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York University Libraries > Primary Sources: Audio and Visual Materials

Primary Sources: Audio and Visual Materials


Photographs and Posters

Canada

  • Canadian War Poster Collection: Descriptions and images of each poster, an artist index, and an essay about Canadian War Posters. Clicking on “Menu” will provide lists of specific categories of posters, i.e. recruiting, for each of the Wars.
  • Images Canada: Provides central search access to the thousands of images held on the websites of participating Canadian cultural institutions
  • The Champlain Society Digital Collection: Eighty-three volumes of journals, narratives and papers with some illustrations and photographs relating to exploration and discovery over a span of three centuries of Canadian history.
  • Moving Here, Staying Here: The Canadian Immigrant Experience: Includes voyage diaries, letters, posters, printed advertisements and pamphlets, and passenger lists that document the experience of Canadian immigrants from 1800s-1930.
  • Digital Library of Canada: History: Collections of diaries, photographs and other government documents on themes of art & photography, aboriginal people, ethno-cultural groups, exploration and settlement, military & peace-keeping and politics & government.

United States

  • American Memory: Photographs: 65 collections provide photographs, prints and posters.
  • Cities and Buildings Database: The Cities and Buildings Database is a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: Open access to 700, 000 images digitized from New York Public Library’s collections including manuscripts, posters, vintage posters, maps, photographs and rare prints.
  • Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures and the Environment: Contains over 1400 authors and over 100, 000 pages of primary works such as letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts as well as images of early encounters.
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000: Document projects that include 1, 800 documents, approximately 740 images (photographs and illustratrions) and over 600 links to other websites. The documents focus on women and the social movements during 1600-2000.
  • Documenting the American South: This collection includes government documents, personal diaries, religious pamphlets, books, some photographs, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs. The materials focus on the struggle for African Americans for human rights and freedom in the 18th, 19th and 20th century, southern life during the Civil War and the adoption and transformation of Protestant Christianity by Southern African Americans and community life.

International

  • Mass Observation Online: The collection is comprised of file reports, books, digitized microfilm, diaries, directives and photographs on the social history of Britain in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Gallica: Digital Library of the National Library of France: Gallica has access to over 80, 000 images and access to books, manuscripts, maps, periodicals, scores and sound recordings. Be aware that a majority of the content is in French.
  • German History in Documents and Images (GHDI): 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.
  • Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive: There are roughly 20,000 pages of electronic transcriptions of texts. These include oral histories; personal narratives, notes, and letters; government documents, publications, circulars, and reports; and other types of documents. And over 10,000 images, including photographic prints, negatives, drawings, and watercolor paintings, can be searched and browsed in JARDA.

Advertisements

  • Ad* Access: Presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II..
  • Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920: Presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States.
  • Times Digital Archive: The collection includes all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching. Coverage is from 1785 – 1985
  • Pages of the Past: An electronic newspaper archive of The Toronto Star, covering the years 1892-2000. Includes stories, editorial and opinion pieces, advertisements, birth and death notices. Results are displayed as images (photographs) of an entire newspaper page.
  • Globe and Mail: Canada’s Heritage from 1844: An electronic newspaper archive of The Globe and Mail, covering the years 1844-1999. Coverage includes all the stories, images, advertisements, classifieds, political cartoons, births and deaths. Results are displayed as images (photographs) of an entire newspaper page.
  • Moving Here, Staying Here: The Canadian Immigrant Experience: Includes voyage diaries, letters, posters, printed advertisements and pamphlets, and passenger lists that document the experience of Canadian immigrants from 1800s-1930.

(see also historical newspapers and magazines for advertisements)


Pamphlets

  • Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections: Canadian Pamphlet Collection
    Dating from the 18th century to the present, the collection covers a wide variety of subjects that include social and political issues, religion, fine arts, and women’s studies. See also Finding Primary Sources using the Library Catalogue.
  • Samuel May Anti-Slavery Collection: Gathers together over 8,500 of the important pamphlet and leaflets relating to the anti-slavery struggle at the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Moving Here, Staying Here: The Canadian Immigrant Experience: Includes voyage diaries, letters, posters, printed advertisements and pamphlets, and passenger lists that document the experience of Canadian immigrants from 1800s-1930.
  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories: Includes letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories of immigrants in Canada and the United States, 1840-present.
  • North American Slave Narratives: Includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. Also included are many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some significant fictionalized slave narratives published in English before 1920.
  • Documenting the American South : This collection includes government documents, personal diaries, religious pamphlets, some photographs, books, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs. The materials focus on the struggle for African Americans for human rights and freedom in the 18th, 19th and 20th century, southern life during the Civil War and the adoption and transformation of Protestant Christianity by Southern African Americans and community life.
  • Everyday Life and Women in America: A collection of various items including periodicals, rare books, pamphlets and broadsides on popular culture, social history, family life, race, class and employment in America from the 19th to 20th century.
  • British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries: This edition of the collection includes journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings, much of the material is in copyright. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions, the famous and the not so famous.

Oral History and Sound Recordings

  • Digital Library of Canada: Exploration and Settlement: Library and Archives Canada online collection of exhibitions around the theme of exploration and settlement which include sheet music, audio and video recordings.
  • In the First Person: A one-stop starting point for historians, sociologists, genealogists, linguists, and psychologists who want to find, explore, and analyze human experiences. The stories of diverse groups and ordinary people from all walks of life can at last be heard alongside those of the well-published and famous. Includes English language personal narratives, including letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories.
  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories: A collection that includes personal narratives including letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories, providing a rich source for scholars in a wide range of disciplines starting from 1840 to the present with emphasis on the period of 1920 to 1980. A diverse perspective is provided due to the increase in Latin American and Asian immigrants during the time period.
  • Oral History Online: Provides in-depth indexing to more than 2,700 collections of Oral History in English from around the world. Provides keyword searching of almost 281,000 pages of full-text by close to 10,000 individuals from all walks of life, pointers to over 4,100 audio and video files and almost 19,000 bibliographic records. This full-text material includes Ellis Island oral history narratives, exclusive Black Panther Party interviews, and other oral histories.
  • Oral Histories of the First World War: Veterans 1914-1918: Web exhibition based on the CBC’s radio broadcast In Flanders Fields, a series of one-on-one interviews with veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which aired from November 11, 1964 to March 7, 1965. Organized into seven themes: Second Ypres, Vimy Ridge, War in the Air, The Somme, Trench Warfare, Passchendaele and Perspectives on War.
  • Documenting the American South : This collection includes government documents, personal diaries, religious pamphlets, some photographs, books, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews and songs. The materials focus on the struggle for African Americans for human rights and freedom in the 18th, 19th and 20th century, southern life during the Civil War and the adoption and transformation of Protestant Christianity by Southern African Americans and community life.
  • Oral Histories of the First World War: Veterans 1914-1918
  • Virtual Gramophone: Canadian Historical Sound Recordings: A growing multimedia website devoted to the early days of Canadian recorded sound with a database of images and digital audio recordings, as well as biographies of musicians and histories of music and recorded sound in Canada
  • American Memory: Sound Recordings: 24 collections of sound recordings from the Library of Congress online archives.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: Provides access to over 300,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
  • The Presidential Recordings Program: United States presidential recordings, along with relevant research materials, from 1940-1973. Includes transcripts of recordings.

Video, newsreels, television clips

  • Virtual Silver Screen
    Library and Archives Canada collection collection of some of the earliest films made in Canada, covering topics from accounts of World War I, some of the best reasons to buy a tractor for your farm, to why you should take a shower everyday. Themes: Canada at War, Agriculture and Industry; Scenic Canada; Snapshots of Canadian Life.
  • Vanderbilt Television News Archive
    The world’s most extensive and complete archive of television news. Access to United States television news broadcasts from national networks since August 5, 1968 is provided. The core collection includes evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS, and NBC (since 1968), an hour per day of CNN (since 1995) and Fox News (since 2004). Special news broadcasts found in the Archive include political conventions, presidential speeches and press conferences, Watergate hearings, coverage of the Persian Gulf War, the events of September 11, 2001, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq.
  • CBC Archives
    A selection of radio and television clips from the Archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; primarily interviews, news and current affairs programs.
  • National Film Board of Canada (NFB): The collection of films are produced by the National Film Board of Canada and can be viewed privately by the public for no charge. The collection includes documentaries, auteur animation and drama, NFB award winners, trailers and clips of new film releases by the NFB and a special themed selection of films. Visitors to the website can search by title, genre, decade and language.
  • Digital Library of Canada: Exploration and Settlement: Library and Archives Canada online collection of exhibitions around the theme of exploration and settlement which include sheet music, audio and video recordings.
  • Black Studies Center
    Provides images and video clips accompanying Schomburg essays. Click on “View Contents and Videos” to browse video clips or search the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience and select the content type “multimedia”.

(see also Sound and Moving Images’ Subject Guide to Films and Videos)


Manuscripts and Illuminations

(see also Medieval Studies Research Guide)

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