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ILRLR 2070: Migrants and Immigrants- Moving to Work in the 19th-20th Century: Primary Sources in the Library

Primary Sources

Primary sources are actual records that have survived from the past, such as photographs, articles of clothing, oral histories, etc. Written primary sources include news reports, cases, letters, and other papers written during an era or historical event.

The Kheel Center contains many primary artifacts and documents that illuminate labor and workplace history - specifically of the needle trades, railroads, teachers, arbitration, mediation, and management theory. Many primary resources have been digitized and are available via websites and library subscription databases.

Some primary sources, like government documents, can be located by searching the Cornell University Library catalog and narrowing results by date range and format.

Databases and Online Collections

Here are Cornell subscription or recommended collections of digital primary documents.  Most of these links will take you to online collections with some digital full text.  However, for some searches, you will only retrieve information about physical collections located in libraries and other institutions.

Statistical Data

Annex Requests

The Library Annex is our off-site storage location (it's on Palm Road, near the the Cornell Orchards). You can request to have those books and journals delivered to a library on campus. Deliveries are made mornings, Monday-Friday, usually about a day after you make the request. Here's how to request annex items:

  1. Retrieve the catalog record of the item in question.
  2. Click on Request item.
  3. Unless you've already logged in, you'll be prompted for your netid and password.
  4. Using the pull-down menu, choose "Book Delivery Services."

The Annex also has its own reading room. The address is Palm Road, off Route 366, and the hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

Newspaper Databases

Licensed Databases of Newspapers

Free collections of newspapers

Additional Periodicals and Publications