Archive for History

OAH Distinguished Lectures

The Organization of American Historians has a YouTube channel featuring eminent historians discussing certain topics ranging from the War of 1812 to the 1960s. Each lecture runs between about an hour and an hour and a half. Well worth a visit. And let’s not forget the OAH’s podcast series.

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Play Ball!

With the opening of the 2019 baseball season safely behind us (Go, Mets!), now would be a good time to add to this site’s entries on baseball.

“This boy comes the nearest to perfection in pitching of anyone in either major league at the present time. He has more speed than Spahn and almost perfect control of a slow curve, – that really curves. He also has an exceptional fast ball and occasionally throws a change up off the fast ball.” This is the opinion of the legendary Branch Rickey in one of his numerous scouting reports – this one on the superb pitcher Sandy Koufax. (A point of transparency here. I am a native-born Brooklynite and actually saw Koufax pitch with the Brooklyn Dodgers.) All of Rickey’s insightful reports, including ones of Henry Aaron and Roberto Clemente, are now available online at the Library of Congress. A timeline of Rickey’s contributions to baseball accompanies this site as do other useful links.

How about viewing the first baseball cards? There are 2,100 of them printed between 1887 and 1914 representing 1,000 players from thirteen leagues and seventy-five cities. They feature the likenesses of some of the great names from that era including Christy Mathewson and Cy Young. And the collection even has the 1909-13 Brooklyn Dodgers! In addition, the backs of the cards are also displayed because they contain either biographies of the players or other sporting information. You can search by city or league.  A special feature is the chronological arrangement of the cards by the collections in which they appeared. A wonderful site for those who consider baseball as the only true sport in this country.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: W.E.B. Du Bois and the 1900 Paris Exposition

“The Paris Exposition of 1900 included a display devoted to the history and “present conditions” of African Americans. W.E.B. Du Bois and special agent Thomas J. Calloway spearheaded the planning, collection and installation of the exhibit materials, which included 500 photographs.” (About)

Primary and secondary sources are available about this event in which Du Bois played such a pivotal role; included here are his writings on the exhibit. He wished to show the progress that African Americans had made since the Civil War, but also make people aware of the roadblocks put in their way by Jim Crow.

The photos can be accessed here along with Du Bois’ remarkable infographics showing the statistical profile of African Americans over the decades. Here is one showing the growth in population from 175 to 1890; there are seventy more of these documents. (Found on pages 1 and 2 of this site.)

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Online Primary Sources for American History: WWI News Clippings

Comprised of four hundred volumes totaling 80,000 pages, these press clippings were culled from United States and European papers between 1914 and 1926. Though there is no index to this vast collection, the clippings are arranged in chronological order so one can read articles, editorials, cartoons, and news reports that are in reaction to events as they played out during this conflict. The scope of this undertaking is impressive; almost all the pieces I saw have the identifying newspaper indicated along with the date. The vast majority of the clippings are in English, but given the European sources, German pieces are also available.

An informative history of the collection is available. An invaluable resource.

Hot Off The Presses: Newspapers During WWI is fairly self-explanatory.

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Online Primary Sources: Historic Canadian Newspapers

Those of you who have perused this site have seen passing references to Canadian-centric resources subsumed in writings on American history. (This entry for example.) But this time, we are looking at specific Canadian resources:

BC Historical Newspapers. (University of British Columbia)Digital copies of 167 titles.

The British Colonist (title varies over the years) allows access to an almost complete rum of this important British Columbia newspaper from 1858 – 1950. You can browse by date of use an advanced search option with multiple filters.

Canada Gazette. (Library and Archives Canada) The “official newspaper of the Canadian government. Over 160 years are available online.

Canada Online Historical Newspapers. Access to many titles, the vast majority are freely available.

French-Canadian Newspapers: An Essential Historical Source (1808-1919) (Library and Archives Canada) provides digital images of numerous papers.

Halifax Gazette.Canada’s first newspaper, published in 1752. A history of the paper is here.

Historical Canadian Newspapers Online (from Bowling Green State University) has gathered dozens of English and French titles that span the centuries. Many of the images come courtesy of the cancelled Google Newspaper Archive.

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers (Nova Scotia Archives). Including newspapers published by those pro-British colonists forced to flee both during and after the Revolutionary War.

Victoria’s Newspapers 1858-1936 provides indices to the British Colonist. Come here to review the scope of this site.

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Online Primary Sources in American History: NAACP Annual Reports

Available online are reports from 1910 – 1923 and from 2004 to the present.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Historic Civil Rights Documents

Tracing the torturously slow struggle for full rights, Civil rights and African Americans : a documentary history, presents primary sources ranging from colonial times through the 1960s. (An updated preface incorporates citations to more recent texts through 1990.) Each source is introduced by a brief essay that places the document in question in its historical context. One the earliest pieces, document 7, shows how New Jersey treated its African American slaves.

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