I need a primary source now!

Having trouble finding primary sources? Want to research outside of Special Collections hours? Can’t visit Hornbake Library in person? No problem! This post is all about finding digitized primary sources in Special Collections and University Archives at UMD.


We have lots of digitized material from Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland that is available 24/7!  Look through photographs, documents, film, and audio on our Digital Collections site, browse photographs and documents on Flickr, and read books and periodicals on the Internet Archive.

Here’s a list of places to look online for our digitized content:

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AFL-CIO Merger

In Commemoration
of the AFL-CIO’s 60th Anniversary

Before 1955, the AFL (American Federation of Labor) and the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) were separate, competing organizations.

The two organizations chose to merge in 1955 to strengthen the labor movement and help eliminate competition between unions and workers.

This is a “behind the scenes” look at the logistics involved in working out the details of the merger among members of the AFL-CIO Unity Subcommittee and the earliest attempts at unity with the No-Raiding Agreement. See Meany’s notes on the constitution draft, handwritten minutes from the Unity Subcommittee about early plans for merging departmental staff, and correspondence between Meany and Reuther about the progress of the merger.

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The Alice 150 Years and Counting Online Exhibit is Here!


The wait is over, Alice fans! You can now view the online exhibit for Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll!

All your favorite items from the exhbiit will be available for your viewing pleasure including items that won’t be on display in Hornbake Library until next year!

Alice exhibit website with an orange Chesire Cat in a tree on a beige background. Alice with a long neck is below the image on the right of the text about the site.

The site is mobile compatible so you can get your Alice 150 fix anywhere, at any place, at any time. You can learn more about Lewis Carroll while drinking your morning coffee, peruse the international Alice illustrated books as you wait for class to start, go beyond Wonderland to the world of Alice advertisements in between sandwich bites, and read up on the collectors of the exhibit, August and Clare Imholtz, while waiting for the bus.

Check out the online exhibit today!

AFL-CIO News is Online!

AFL-CIO News is Online!

The AFL-CIO News is a publication produced by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) from 1955-1996. Before the AFL and CIO merged in 1955, they each published their own newspaper.  The AFL news-reporter was published from 1951-1955, and the CIO News was published from 1937-1955.

In 2014/2015 the University of Maryland was able to digitize about half of the AFL-CIO News. Volumes 1-25 (1956-1980) are available online in the Internet Archive; each volume can be searched separately by keyword.  Volumes 26-40 (1981-1996) will be digitized next year. We hope to digitize the CIO News in future years.

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The AFL news-reporter is available online in the HathiTrust Digital Library (limited search only).

Our Special Collections in Labor History & Workplace Studies also have the original cartoon drawings printed in the AFL-CIO News by LeBaron Coakley, John Stampone, and Bernard Seaman.


Explore our Labor History Subject Guide, or contact a curator for more information!

Labor History Wikipedia Edit-a-thon


Hornbake Library

Friday, May 1, 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Join a community interested in promoting labor history by editing the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Part celebration and part workshop, Edit-a-Thons are organized around a single topic as a means to build awareness and community.  We’ll draw content from labor-related collections at the University of Maryland, including the recently acquired AFL-CIO Archives. No editing or technical experience necessary. All participants will receive complimentary issues of Labor’s Heritage journal. As part of a nationwide effort, other libraries with significant labor collections will also participate.

Event details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/UMDLabor

This event is followed by:

AFL-CIO Archive Reception & Tour, 4:30 – 6:00 pm

George Meany

George Meany

Join us for a unique opportunity to view the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive, a prestigious archive originally at the National Labor College. These rich archives provide a unique history of the labor struggle in the United States and internationally. See behind the scenes in the archives stacks: labor cartoons, buttons, pins, and memorabilia.  Civil Rights and Labor items will be on display in the Maryland Room. In addition, view labor-related materials, including photographs, censored newspaper articles, posters,  and magazines, from the Gordon W. Prange Collection, the largest archive in the world of Japanese print publications from the early years of the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949.



American Archive of Public Broadcasting Launches New Website

AAPB_Logo_Color_1Line A new website, americanarchive.org, provides the public with access to a collection of American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s. These audio and video materials, created by more than 120 public broadcasting organizations across the country, have now been digitized and preserved, and will be a resource for scholars, researchers, educators, filmmakers and the general public to delve into the rich history of public broadcasting across America. We proudly contributed to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The website will initially provide access to 2.5 million inventory records created during the American Archive Content Inventory Project. The records will provide information about which public media video and audio materials have been digitized and preserved in the AAPB, indicate which video and audio files are available for research on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and highlight the participating stations. Contributing stations’ histories, information about significant productions and resources for participating organizations will be available online.

The collection includes interviews and performances by local and national luminaries from a broad variety of professions and cultural genres. Just a few examples of the items in the collection include:

  • Iowa Public Television’s interview with Olympic runner Jesse Owens, recorded in 1979, the last year of his life;
  • KUSC’s (Los Angeles) broadcast of commentary by George Lucas on the original three Star Wars movies;
  • Twin Cities Public Television’s recording of a 1960 interview with presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey; and
  • WGBH’s 1967 interviews with then-California Governor Ronald Reagan.

Between April and October, WGBH and the Library of Congress will continue development of the AAPB website. By October, video and audio content will be accessible for the public to stream on the website’s Online Reading Room. Curated collections of video and audio by scholars and the AAPB staff will focus on topics of historical significance.

More information is available on the American Archive blog at americanarchivepb.wordpress.com

Announcing “A Colony in Crisis”

A Colony in CrisisWe are happy to announce the debut of the Colony in Crisis website, where you will find a collection of digitized and translated French pamphlets dealing with the Saint-Domingue grain shortage of 1789. To facilitate access to each pamphlet, we have brought together the French original, a brief historical introduction, and a translation. While the subject matter will be of interest to those interested in a variety of fields such as Atlantic History, the Ancien Régime, and the Haitian Revolution, the primary goal of A Colony in Crisis is to get these fascinating and underutilized pamphlets into more hands and shed light on an interesting chapter in the history of Saint-Domingue. We expect it will be especially useful for undergraduate courses needing primary source materials that have been translated into English, but we welcome feedback as to the many other potential uses. Thank you to the Board of Advisors and the many colleagues who contributed; without their assistance the site would not be going live today!