History Newsletter February 2024

We issue this newsletter twice yearly.  Old newsletter issues.

We are always happy to give you a tour of Widener and an orientation to our catalog, HOLLIS, and our other resources.


Finding Archival Collections workshop
Friday, February 23, 2024
10:30am-12:00pm, via Zoom
Register to attend

Research Librarians Fred Burchsted and Anna Assogba will talk about different avenues for finding archival/manuscript collections, both in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Attendees will also practice developing a good research strategy for finding archival materials relevant to a specific topic or question. 

Note: Archival/manuscript collections in this context refers to original, digital, or surrogate copies of the records or personal papers of organizations, governments, and individuals. 

This is an Unabridged “Bookends” workshop. Bookends workshops are designed for graduate students (but all are welcome), with topics that complement Unabridged’s January intensive. More program details on our website.

Researching Minority Health and Medical Disparities in the US
Thursday, April 18, 2024
12:00pm - 1:00pm, via Zoom
Register to attend

Research Librarians Emily Bell and Fred Burchsted will discuss methods for finding documentation of health disparities in US history: abuse, stigma, unequal access of health care and health education across population groups. Sources may include personal narratives and oral histories, contemporary newspaper accounts, notebooks and correspondence, scholarly articles; images, data and more.
This session is available to the Harvard community and will include material available only to current Harvard faculty, staff and students.

Student Assistant for Research Services

Opening for In-person Library Reference Work in Widener Library for Harvard graduate students

  • Do you enjoy helping others find information? 
  • Would you like to expand your own library research skill set?  

Apply to the position of Student Assistant for Research Services, providing in-person reference assistance to the Harvard community and beyond! Please see the job description attached at the bottom of this page for more details. To apply, email Anna Assogba (assogba@fas.harvard.edu) with your CV/resume and a letter including:

  • Your interest in the position
  • Your relevant qualifications
  • Your HUID #
  • Your availability to work Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm

Applications due Wednesday, February 21st, 2024.

Digital Scholarship Workshops

The DSSG website lists other workshops and general information about digital scholarship support.

Zotero workshops

Attend a Zotero class to learn how to:

  • Easily save references
  • Organize PDFs
  • Create in-text citations & footnotes
  • Create bibliographies automatically

 Find dates for online and in-person classes and register at: https://bit.ly/Harvard-Zotero-classes 

Colonial Sources in LLMC

LLMC has numerous colonial era government documents worldwide, largely legislative, constitutional, and legal, but with some other types of material. Limit to a particular country by browsing under Online Services, or limit a Search Collections search. Official Reports may include League of Nations Mandate reports. The Treatises sections often include guides to government publications as well as legal treatises.

Under Special Focus Collections:

Finding Digital Collections in WorldCat.org

Although numerous digital collections or primary source materials are included in WorldCat FirstSearch (Harvard's subscribed access to WorldCat), it is difficult to isolate them from the innumerable ebook records. WorldCat.org offers a better search for digital collections.

Go to Advanced Search in WorldCat.org (hit cryptic symbol to the right of the simple search box). Under Format, change from All formats to Website.  You can limit to Open Access on the Results page.  For subscription databases, go to HOLLIS Databases for access.

This search is not exhaustive. Numerous libraries contribute to WorldCat, and each has it's own tagging habits.

Overviews of Local Archival/Library Resources

There are many books that can give you an overview of the archival/library resources of a city or region.  

Example:  Tinker guide to Latin American and Caribbean policy and scholarly resources in metropolitan New York, ed. by Ronald G. Hellman & Beth Kempler Pfannl. NY: Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, 1988,  217 p. HOLLIS Record

Find them with searches of the form:
Subject exact phrase: Washington, DC
Subject contains: “Archives Resources” OR “Library Resources”

Adding the Subject term Archives (“Archives Resources” OR “Library Resources” OR Archives) adds many publications on particular repositories and archival collections.  You may need to add another line for topical terms, e.g., “Latin America” OR Brazil.    Example for Paris

An excellent Brown University guide: Library Resources outside the U.S.

ProQuest Databases

ProQuest Central includes several databases of full-text academic journals. Coverage is largely late 1990s on.

Harvard Library Research Guides

The Middle East and Islamic Studies Library Resources guide has been revised with a section on transliteration

Non-Harvard Resources

Liberation Journals Index is an analytic, searchable, online index covering the interwar Pan-African periodicals La Revue du Monde Noir, Légitime Défense, L’Étudiant Noir, the wartime Tropiques, and the postwar Présence Africaine, as well as the Québécois journal Liberté.

Global Journals Portal: "a census of 1000 non-European and/or diasporic critical and cultural periodicals, published in the aftermaths of the revolutionary movements at the end of the 18th century to the end of the two blocs world in 1989". Description: Journal Portal for Scholars of Decolonial and Diaspora Studies.  Based on Art global et périodiques culturels one of the many databases in  AGORHA: Plateforme de données de la recherche de l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art.

Eagle-i Internet Portal for Law offers links to online/digitized legal material worldwide. It is a useful complement to LLMC Digital (Go to Online Services browse LLMC collections).

The FLAG Foreign Law Guide gives details of holdings of foreign, international and comparative law in the UK's academic, national and specialist law libraries.

New News Resources

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Daily Observer. Liberia (1981-2016)

El Mundo Puerto Rico (1919-1990)

El Informador (1917-2008) Mexico

New E-Resources

Asia  --   Europe  --   Latin America  --  Middle East  --  North America  --  Russia/Central Asia


China Historical Christian Database (CHCD) quantifies and visualizes the place of Christianity in modern China (1550-1950).


Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Europe and Latin America, 1960-1969 (ProQuest History Vault)

Creation of Israel: British Foreign Office Correspondence on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1948 (ProQuest History Vault)

Nazi Looted Art and Assets: Records on the Post-World War II Restitution Process (ProQuest History Vault)

World War I: British Foreign Office Political Correspondence (ProQuest History Vault)

Latin America

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Europe and Latin America, 1960-1969 (ProQuest History Vault)

Middle East

Creation of Israel: British Foreign Office Correspondence on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1948 (ProQuest History Vault)

North America

African American Police League Records, 1961-1988 (ProQuest History Vault)

American Politics and Society from JFK to Watergate, 1960–1975 (ProQuest History Vault)

American Politics in the Early Cold War—Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, 1945-1961 (ProQuest History Vault)

Americans for Democratic Action Records, 1932-1999 (ProQuest History Vault)

New Deal and World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies (ProQuest History Vault)

Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Records (ProQuest History Vault)

Progressive Era: Robert M. La Follette Papers (1879-1924) (ProQuest History Vault)

Reverend J. H. Jackson and the National Baptist Convention, 1900-1990 (ProQuest History Vault)

Southern Women and their Families in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Holdings of the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (ProQuest History Vault)

Students for a Democratic Society, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement (1958-1981) (ProQuest History Vault)

Temperance and Prohibition Movement, 1830-1933 (ProQuest History Vault)

Thomas A. Edison Papers (ProQuest History Vault)

Voting rights & election law

Foreign Relations

CIA Cold War Research Reports and Records on Communism in China and Eastern Europe, 1917-1976 (ProQuest History Vault)

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Europe and Latin America, 1960-1969 (ProQuest History Vault)

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Africa and the Middle East (ProQuest History Vault)

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Asia (ProQuest History Vault)


American Federation of Labor Records: The Samuel Gompers Era, 1877-1937 (ProQuest History Vault)

Labor and employment : the American worker

Labor Priests: Progressive Politics and the Catholic Church, John A. Ryan Papers, 1892-1945 (ProQuest History Vault)

Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO (ProQuest History Vault)

Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century: Federal Records (ProQuest History Vault)


Confederate Military Manuscripts and Records of Union Generals and the Union Army (ProQuest History Vault)

Japanese American Incarceration: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946 (ProQuest History Vault)

New Deal and World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies (ProQuest History Vault)

Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War (ProQuest History Vault)

Women at Work during World War II: Rosie the Riveter and the Women's Army Corps (ProQuest History Vault)

World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era (ProQuest History Vault)

World War II: U.S. Documents on Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Axis War Crimes, and Refugees (ProQuest History Vault)