When working with historical materials, you may encounter racist, oppressive, or outdated language and imagery in specific materials or represented in the wider archival record.
Finding Primary Sources @ GW
The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) offers numerous primary sources, including maps, manuscripts, newspapers, diaries, photographs, and pamphlets. The SCRC collects materials related to many areas of research; strengths include University history, Washingtoniana, labor history, and education. There is also a collection of rich bibliographies on popular topics (such as LGBT Resources, American Labor History, and Maps of Washington DC) available to assist researchers interested in particular topics. Contact a special collections librarian for help with your research.
Start here: https://searcharchives.library.gwu.edu/
This database allows you to search across all of the library's archival collections. You can limit your search results by date, names, and subjects. The majority of the archival, manuscript, and rare book collections in special collections are housed offsite and require 3-5 business days for retrieval. Request materials in advance of visits. Send requests or questions here: https://library.gwu.edu/scrc/contact
There are a wide range of collections that have been digitized and are accessible online at the SCRC website. Materials include historical GW photographs, the monthly engagement diaries of Winston Churchill, images and documents from the Corcoran galleries, Hatchet newspapers, Cherry Tree yearbooks, and much more. Most of the digital collections from GW's special collections are available on the Internet Archive, this page offers step-by-step instructions for searching GW materials in the Internet Archive.
This database provides full-text access to articles from a number of historic African American newspapers, beginning in 1827 with Freedom's Journal. The collection contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and offers first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.
This collection features more than 170 wide-ranging periodicals by and about African Americans. Published in 26 states, the publications include academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations bulletins, annual reports and other genres.
Page-images from more than 1,100 historic American magazines, journals, and newspapers illuminating the development of American culture, politics, and society across 150 years. Articles can be searched by author, source, or words in the complete text.
A history database of 50,000 songs that can be listened to online. American Song encompasses the great American musical genres including country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, American Indian, blues, gospel, and shape note singing combined with powerful recordings by artists such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Si Kahn, Lead Belly, Sleepy LaBeef, the New Lost City Ramblers, Otis Clay, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Nanci Griffith, The Lilly Brothers, Merle Travis, and many others. The music comes from Rounder Records, the Smithsonian Institution, Document Records, and other labels and sources.
Includes Parts l & ll. Part I brings together primary source content on the social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world. Includes the gay rights movement, activism, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and more. Part ll highlights marginalized groups—even within the LGBTQ community—and enables users to draw new connections across the development of LGBTQ culture and activism through access to key publications.
The link goes to the History Vault main page; then look for Black Freedom Struggle under Browse Collections. This database gives allows researchers to study both well-known and unheralded events in the Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century from the perspective of men and women who waged it. Consists of two modules: "Federal Government Records," and "Organizational Records and Personal Papers."
Offers a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada. Provides more than 100,000 pages of personal narratives including letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories. Much of the material is previously unpublished.
A collection of full-text primary materials documenting various movements and events in the history of women's social reform activities. Sources include documents, images, and books, and are organized around topical document projects.