In-Class Activity

Some useful links/resources

1) Emory United States History Guide Use the left-hand menu to get to “Primary Sources,” and from there, choose an era to find links to news databases. From the “Newspapers” section you can find ProQuest Newspapers and ProQuest Historical Newspapers, which cover the more recent past and the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively. You can also find the database we looked at in class this week, American Historical Newspapers. has also become a very good database. Additionally, you can find databases for periodicals (magazines) further down this page.

2) Emory Libraries US History specialist Dr. Bruchko’s contact information for help with research:

3) BBC Timeline of North American/US History Excellent timeline that lays out major political and cultural events since the Colonial Era.

4) Library of Congress, Chronicling American History: Recommended Topics List Offers short summaries and research suggestions for each topic.

5) Reader’s Companion to American History Fairly comprehensive alphabetical collection of short articles on a large range of events, people, and themes in US history. Offers linked topics at the bottom of each page.

6) Encyclopedia of American Studies Similar resource as above, but puts topics in a cultural scholarship context.

7) American History Now Very useful for getting ideas about what topics recent historians have written on. The first half is an overview of history by era and the second half is an overview by themes.

8) Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History Huge collection of topic articles, summaries of literature, and further reading

9) Oxford Companion to US History

10) EBSCOhost American History & Life,ip,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=ahl

11) Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History

12) A Companion to American Cultural History

13) Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History

14) Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History

15) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

16) Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture

17) A Companion to 19th-Century America

18) Reader’s Companion to the American Presidency

19) International Encyclopedia of Political Science

20) Oxford Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History

21) American Immigration: A Student Companion

22) Project MUSE


Assignment 2: Comparing New York Times Commentary on Communication Revolutions, a Century (Plus) Apart

For the second primary source assignment, read the two articles linked below and, in your post, explore how their discussions of the impact of technology compare and contrast. As you read, think about how communication and information are closely overlapping concepts. The railroad, the electronic telegraph, and internet are all technologies that, at their heart, allowed for more rapid communication and linked together society in a new way, while provoking a lot of discussion about just how things were new.

Some questions that might help guide you, suggested but not required: What powers or changes in society do each author attribute to communications technology? How would you describe the overall tone or attitude about the effects of new technology in each piece?

Beyond the themes these articles address, you can also think about the language at a more basic level: What kind of words are used and can this tell you something about the broader culture that each piece emerged out of?

Finally, say something–at least briefly–about how themes presented here relate to our readings and/or class discussion on the history of information.

Good luck!

GEORGE STEPHENSON’S CENTENARY. (1881, Jun 09). New York Times (1857-1922)

Friedman, T. L. (2013, Jan 30). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as much as I.Q. New York Times (1923-Current File)