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About this Guide
This guide is meant to be a catch-all of fruitful resources for creative writing research. The focus is on full-text, page-image access to publications and archival materials, but some relevant text-only publications and databases are included. These tools allow for exploratory queries, serendipitous discovery, and allow us to encounter juxtapositions among events, ideas, products, facts, and voices we may not see in reference books or secondary scholarship. Often, these resources reward time and attention in unexpected ways, and can help you to think about detail and context as you build and explore your creative worlds.
You can contact Patrick Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about doing so or to get recommendations based on your interests.
HathiTrust Digital Library
Syracuse University Libraries holds a membership to the HathiTrust Digital Library, which means SU-affiliated users may download full pdfs of any full-view publications hosted there. The collection includes collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
For books which are not available as full-view, you are able to search within their contents and easily locate keywords present in books for further research. Furthermore, you can use the HathiTrust Research Center to curate and search within a specified collection of titles.
Internet Archive / Wayback Machine
The Internet Archive holds many, many full runs and issues of publications, films, book, and other media.
Also, you can use the Wayback Machine to view preserved versions of many old websites.
Historical Corpora for Looking at Language
As you encounter historical materials, you will begin to get a feel for that language of a particular era. But you may also be curious about the way people spoke and wrote about topics, ideas, people, and objects. Using historical corpora, you can locate idioms, cliches, and other turns of phrase.
English-Corpora.org: More than a dozen searchable, part-of-speech tagged corpora for language research.
Google Books Ngram Viewer: compare frequencies for words and multi-word phrases over time in the Google Books corpus.
Archival Media Collections
Current and Historical Newspapers
ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times This link opens in a new window
Full page scans from The New York Times newspaper with searchable article text back to the first issue in 1851.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post This link opens in a new window
Access to over 100 years of political reporting and other news within the first newspaper in Washington DC to publish seven days per week. Fully imaged page scans from 1877. Currency of this historical access is updated periodically and extends to within about 17 years of the current date.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times This link opens in a new window
Full-page and article images from the Los Angeles times under all its title variants from 1881 to 1998.
New York state newspapers, including Syracuse newspapers, such as the Post Standard, Syracuse Herald, and more. Some of that content dates from the late 1700s.
Access World News
Lots of not-too-distant-past newspapers, including College and University Newspapers (!). No page images; text stories only.
Times Digital Archive
The Times Digital Archive provides convenient access to an extraordinary library of back issues of this renowned newspaper online. By taking the microfilm collection of The Times (London) and producing a high-resolution digital format with searchable images, The Times Digital Archive represents unprecedented access to one of the most highly regarded resources for the study of 18th century history and onward.
Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003
Page image Illustrated London News from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003.
- Daily Worker (1922 - 1968)
The Daily Worker was the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA).
Current local, regional and international newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries in 60 languages, displayed in their original format and accessible by country, language, or title.
ProQuest News and Newspapers
Search portal for multiple news and newspaper databases including Alt-PressWatch, Canadian Newsstream, Ethnic NewsWatch, GenderWatch, Global Breaking Newswires, International Newsstream, US Newsstream, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Text visualization options for selected newspapers are available on the TDM Studio platform; please see the ProQuest TDM Studio
guide for access information.
Individual Popular Magazine Titles
Searchable page image archive of Time Magazine, from March 1923 through December 2000. Includes photographs and advertisements.
Life Magazine Archives
Page image archive of Life Magazine, from November 1936 (issue 1) to December 2000.
Page images of U.S. Vogue from 1892 to present.
Searchable page image archive of Sports Illustrated magazine from 1954 to 2000. Covers professional and amateur sports as well as popular culture, business, and politics.
Searchable page image archive of Esquire Magazine from 1933 to 2014. Topics covered include popular culture, entertainment, and men's fashion.
Searchable page image archive of The Nation magazine going back to its first issue in 1865. Includes articles as well as reviews, letters, poems, and puzzles.
Periodicals Archive Online
Archive of journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Music Magazine Archive
Publications from the 1960s-1980s covering popular culture and music from a variety of genres, including rock, folk, hip-hop rap and more.
American Periodicals Series Online
18th and 19th century American newspapers and periodicals.
Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive
Publications and popular magazines about the entertainment industry from the late 19th century to 2000.
British journal and magazine page image content from the 1600s to the 20th century.
Open access alternative press and underground newspapers, magazines and journals from the 1960s to 1980s, including feminist, LGBT, minority, campus, community, GI, right-wing, and small literary presses.
Eighteenth Century Journals
British periodicals published from 1685-1835, documenting colonial life, French and American revolutions, literature, fashion, politics, and gossip. Features many titles targeted towards women, plus an image gallery, chronology, and background essays. Includes modules 1-5.
Many more regional, community, historical, and specialized newspapers can be found in the News & Newspaper category of the Libraries' databases menu.
Primary Source / Document Collections
Food and Drink in History
Manuscript and printed cookbooks, menus, and advertisements documenting the history of food and drink in the United States and Europe from 1500 to 2000. Content addresses issues such as gender, race, status, agriculture, nutrition, and food production from both a culinary and socio-economic approach. Includes Modules I and II.
Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture: The History of Tourism
This resource presents a multi-national journey through well-known, little-known and far-flung destinations unlocked for the average traveller between 1850 and the 1980s. Guidebooks and brochures, periodicals, travel agency correspondence, photographs and personal travel journals provide unique insight into the expansion, accessibility and affordability of tourism for the masses and the evolution of some of the most successful travel agencies in the world.
Trade Catalogues and the American Home
Explore domestic consumerism, life and leisure in America between 1850-1950 with Trade Catalogues and the American Home. This resource presents a wealth of highly illustrated primary source documents that highlight commercial tastes and consumer trends, and provide a valuable visual record for a breadth of interdisciplinary study.
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975
Popular Culture explores the dynamic period of social, political and cultural change between 1950 and 1975. The resource offers thousands of colour images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period in our recent history. Explore our interactive chronology to learn a wealth of fascinating facts, take a tour of our visual resources, and watch video footage to experience the spectacular sights and sounds of the period for yourself.
J. Walter Thomson Advertising America
The J. Walter Thompson Company Archive documents the history, operation, policies and accomplishments of one of the world's largest and oldest advertising firms. The papers here reveal many aspects of twentieth-century cultural, social, business, marketing, consumer and economic history while investigating the human psyche.
African American Communities
Pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports, and in-depth oral histories covering the experiences of African Americans. Focuses on themes of racism, discrimination and integration, and African American culture and identity primarily in the communities of Atlanta, Chicago, Brooklyn New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina from 1863-1986.
American Indian Histories and Cultures
Art, correspondence, diaries, business documents, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, photographs, printed books, treaties, and tribe records documenting early contacts between European settlers and American Indians, 1500-1998. Content digitized from the Edward E. Ayer Collection at the Newberry Library. Subjects covered include political, social, and cultural effects of early encounters; the turbulence of the Civil War; on-going repercussions of government legislation; and the civil rights movement.
Everyday Life and Women in America, c1800-1920
Primary resources on everyday life from 1800-1920, including political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes. Emphasizes differences in regional, urban, and rural cultures.
Primary source material from multiple museum and library collections relevant to the study of traditional gender roles, education, ideals of conduct, education, exercise, distribution of power within the family, and consumption and leisure. Primary sources include correspondence, diaries, ephemera, government documents, manuscripts, periodicals, printed books along with secondary material such as biographical information, chronologies, and topical essays.
Mass Observation Online, 1937-1972
Diaries, surveys, and more from the Mass Observation Archive University of Sussex, Special Collections.
America in World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts
Oral histories, correspondence, diaries, photographs, artifacts, and military records telling the stories of American military personnel and civilians during the second World War. Content is digitized from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.
American History 1493-1945
Correspondence, diaries, government documents, books, pamphlets, broadsides, photographs, artwork, and maps, digitized from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York. Consists of two modules: Module I, Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859 and Module 2, Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945.
Historical Documents, Papers, & Ephemera
London Low Life
Victorian London documents, including maps, sketches, street views, scrapbooks, broadsides, and more from the Lilly Library, Indiana University.
Poverty, Philanthropy and Social Conditions in Victorian Britain
Discover what life was like for the poorest communities in Victorian Britain, and explore the government policy, social reform movements and philanthropic efforts of charitable institutions that sought to alleviate poverty.
Victorian Popular Culture
Archival Victorian popular culture collections including content from the Senate House Library, University of London; The Harry Price Library of Magical Literature; Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; The British Library; the British Film Institute National Archive and more.
Literary Print Culture/The Stationers' Company Archive, London
Documents from 1554 to 1984 related to the development of the printing and publishing industries.
Video & Audio Resources
Academic Video Online
Streaming videos, including documentaries, newsreels and programs, interviews, and performances, on a wide range of subjects from providers such as CBS, Universal, and The Open University.
Audiovisual library of U.S. and international advertising sourced from numerous ad agencies, including award winning ads (Cannes Lion, Clio, Effie, One Show, etc.)
American History in Video
Archival commercial and governmental newsreels, documentaries covering American history. Includes footage from United Newsreel and Universal Newsreel.
Television News Archive
Index to evening news and some special reports from major U.S. national broadcast networks from 1968 to present for ABC, CBS and NBC, 1995 to present for CNN, and 2004 to present for Fox News. NBC and CNN allow video streaming online. Advertising that ran adjacent to reports is often available (e.g., search “commercial” and a brand name). Syracuse University Libraries is a sponsoring institution of the Television News Archive.
Socialism on Film
This collection of films from the communist world reveals war, history, current affairs, culture and society as seen through the socialist lens. It spans most of the twentieth century and covers countries such as the USSR, Vietnam, China, Korea, much of Eastern Europe, the GDR, Britain and Cuba.
Locating Historical Peroidicals
SU has been collecting print materials for 150+ years, so we have access to many historical periodicals that have not been digitized. You can access those in print and via microfilm, but you will likely have to request they be delivered from the Library Facility to Bird for use. You can locate titles using the Journal Locator, and you can make your delivery requests via Library To Go.
Some may be available only on microform, which is really fun.
Special Collections Research Center
SUL's Special Collections Research Center holds hundreds of thousands of rare books and publications, personal and corporate papers, objects and ephemera. Collection strenghts include printing & publishing history, radicalism in art and literature, activisim and social reform, utopian communities, pulp literature and science fiction, broadcasting history, cartoons and cartoonists, and plastics, among others.
- Books and periodicals from the SCRC collections are listed in the catalog with a location of Bird-Spec Coll (does not circulate).
- Papers, objects, and other "non-book-things" are described in the Finding Aids.
Visit SCRC on the 6th floor of Bird to fill out a call slip to request items of either type for use in the reading room. SCRC hours are M-F 9-5pm, except Wednesdays, when the reading room is open until 7pm.
Use ArchiveGrid to search finding aids for other institutions (simultaneously) and locate collections of additional physical materials that may be relevant.