Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online combines all of the content from Alexander Street’s seven award-winning collections of letters, diaries, and oral histories together with a growing archive of additional content in what is the single most comprehensive archive of social memory ever created. Combined, the materials in this vast collection offer something entirely new and critically important for history research—personal, contemporaneous, first-person accounts—history as experienced by the individuals who lived through and created it. The voices of ordinary people, unheard until now, live alongside those of famous figures. These are primary documents in the truest sense.
Imagine seeing into the minds of tens of thousands of individuals and knowing the details of their lives within seconds. These personal and private writings allow today’s reader to feel and understand what it was like to be a person of another time, race, ethnicity, or gender, making Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online the ideal starting point for historians, sociologists, genealogists, linguists, and psychologists who want to explore and analyze human experiences.
Brought together under a unified search interface is all the premium content from the following Alexander Street individual collections:
The project also links to, indexes, and makes cross searchable more than 700,000 full-text pages of oral histories from open-access Web resources around the world, hand-selected by Alexander Street editors for their value to researchers.
Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing makes everything searchable together, including the free Web resources, for a consolidated search result. Searches like these are easy from a single screen:
The voices of people from diverse groups, famous and ordinary, can at last be heard together. People across time and place tell us about their lives, loves, careers, challenges, accomplishments, spiritual paths, identity struggles, political activities, and countless other life events. Women from around the world discuss life events ranging from childbirth to death of a child. Political figures describe how they became activists. Soldiers write from battlefields, prisons, and hospital deathbeds. Immigrants describe ship passages and first impressions of America. Virtually every subject is addressed, and the words are frank, detailed, and personal.
Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online is available on the Web through annual subscription, with prices scaled to materials budget. Libraries that have purchased perpetual rights to one or more of the Alexander Street collections of letters and diaries will pay reduced subscription rates.