Alexander Street’s social and cultural history projects offer something entirely new and critically important—personal, contemporaneous, and first-person accounts, history as experienced by the individuals who lived through and created it.
These are primary documents in the truest sense. Previously unheard voices of ordinary people, regional and diverse, fill the collections alongside those of famous figures.
Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online
Imagine seeing into the minds of tens of thousands of individuals and knowing the details of their lives within seconds. Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online allows today’s readers to feel and understand what it was like to be a person of any time, race, ethnicity, or gender, experiencing the past viscerally — through personal and private writings presented as searchable full-text documents, audio files, images, and online videos. The most comprehensive archive of social memory yet created, Letters and Diaries Online is the ideal starting point for historians, sociologists, genealogists, linguists, and psychologists who want to explore and analyze human experiences.
Heard Together at Last
The first-person narratives of people from diverse groups, famous and ordinary, and from all walks of life, can at last be heard together, in writings that are frank, detailed, and personal. In their own words, 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. There are contemporaneous letters, diaries, interviews, and speeches by women from around the world discussing life events ranging from childbirth to death of a child, political figures describing how they became activists, American Civil War soldiers writing from the battlefields and from hospitals, and immigrants describing ship passages and first impressions of America.
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