, space exploration, international trade, War on Poverty, and the Watergate trials.
American Politics in the Early Cold War—Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, 1945-1961
This module presents major White House files from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. The centerpiece of the Truman files is the President's Secretary's file while the Eisenhower files are centered on the Confidential File and the Whitman File of the Eisenhower White House Central Files. The Cold War takes center stage in the Truman files on international relations and the stalling of Truman's Fair Deal program is documented in the files that pertain to domestic concerns. The Eisenhower files focus to a large degree on national defense and economic issues, two of the areas that Eisenhower had the most personal interest in.
FBI Confidential Files and Radical Politics in the U.S., 1945-1972 Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI vigorously investigated and tracked the activities of Communist groups, Communist-front groups, and other radical organizations in the U.S. This module consists of records of the FBI and the Subversive Activities Control Board from 1945-1972.
Immigration Records of the INS 1880-1930 Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1930 presents the investigations made during the massive immigration wave at the turn of the 20th century. The files cover Asian immigration, especially Japanese and Chinese migration, to California, Hawaii, and other states; Mexican immigration to the U.S. from 1906-1930; and European immigration. There are also extensive files on the INS’s regulation of prostitution and white slavery and on suppression of radical aliens.
Japanese American Incarceration: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II in December 1941, the Roosevelt administration decided that for reasons of “military necessity,” the government would evacuate all persons of Japanese heritage from the West Coast states. The Records of the War Relocation Authority document the day-today running of the 10 relocation camps from 1942-1946. The collection is organized by relocation center. Records include reports and correspondence on issues such as security, education, health, vocational training, agriculture, food, and family welfare.
Law and Society since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library This module consists of 11 collections from the Harvard Law School Library, highlighting three Supreme Court Justices, the first Black federal judge, high-profile cases, and insights into developing ideologies and laws , as far back as 1861 with the Papers of Oliver Wendell Holmes, which span from the Civil War to the Great Depression. The Papers of Louis D. Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter provide a behind-the-scenes view of the Supreme Court between 1919 and 1961. The Frankfurter Papers are of special note because they reveal how the Supreme Court approached the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the landmark school desegregation case that is well documented in other History Vault modules.
New Deal and the World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies The centerpiece of this module is President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office Files. Roosevelt's Office Files constitute the heart and soul of the administrative record of the Roosevelt White House. They highlight the domestic and foreign concerns of the President and his administration. Roosevelt's policies, responses to crises, and plans for the future were all based on both classified and nonclassified information that he received and digested from all levels of government and the public. The office files represent the materials deemed especially important by the President on the basis of content and source. Major topics covered in the files are the Great Depression, the New Deal, America's involvement in World War II, the internal workings of the Roosevelt administration, and Roosevelt's personal leadership style.
Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Records [1853-1999]
During its colorful 150-year history, Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, the oldest company of private investigators in the United States – founded by Allan Pinkerton in the 1850s – pursued some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James, Alfred Brady, John Dillinger and countless others. This fascinating collection, digitized in History Vault from the Library of Congress holdings, includes files on some of the Pinkerton’s most well-known cases. It offers exciting research opportunities in criminology, sociology, the history of law enforcement and labor relations.
Progressive Era: Reform, Regulation, and Rights (1872-1934)
Progressive Era reformers, as the name implies, believed in progress and their ability to improve society through a broad range of reforms. The efforts of these reformers created one of the great movements in American history. This module on the Progressive Era consists of 11 collections on a variety of the ways that the Progressive Movement attempted to improve the lives of the American people. The collections cover women's right to vote, the Standard Oil monopoly case, the efforts of journalist Henry Demarest Lloyd, the University Settlement Society of New York City, prohibition, reform of law enforcement, the Teapot Dome bribery case regarding petroleum reserves on government lands, and regulation of food and drugs.
Progressive Era: Robert M. La Follette Papers (1879-1924)
Congressman, Governor, and United States Senator, Robert Marion La Follette is one of the crucial figures of the Progressive Movement of the early twentieth century. This collection documents his early career in the political reform movement from 1879 to 1910. During these years, La Follette emerged as the powerful leader of the reform coalition which was struggling with the state's large economic interests for control of the government. In 1901 the reformers won control of the state Republican party, and La Follette began the first of his three terms as governor. La Follette's papers focus on his fight to reform corruption and injustice in the political system of the state of Wisconsin. Under his dynamic leadership, the Wisconsin state legislature enacted sweeping reforms including railroad regulation and the primary election law which replaced the old caucus and convention system. These important pieces of legislation then served as the models for similar reforms by other states and by the federal government. Thus, it was under La Follette that Wisconsin earned the title "laboratory of democracy."
Progressive Era: Voices of Reform (1875-1945)
This module joins the growing sets of records in History Vault on the Progressive Era, one of the major reform eras in American History. The collections in this module consist of the correspondence, writings, speeches, diaries and photographs of five leading members of the Progressive movement: John R. Commons, Charles R. Van Hise, Richard T. Ely, Edward A. Ross and Charles McCarthy. Individually and collectively, these men proved they were more than idealists by devising and carrying out major reforms to solve the problems caused by the growth of industrialization following the Civil War. This module offers valuable insight into both the theorizing and practical legislation of the Progressive Era.
Records of the Children's Bureau, 1912-1969
The Children’s Bureau is one of the richest sources for understanding American society and social welfare. The Bureau's correspondence, research reports, radio scripts, brochures, bills and laws, court hearings and speeches represent the largest collection of primary material for the study of the family and the health and well-being of children in the 20th century; as well, they throw a fascinating light on the way welfare policies affected women.
Students for a Democratic Society, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement
In its heyday, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) emphasized participatory democracy, community building, and creating a political movement of impoverished people. As U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalated, SDS became involved in the anti-war movement, before splintering and disbanding by 1970. Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) organized major national protests, including Operation Dewey Canyon III (1971), which catapulted VVAW to a position of leadership within the antiwar movement.
Thomas A. Edison Papers
Thomas A. Edison Papers documents the life, work, and vision of Thomas Edison in laboratory notebooks, diaries, business records, correspondence, and related materials. Inventor, businessman, scientist, industrialist, entrepreneur, engineer, Thomas Alva Edison developed many of the technologies that have shaped the modem world. Perhaps more than anyone else, Edison integrated the worlds of science, technology, business, and finance; and his work laid the foundation for the age of electricity, recorded sound, and motion pictures.
Civil Rights Movement & the Black Freedom Struggle
African American Police League Records [1961-1988]
Recent cases such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the Black Lives Matter movement have brought the issue of police brutality onto the front page. However, police brutality has a long and troubled history.
This module documents how African American policemen in Chicago, beginning in 1968, attempted to fight against discrimination and police brutality by the Chicago Police Department and to improve relations between African Americans and police. Researchers will find a wealth of resources from the African American Police League, including annual reports, court files, meeting minutes, correspondence, clippings, topical files, newsletters, police brutality files, and publications and flyers covering the work of the AAPL and its education and action arm, the League to Improve the Community. The collection also contains items on numerous law enforcement and civil rights organizations across the country; materials on the suspension of AAPL executive director Renault Robinson from the Chicago Police Department and related lawsuits; and materials pertaining to the National Black Police Association.
The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century, Federal Government Records
The focus of the Federal Government Records module is on the political side of the freedom movement, the role of civil rights organizations in pushing for civil rights legislation, and the interaction between African Americans and the federal government in the 20th century.
Major collections in this module include the FBI Files on Martin Luther King Jr.; Centers of the Southern Struggle, an exceptional collection of FBI Files covering five of the most pivotal arenas of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s: Montgomery, Albany, St. Augustine, Selma, and Memphis; and records from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, detailing the interaction between civil rights leaders and organizations and the highest levels of the federal government.
Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Federal Government Records, Supplement
This module supplements the original module of Federal Government records by adding civil rights records from the Ford and Reagan presidencies. The Ford administration records in this module consist of the subject files of J. Stanley Pottinger (Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department) and Anne R. Clarke (Special Assistant in the Research Unit of the Civil Rights Division’s Sex Discrimination Program) detailing the implementation of federal civil rights law from 1973-1977. Records from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library consist of the White House Office of Records Management Subject File on Human Rights and seven FOIA collections covering affirmative action; Bob Jones University; busing and school desegregation; civil rights; fair housing; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, Grove City College and the Civil Rights Restoration Act, and the Voting Rights Act of 1982.
The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century, Organizational Records and Personal Papers, Pt 1
The Organizational Records and Personal Papers bring a new perspective to the Black Freedom Struggle via the records of major civil rights organizations and personal papers of leaders and observers of the 20th century Black freedom struggle. The three major civil rights organizations are the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Papers of civil rights leaders included in this module are those of the civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph; the long-time civil rights activist and organizer of the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, and the papers of the pioneering educator Mary McLeod Bethune. Through records of Claude A. Barnett’s Associated Negro Press, this module also branches out to cover other aspects of African American life in the 20th century, like religion, sports, education, fraternal organizations, and even the field of entertainment.
The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century, Organizational Records and Personal Papers, Pt 2
This newest Black Freedom module is highlighted by the records of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Africa-related papers of Claude Barnett, and the Robert F. Williams Papers. SNCC, formed by student activists in 1960 after the explosion of the sit-in movement, was one of the three most important civil rights organizations of the 1960s, alongside SCLC and the NAACP. With the addition of SNCC records, History Vault now includes SNCC, SCLC, and NAACP records. Rounding out this module are the papers of Chicago Congressman Arthur W. Mitchell, the Chicago chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, and records pertaining to the Mississippi Freedom Summer.
NAACP Papers: Board of Directors, Annual Conferences, Major Speeches, and National Staff Files
This module provides a comprehensive view of the NAACP’s evolution, policies, and achievements from 1909-1970. Included are thousands of pages of minutes of directors’ meetings, monthly reports from officers to the board of directors, proceedings of the annual business meetings, significant records of the association’s annual conferences, plus voluminous special reports on a wide range of issues. The Annual Conferences served both as a major catalyst for attracting publicity and as an important avenue for grass roots participation (through branch delegations) in the affairs of the national organization. The conferences were held in a different city each year. The speeches and the resolutions passed at the annual conferences are excellent ways to study the major concerns of the NAACP on a yearly basis.
NAACP Papers: Branch Department, Branch Files, and Youth Department Files
The NAACP branch files in this module chronicle the local heroes of the civil rights revolution via NAACP branches throughout the United States, from 1913-1972. The contributions of scores of local leaders—attorneys, community organizers, financial benefactors, students, mothers, school teachers, and other participants—are revealed in these records. The Branch Department, Branch Files, and Youth Department Files in this module of NAACP Papers will allow researchers at all levels new opportunities to explore the contributions of NAACP local leaders. The branch files also indicate how effectively the NAACP national office used the branch network to advance the NAACP national program. The Youth Department Files document how the NAACP tapped the energy and talent of college students and other young people at the state and local levels.
NAACP Papers: Special Subjects
The NAACP was involved in several subject s that did not rise to the level of major campaigns but were still vital to the organization. This module contains records on those subjects, and in so doing, reveals the wide scope of NAACP activism and interest.
These files cover subjects and episodes that are crucial to the NAACP's history, such as civil rights complaints and legislation, the Klan, Birth of a Nation, the Walter White-W. E. B. Du Bois controversy of 1933-1934, communism and anticommunism during the years of the "red scare," the congressional prosecution of Hollywood personalities, the prosecution of conscientious objectors during World War II, NAACP’s relations with African colonial liberation movements, NAACP fundraising and membership recruitment, urban riots, the War on Poverty, and the emergence of the Black Power Movement.
NAACP Papers: The NAACP's Major Campaigns—Education, Voting, Housing, Employment, Armed Forces
Major campaigns for equal access to education, voting, employment, housing and the military are covered in this module. The education files in this second module document the NAACP’s systematic assault on segregated education that culminated in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Files from 1955 –1965 focus on the NAACP’s efforts to implement the Brown decision as well as to combat de facto segregation outside of the South.
NAACP Papers: The NAACP’s Major Campaigns—Legal Department Files
This NAACP module consists of the working case files of the NAACP’s general counsel and his Legal Department staff for the period from 1956 to 1972. The files document the NAACP’s aggressive campaign to bring about desegregation throughout the United States, particularly in the South.
In total, this module contains over 600 cases from 34 states and the District of Columbia. The cases in this module pertain to school desegregation, abuses of police procedure, employment discrimination, freedom of speech, privacy, freedom of association, and housing discrimination.
NAACP Papers: The NAACP's Major Campaigns—Scottsboro, Anti-Lynching, Criminal Justice, Peonage, Labor, and Segregation and Discrimination Complaints and Responses.
One of the highlights of this NAACP module are the records on the Scottsboro case, one of the most celebrated criminal trials of the 20th century. This module also contains the key NAACP national office files on the campaign against lynching and mob violence, and NAACP efforts to fight against discrimination in the criminal justice system.
International Relations, Military Conflicts
Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Africa and the Middle East
This module focuses on those U.S. State Department Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives or distributed by other publishers. It contains a wide range of sensitive materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: reports on political, military, and socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; and reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers.
Among issues in the Africa and Middle East module is the pivotal 1964 Rivonia trial of Nelson Mandela and leaders of the African National Congress.
Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Asia
The Countries covered in this module are: China, Far East (general), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippine Republic, and Vietnam. The files on China, Japan, and Vietnam make up the largest portion of this module.
Major topics covered in the China files include the tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, the U.S.’s Two Chinas policy, and the Cultural Revolution in China. In Japan, State Department personnel reported on student demonstrations, the activities of Japanese political parties, the 1964 Olympics, negotiations regarding Japanese import and export restrictions, issues pertaining to the Japanese Self Defense Force, relations with South Korea, the possible reversion of Okinawa to Japan, diplomatic meetings, and the Japanese fishing industry. In the Vietnam files, documentation on agricultural commodities shipped to Vietnam as part of the Food for Peace program will give researchers a sense of agricultural prices, currency rates, and the food supply in Vietnam during the war. State Department records on Vietnam also cover relations between Buddhists and the government, and U.S. military intervention and military assistance in Vietnam. The records on Laos in this module focus on the political instability in Laos.
Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Europe and Latin America
The U.S. State Department Central Files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the twentieth century. The Central Files provide extensive coverage of all political, military, social, and economic matters relating to a particular country and/or world event.
Creation of Israel: British Foreign Office Correspondence on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1948
The British Foreign Office Political Correspondence files on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1948 are essential for understanding the modern history of the Middle East, the establishment of Israel as a sovereign state, and the wider web of postwar international world politics. Early records in the collection focus on events in Palestine, Britain’s policy toward Palestine, and how the situation in Palestine affected relations with other nations. The files also survey the contours of Arab politics in the wider Middle East. Since the interests, rivalries, and designs of various Arab leaders were often played out with reference to Palestine, the documents provide insight into the complex and sometimes bloody Arab world. In the 1947-1948 period, this module explores the tensions within Anglo-American relations over the creation and recognition of Israel as a sovereign state. A large section of the material is devoted to United Nations deliberations on the Palestine question. The records also illuminate the political, philosophical, and personal fractures within and between both the Jewish and Arab communities from 1940-1948.
Nazi Looted Art and Assets: Records on the Post-World War II Restitution Process
This module focuses on the diplomatic, legal and political maneuvering during and after World War II regarding German art looting in Europe, recovery of cultural objects dispersed during World War II, efforts by the U.S. and other Allied Powers to prevent the secreting of Axis assets, claims from victims for financial or property restitution from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), other claims cases, and meeting minutes and background materials regarding the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold.
Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, 1941-1961
During World War II and the first decade and a half of the Cold War, the Office of Strategic Services and the State Department assigned leading scholars to write special, classified reports about Asia, Europe, the Soviet Union, Latin America, and Africa. At the time, the reports helped to shape U.S. foreign policy decisions, and, now, as part of History Vault, the over 3,500 reports in this module provide an excellent source for studying the major areas of the World during the period from 1941 to 1961.
Reports on Asia focus on political, industrial, and military affairs of wartime Japan, the occupation of Japan by the U.S. following World War II, and the beginnings of the economic revitalization of Japan in the mid-1950s; the Nationalist-Communist struggle for China and Mao’s consolidation of power in the 1950s, independence for India; the Korean War; and the outbreak of war in Indochina.
Topics covered in the reports on Europe include the German war effort, occupation and division of Germany, reconstruction of Europe under the Marshall Plan, de Gaulle and the Fifth Republic, formation of the Common Market, and Soviet control of Eastern Europe. A series of reports on the Soviet Union for 1941 to 1961 covers Soviet participation in World War II; the cold war with the West; the death of Stalin; and the formation of the Warsaw Pact. There are also numerous reports on the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America from 1941 through 1961. Major developments covered include Palestine, African nationalism as well as economic stagnation and famine, Communist movements in South America and U.S. intervention in Central America.
U.S. Diplomatic Post Records, 1914-1945
The State Department Diplomatic Post Records consist of correspondence and reports from American diplomats stationed around the world. Diplomatic post records are those kept at the embassies or legations rather than those kept in Washington. Diplomatic post records contain the incoming messages from Washington, retained copies of outgoing dispatches, locally gathered information, and background material on decision making. The following countries or cities are represented in this module: Japan; Cuba;
El Salvador; Honduras; Nicaragua; Iran; Iraq; Beirut; Jerusalem; Aden; Lebanon; Russia and the Soviet Union.
U.S. Military Intelligence Reports, 1911-1944
U.S. Military Intelligence Reports offer comprehensive documentation of developments and events in the key nations of the world during the period from World War I to the final campaigns of World War II.
After World War I, the U.S. military developed a sophisticated intelligence gathering capability. Concerned with much more than strictly military intelligence, American military attaches and their staffs reported on a wide range of topics, including the internal politics, social and economic conditions, and foreign affairs of the countries in which they were stationed.
This module contains the U.S. Military Intelligence reports for China, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Soviet Union, Biweekly Intelligence Summaries, and Combat Estimates.
Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975
This module features the records of the Associated Press’s Saigon Bureau. Over 40 years ago, as Saigon was falling to the communists and the U.S. was evacuating Vietnam, Peter Arnett saved the records of the AP’s Saigon Bureau and brought them back to the United States. Until ProQuest scanned them and digitized them in History Vault, they were never before available to the public. Other key collections in this module include records of the Military Assistance and Advisory Command, Vietnam (MACV); General William Westmoreland Papers, and National Security Files from the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations.
World War I: British Foreign Office Political Correspondence
Early records in the collection describe the political situation in European countries on the outbreak of the war, as reported by military attaches and diplomatic and consular personnel. These early records also cover the financial position of the warring countries and even anti-war sentiments in 1914.
The documents also examine the technological innovations of World War I, particularly in air and naval warfare. Additionally, this formerly confidential correspondence covers a wide range of other wartime issues, such as birth rates, the role of women in the war, food supply, Zionism, and the Vatican.
The files conclude with detailed coverage of various peace efforts and the armistice, as well as postwar issues such as redrawing the map of Europe, and the consequences of the war for Germany.
World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era
This module offers extensive documentation on the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I as well as materials on U.S. intelligence operations and the post-war peace process. AEF documents consist of correspondence, cablegrams, operations reports, statistical strength reports and summaries of intelligence detailing troop movements and operations of Allied and enemy forces. The vast majority of the AEF documents date from April 26, 1917 - July 2, 1919.
World War II: U.S. Documents on Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Axis War Crimes, and Refugees
This module includes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Map Room Files, records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Records of the War Department Operations Division, U.S. Navy Action and Operational Reports, Records of the Office of War Information, Papers of the War Refugee Board, George C. Marshall Papers, and numerous other collections.
Latino Civil Rights during the Carter Administration, 1979-1981
Latino Civil Rights During the Carter Administration gives rich insight into the efforts of the Executive Branch of U.S. government to reach out to the burgeoning Latino population during the last 2 years of the Carter Administration. In the summer of 1979, the Carter Administration created the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs in order to address issues of critical importance to the Latino community. The coming decade of the 1980s was being hailed as “the Decade of the Hispanic,” and many were looking to the president and Congress to show more respect for Latinos and their manifold contributions to the United States. Major topics covered in this collection include inflation, bilingual education, police brutality, political unrest in Latin America, Haitian refugees, and immigration (legal and otherwise), Puerto Rican self-determination, and the U.S. Navy’s use of Vieques Island. Latino Civil Rights during the Carter Administration also documents some of the most important Latino organizations of the time, including LULAC, TELACU, La Raza, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the American G.I. Forum.
Revolutionary War and Early America
Revolutionary War and Early America: Collections from the Massachusetts Historical Society [1721-1860]
This module on one of the most-studied periods in American history consists of 26 collections from the holdings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the first North American historical society and the first library to devote its primary attention to collecting Americana. The collections digitized by ProQuest from the holdings of the Massachusetts Historical Society focus on the Colonial Era, the Revolutionary War and the Early National Period, with some collections extending into the Civil War era.
Southern Life, Slavery, and the Civil War
Confederate Military Manuscripts and Records of Union Generals and the Union Army
The Confederate Military Manuscripts cover the perspective of an army commander or an administrative department down to the level of the private soldier, covering all aspects of their military service and experience, while also offering glimpses of life on the home front. Highlights of the Union Army include papers of spies, scouts, guides and detectives, including a series on Allan Pinkerton; records on military discipline from courts-martial, courts of inquiry and investigations by military commissions; and records of the U.S. Colored Troops.
Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War, 1865-1877
From heart-wrenching personal letters to bills of lading for office supplies, this module offers remarkable insight into the early Reconstruction period in the American South. The correspondence of the U.S. Army’s Office of Civil Affairs reveal efforts to foster democracy and rebuild communities in the divided and war-torn former Confederate states. Another prominent subject is the fair administration of the election process. Troubles often arose as African Americans prepared to exercise their newly won rights to vote and run for office. Also included in this module are Letters Received by the Attorney General pertaining to law and order in southern states from 1871-1884 and records of the Freedmen’s Hospital and the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company.
Slavery and the Law
Slavery and the Law features petitions on race, slavery, and free blacks that were submitted to state legislatures and county courthouses between 1775 and 1867. These petitions were collected by Loren Schweninger over a four year period from hundreds of courthouses and historical societies in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The petitions document the realities of slavery at the most immediate local level and with amazing candor. Slavery and the Law also includes the important State Slavery Statutes collection, a comprehensive record of the laws governing American slavery from 1789-1865.
Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries
Industry never rivaled agriculture as an employer of slave labor in the Old South, but because of the kinds of records industrial enterprises kept, and because of the survival of superb collections in repositories like the Duke University Library, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and Virginia Historical Society, a window is opened on the slave's world that no other type of primary documentary evidence affords. Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries presents some of the richest, most valuable, and most complete collections in the entire documentary record of American slavery, focusing on the industrial uses of slave labor. The materials selected include company records; business and personal correspondence; documents pertaining to the purchase, hire, medical care, and provisioning of slave laborers; descriptions of production processes; and journals recounting costs and income. The work ledgers in these collections record slave earnings and expenditures and provide extraordinary insight into slave life. The collections document slavery in such enterprises as gold, silver, copper, and lead mining; iron manufacturing, machine shop work, lumbering, quarrying, brickmaking, tobacco manufacturing, shipbuilding, and heavy construction; and building of railroads and canals.
Southern Life and African American History, 1775–1915, Plantations Records, Part 1
The Plantation Records in this module documents the far-reaching impact of plantations on both the American South and the nation. As business owners, the commodities produced by plantation owners—rice, cotton, sugar, tobacco, hemp, and others— accounted for more than half of the nation’s exports. The plantation, therefore, played a key role in the development of a nationwide market economy. Plantation records also document the personal lives of plantation owners and their families.
Southern Life and African American History, 1775–1915, Plantations Records, Part 2
This module is the second set of Plantation Records in History Vault. Major collections from the holdings of the University of Virginia include the Tayloe Family Papers, Ambler Family Papers, Cocke Family Papers, Gilliam Family Papers, Barbour Family Papers, and Randolph Family Papers. Major collections from the Duke University holdings document plantation life in the Alabama, as well as South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.
Margaret Sanger Papers
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was the principal founder and lifelong leader of the American and the international birth control movements. The Margaret Sanger Papers covers every aspect of the birth control movement, including the movement’s changing ideologies, its campaign for legitimacy and its internal conflicts and organizational growth. These papers also provide significant insight on the history of changing attitudes towards women’s roles and sexuality, and have significant research value to the fields of women’s history, social and intellectual history, medicine and public health, religion, and world economic development, among others.
Struggle for Women's Rights, Organizational Records, 1880-1990
This module is comprised of records of three important women’s rights organizations: the National Woman’s Party, the League of Women Voters, and the Women’s Action Alliance. Originally a committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the National Woman’s Party (NWP) was founded in 1913 when Alice Paul and her colleagues broke away from NAWSA in dissent over strategy and tactics. The Women’s Action Alliance, established in 1971 as a grass-roots organization, concerned it self with issues such as employment and employment discrimination, childcare, health care, and education. The League of Women Voters collection documents almost every facet of women’s involvement in U.S. politics from 1920 to 1974.
Women’s Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library: Voting Rights, National Politics, and Reproductive Rights
These collections from the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College consist of three distinct series of collections from the Schlesinger Library: voting rights, national politics, and reproductive rights. There are many fascinating collections in this module, including the papers of Julia Ward Howe, Anna Howard Shaw, Matilda Gage, as well as smaller collections of Carrie Chapman Catt and Lucy Stone.
Women at Work during World War II: Rosie the Riveter and the Women's Army Corps
This module contains two major sets of records documenting the experience of American women during World War II: Records of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps. Primary sources document a wide range of issues pertinent to women during this time of turbulent change, including studies on the treatment of women by unions in several midwestern industrial centers, and the influx of women to industrial centers during the war. Topics covered in records and correspondence include women’s work in war industries, pivotal issues like equal pay, childcare and race, and extensive documentation on the women who joined and served in the Women’s Army Corps as WACs.
Workers and Labor Unions
Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO
In the 19th century, the Knights of Labor was the first national labor force to recruit women and African Americans as a matter of policy, to organize throughout the country, and to attempt to unify industrial and agrarian workers. This module presents the papers of executives Terence V. Powderly and John W. Hayes, which span the life of this powerful organization.
In 1886, the founding convention of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) elected five men to lead an organization of fewer than 200,000 members. By 1955, a committee headed by George Meany unified the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which today numbers 5+ million and is a powerful political lobby. AFL records illuminate years of strikes and boycotts, competition with rival organizations, political developments, antitrust laws, pensions, and the direct election of U.S. senators; plus internal AFL matters such as membership, relations with international and local unions, and state labor federations.
The CIO was at the center of labor activism from 1935 to 1955 – years characterized by mass organizing, nationwide strikes, and bitter ideological and political conflict. The records in this module consist of Minutes of the Executive Board of the CIO and the papers of Adolph Germer, a longtime member of the United Mine Workers and a leader in the formation of the CIO. Closely related are the papers of John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers and a vice-president of the AFL. Records that document the AFL-CIO in this module consist of State Labor Proceedings for 1885-1974 with the 1955-1974 portion of the records pertaining to the AFL-CIO.
Socialist Party of America Records [1897-1976]
Of the many socialist organizations born during the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Socialist Party of America was perhaps the most well-known. With the Socialist Party of America Papers, students will find valuable primary sources for the study of the labor movement, civil rights, anti-war activities and the history of the “American left.” The Socialist Party of America Papers provide an exceptional historical overview of the Socialist Party of America as it struggled to gain support and realize its goals. Documents in the collection include correspondence, position papers, memoranda, financial records, pamphlets and broadsides, and leaflets. This outstanding collection is a must for historical research into American Socialism, labor and leftist thought in the 20th Century.
Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century: Federal Records
This module consists of a wide range of collections documenting the American workers and labor unions in the 20th century, with a special emphasis on the interaction between workers and the U.S. federal government.
The collection opens with Strike Files of the U.S. Department of Justice, records of the Woodrow Wilson Administration and American Workers and records on U.S. government surveillance of radical workers. Strike Files of the U.S. Department of Justice provides a remarkably complete record of the Department of Justice’s evolving policies of intervention in labor disputes and documentation on the major strikes during the period from 1894-1920. The Wilson Administration files consist of Papers of the National War Labor Board (NWLB), Papers of the President’s Mediation Commission, and records of the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations. The NWLB records provide a remarkable window into the daily operations of private industry during a time of radical social change. The Papers of the President’s Mediation Commission cover labor struggles by Arizona and Montana copper miners, the infamous deportation of Industrial Workers of the World-affiliated miners in Arizona in July 1917, and the tumultuous situation among workers in the Chicago meat-packing industry. The government surveillance files consist of U.S. Military Intelligence Reports on radicals from 1917-1941 and Department of Justice investigations of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Communist Party, and the use of military force by the federal government in domestic disturbances between 1900 and 1938. The U.S. Military Intelligence Reports contain significant files on IWW strikes and organizing efforts during and immediately after World War I. There are also files on anarchist, socialist, social democratic, and libertarian groups. The other collections in this module covering unemployment relief in the 1930s, farm tenancy, labor strife during World War II, and records on migratory labor in the 1950s and 1960s.