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The digital collections of the Library of Congress include several deep dives into local history in different regions of the country. A selection of these resources is provided below with links to the home pages for each relevant archive.
Covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams.
Comprises first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs in an attempt to capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century.
Portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories, ethnographic and antiquarian texts, colonial archival documents, and other works drawn from the Library of Congress's General Collections as well as the Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
Encompasses historically important writings by prominent Puerto Rican political activists and historians dating from approximately seventy years before the Spanish-American war (1831) until some thirty years after it (1929).
Produced by the Japanese-Americans interned at assembly centers and relocation centers around the country during World War II. They include articles written in English and Japanese, typed, handwritten and drawn. They advertise community events, provide logistical information about the camps and relocation, report on news from the community, and include editorials.
This collection ranges from maps that depict individual buildings to panoramic views of large urban areas. These maps record the evolution of cities illustrating the development and nature of economic activities, educational and religious facilities, parks, street patterns and widths, and transportation systems.
These maps show campaigns of major military conflicts including troop movements, defensive structures and groundworks, roads to and from sites of military engagements, campsites, and local buildings, topography and vegetation. Some of the maps are manuscripts drawn on the field of battle, while others are engraved including some that have manuscript annotations reflecting the history of the battle or campaign. Browse this category by location.
The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird's-eye views, perspective maps, and aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Although not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective.
This collection contains cartographic items used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps were from Rochambeau's personal collection, cover much of eastern North America, and date from 1717 to 1795.
Created for a very wide range of cities and towns from about the mid-1850s to the mid-1950s, these often contain detailed information about a specific building and the buildings surrounding it. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Online Checklist provides a searchable database of the fire insurance maps published by the Sanborn Map Company housed in the collections of the Geography and Map Division. The online checklist is based upon the Library's 1981 publication, "Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress" and will be continually updated to reflect new acquisitions. Browse the collection by location.
Images of Locations (Buildings, Communities, Regions)
In 1943, Ansel Adams (1902-1984), America's most well-known photographer, documented the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California and the Japanese-Americans interned there during World War II. Although a majority of the more than 200 photographs are portraits, the images also include views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities.
This collection, created primarily in the 1930s, provides more than 7,100 images showing an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Johnston’s interests resulted in vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings.
This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States.
Grabill's images capture the forces of western settlement in South Dakota and Wyoming and document its effects on the area's indigenous communities. The collection includes railroad development, coaches and wagons, mining, smeltering, and milling, freighting, emerging cities and towns, parades, cattle roundups and branding, sheepherding, prospecting, hunting, and Chinese immigrants, as well as landscapes.
The collection includes photographs, measured drawings, and written historical documentation on thousands of structures from about 1933 to the present. Search the collection to find the communities and buildings where your ancestors lived, worked, or visited.