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The Historic Hinge: Techniques in Poetry (21:350:355): Primary Sources Databases

A research guide for Professor A. Van Jordan's The Historic Hinge: Techniques in Poetry course

Primary Sources Collections: Law

Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, 1620-1970 [Rutgers Restricted]

Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources is a full-text database of primary material in U.S. legal history. It comprises codes, subject arrangements of the law, at the federal, state and local levels; proceedings and other documents from constitutional conventions; legal dictionaries and other sources. Included among the collections are primary documents from the colonial period compiled mainly during the nineteenth century.


WestlawNext [Rutgers Restricted]

Law:  Contains the full text of court opinions, statutes, and regulations from state and federal governments; in excess of 800 law reviews and journals; a legal encyclopedia, American Jurisprudence, and Black's Law Dictionary.  Includes West's KeyCite feature for verification of the status of a case, statute, administrative decision, or regulation. Statutes, court decisions and related European Union material is also included. News:  Contains full text of newspapers including The New York TimesBoston GlobeAtlanta Journal-Constitution; magazines such as NewsweekConsumer Reports, and Atlantic; over 400 newswires; newsletters; and over 900 broadcast transcripts.

Primary Sources Collections: African American

Archives Unbound: Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984 [Rutgers Restricted]

Archives Unbound: Federal Response to Radicalism in the 1960s [Rutgers Restricted]

Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984 and Federal Response to Radicalism in the 1960s are fulltext, full image databases of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's previously classified files on prominent African Americans and African-American organizations.


Black Thought and Culture [Rutgers Restricted]

Black Thought and Culture offers the full text of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writing by leading figures in African American life and culture, including Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells, A. Phillip Randolph, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson and hundreds of others. Also available online for the first time is the complete run of the Black Panther newspaper, 1966 through 1980. 
Includes an online encyclopedia of hundreds of famous and lesser known figures in African America, full text primary documents and major speeches of black activists and leaders from the 18th Century to the present, plus other features.

Primary Sources Collections: Immigrants

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories [Rutgers Restricted]

This database documents the personal experience of immigrants to Canada and the United States over more than two centuries. In addition to letters, diaries and oral histories, there are a limited number of other sources, including immigration guides and cartoons. There is extensive indexing that allows you to search by, for example, place of birth, place of entry, occupation, and gender.


American Immigration History LibGuide

Comprehensive list of resources on immigrant groups, immigration to New Jersey, recent immigration, and how to find books, articles, newspaper articles, historical documents, and data for immigration studies.

Primary Sources Collections: Women

Manuscript Women's Letters and Diaries [Rutgers Restricted]

This resource compiles hundreds of thousands of pages of the personal writings of women from the collection of the American Antiquarian Society. Date coverage is approximately 1750-1950, and the collection is particularly strong in the nineteenth century material. 


Everyday Life of Women in America, c.1800-1920 [Rutgers Restricted]

Everyday Life of Women in America, c.1800-1920, provides access to primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History. It includes fully searchable images (alongside transcriptions) of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides focused on 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes. 


North American Women's Letters and Diaries: Colonial Times to 1950 [Rutgers Restricted]

North American Women's Letters and Diaries (NAWLD) provides full text access to the personal writings of American women from all classes and walks of life, from colonial times to 1950. 


Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (Scholar's Edition) [Rutgers Restricted]

Women and Social Movements in the United States, Scholar's Edition documents women's activism in public life by bringing together books, images, pamphlets, advice literature, training guides, documents (including primary documents), scholarly essays, commentaries, bibliographies, links to other websites, and other ephemera that provide snapshots of women's struggle for equality over time and across regions. 


GenderWatch [Rutgers Restricted]

GenderWatch provides access to citations and full text resources on the topics of women and gender, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues. Sources originate from a number of academic, radical, community and independent presses. Prominent topics include sexuality, religion, social roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, healthcare, and the workplace.

Primary Sources Collections: Africa

Africa-Wide Information [Rutgers Restricted]

Africa-Wide Information incorporates a variety of smaller databases and covers African and South African studies using sources from Africa, Europe and the United States. The subject areas covered include politics, history, economics, business, mining, natural sciences, environment, development, social issues, anthropology, literature, language, law, music, tourism, and many more.


African Writers Series  [Rutgers Restricted]

African Writers Series features more than 250 volumes of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction prose, including works by Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Steve Biko, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Doris Lessing, Nelson Mandela, Dambudzo Marechera, Christopher Okigbo, Okot p'Bitek and Tayeb Salih. A particular strength of this collection is the inclusion of women's poetry from The Heimemann Book of African Women's Poetry (1995).  This was formerly a sub-collection ofLiterature Online and shares a similar interface.


Primary Sources Collections: Germany

German History in Documents and Images

German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) is a comprehensive collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present. It comprises original German texts, all of which are accompanied by new English translations, and a wide range of visual imagery. The materials are presented in ten sections, which have been compiled by leading scholars. All of the materials can be used free of charge for teaching, research, and related purposes; the site is strictly intended for individual, non-commercial use.

Primary Sources Collections: General

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries [Rutgers Restricted]

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries includes over one thousand memoirs, diaries, and collections of letters written by private soldiers, generals, politicians, and civilians. Database content has been restricted to include:

  • Letters and diaries that were written contemporaneously with the events they describe
  • Letters of a personal nature (i.e., official dispatches, reports, military orders, and "public" letters are excluded)
  • Memoirs that describe events during the war (1860-1865)

American County Histories: New Jersey [Rutgers Restricted]

Searchable full-text collection of volumes of New Jersey county histories, including: History of Atlantic City and County… (1889);History of Bergen and Passaic Counties… (1882); History of Burlington and Mercer Counties… (1883); History of Camden County(1886); History of Cape May County… (1897); History of Essex and Hudson Counties… (1884); History of the Counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland… (1883); History of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties… (1881); History of Monmouth County… (1885); History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties… (1890); History of Morris County… (1882); History of Sussex and Warren Counties… (James P. Snell, 1881); History of Union and Middlesex Counties… (1882). Many include biographical and genealogical information. 


Gale Virtual Reference Library's Essential Primary Source Set [Rutgers Restricted]

Essential Primary Source titles are part of a ten-volume set of books in the Social Issues Primary Sources Collection designed to provide primary source documents on leading social issues of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. International in scope, each volume is devoted to one topic and contains approximately 150 to 175 documents that will include and discuss speeches, legislation, magazine and newspaper articles, memoirs, letters, interviews, novels, essays, songs, and works of art essential to understanding the complexity of the topic.

9/11 Encyclopedia [Rutgers Restricted]
Aims to "present to the reader a comprehensive look at all aspects of September 11" including coverage of the people, events, timeline, aftermath, and even the various conspiracy theories. Some primary documents are also included.

Oral History Online [Rutgers Restricted]

Oral History Online provides access to oral histories of English-speaking men and women from all walks of life. The database contains some proprietary material, but for the most part it serves as a detailed index of thousands of oral history projects worldwide.


Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online [Rutgers Restricted]

Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online is a collection of primary sources from six separate databases (see below). It includes correspondence, autobiographies, interviews, and diaries in English written over the course of more than four centuries. It provides personal accounts by men and women from all walks of life of personal as well as historical events. 


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