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New: American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990

The Cornell Library has purchased access to a new digital collection, The American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990, one of the collections forming The Making of the Modern Law produced by Gale-Cengage.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has throughout its history consistently stood at the center of controversies involving the rights of Americans. Its records offer researchers a unique view of the inner workings of the organization and the hundreds of groups with which the ACLU interacted. Covering the years from before the ACLU’s official founding in 1920 through the 20th century, this archive offers an array of primary source materials on some of the most important issues that affected the United States.

These papers consists of two major collections comprising myriad subseries. The Roger Baldwin Years, 1912-1950, contains subseries with clippings and files on academic freedom; censorship; legislation; federal departments and federal legislation; state activities; conscientious objectors; injunctions; and labor and labor organization correspondence. Years of Expansion, 1950-1990, encompasses foundation project files on the Amnesty Project, 1964-1980; the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, 1964-1976; and subject files on freedom of belief, expression, and association; due process of law; equality before the law; international civil liberties; and legal case files, 1933-1990.


What is ScanIt?

You may have noticed a new option at the bottom of records in the new catalog for “request a scan of an article or chapter.”  When you click that button, you’ll be asked to log in to the Interlibrary Loan/My Document system in order to place the request. The Library has had this option for articles/chapters from books, journals, microfilm, etc. at the Library Annex for years, and it’s always been free.  Scans from the Annex will continue to be free, but we’ve recently expanded the service to other libraries (for a small fee) and given it the name of ScanIt.

ScanIt is a service for Cornell students, faculty and staff that provides electronic scans of articles and book chapters from material held by Cornell University Library. The Ithaca campus libraries provide this service to all Cornell faculty, students, and staff regardless of location.


Is there a fee for ScanIt?

The fee for scans of articles from most collections held by Cornell University Library is $4.00 for up to 30 pages.

Scans of material held in the Library Annex are always free. Articles obtained on Interlibrary Loan for titles not held in the Cornell Library are always free. Other instances where articles are free:

  • On-campus patrons who are permanently or temporarily disabled.
  • You are away from campus doing research or you work in an off-campus Cornell office, e.g. faculty and staff at the Geneva Experiment Station.

If you believe you are eligible for a fee exemption please indicate the reason in the “notes” field of your request upon submission.

How do I pay for articles that are not exempt from the fee?

Payment is accepted securely online via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Payment is made once the article is available for viewing. Departmental account charges can also be accepted by contacting the staff in your nearest interlibrary loan processing unit.

What items can be scanned?

  • Articles from journals, conference proceedings and newspapers
  • Book chapters
  • Parts of musical works
  • Parts from manuscripts
  • Pamphlets
  • Documents from CDs
  • Microform material held at the Library Annex

Materials not available for scanning:

  • Microform items held by any other library except the Library Annex
  • Items held in the Division of Rare and Manuscripts (contact them directly)
  • Items already available electronically
  • Items restricted by copyright policy
  • Maps

How soon can I expect my article?

Most ScanIt requests are available in about 48 hours; however, we cannot guarantee a 48 hour turnaround time.

What are the limitations on scanning?

  • We must adhere to copyright fair use guidelines in providing articles and book chapters through ScanIt.
  • Articles are provided for the purpose of private study or research. Any other use may require the permission of the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the requestor to comply with all applicable copyright laws.
  • We can only provide one article or chapter from a book or single issue of a journal at a time.
  • The Library Annex will scan up to 50 pages.
  • Documents are scanned at 300 dpi, black and white, but color is available upon request. Note that images are not generally print-quality.

How do I place a request?

Log into Interlibrary Loan and ScanIt using your NetID and password. The first time you use this service you will have to register. The first time you register you will need to select your processing unit. This is the unit that will receive and process your request: Olin Library, Mann Library, the Law Library or the Veterinary Library.

  • Select “Request an article.”
  • If you are willing to pay the fee for scans of non-exempt articles, select “yes.” If you are not willing to pay, or the article will be exempt from fee, leave the selection at “no” or select “exempt.” Please indicate reason for exemption in the “notes” field.
  • Fill in your citation information and submit request.

You will receive an e-mail notification when your article is available to view through your ScanIt account. All articles will remain available for viewing in your account for 30 days.


Contact a library:

Library Phone Email
Olin Library (607)255-9564
Mann or Veterinary Library 607)255-7754
Law Library 607)255-5750

Smithsonian Collections Online

Smithsonian Collections Online Logo


Smithsonian Collections Online offer rich digitized primary source materials from the Smithsonian’s museums, libraries, and archives. Cornell now subscribes to these three collections:


Images of Trade Literature and the Merchandizing of Industry

Trade Literature and the Merchandizing of Industry
This collection is comprised of items selected from the National Museum of American History Archives Center and Smithsonian Libraries and covers approximately 1820-1926. It allows researchers to:

  • Determine the history of companies/industries
  • Analyze marketing and management techniques
  • Examine illustrations of the items Americans used at home and in business

The collection exposes technological advances over time, changes in fashion/design, architectural advances, societal changes, and business history. In doing so, it reveals vital aspects of our culture, society, and history, making Trade Literature and the Merchandizing of Industry an ideal complement to Making of the Modern World, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Sabin Americana, and Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888-2010.

Key research areas covered include:

  • Railroads and railway equipment
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Transportation equipment
  • Power generation
  • Building and construction
  • Iron and steel
  • Mines and mining equipment
  • Motorized vehicles



World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow

This collection documents landmark exhibits from 1840 to 1940.  Materials drawn from the Smithsonian Libraries, Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, Smithsonian Libraries, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library, the Archives Center, and the Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of American History Library include:

  • Books of the Fairs: From the Holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
  • General histories, exhibition catalogs, official histories, commemorative accounts, exposition publications, visitors’ guides, lectures, technical reports, promotional publications, and more
  • Exposition Records of the Smithsonian and the United States National Museum, 1867-1940
  • Larry Zim World’s Fair Collection, 1841-1988 (panoramas, postcards, photos, ephemera — content included only up to 1940)
  • Selections from the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, c.1723-1977 (content included only up to 1926)

Images of World’s Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow

The international nature of the collection is illustrated in the comprehensive range of material. A partial list includes: London, Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851); Melbourne, International Exhibition (1880); Barcelona, Exposición Universal (1888); Paris, Exposition universelle (1889); Chicago, World Columbian Exposition (1893); and Rio de Janeiro, Exposição Nacional (1908).

The unique insights in this collection provide rich fodder for the study of:

  • History
  • Architecture and Industrial Design
  • Fine Arts and Decorative Arts
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Gender and Ethnic Studies
  • Photography
  • And other disciplines

Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive (1970-present)

Images of Air & Space and Smithsonian Magazine Archive

Not just limited to the American experience, Smithsonian Magazine is a great source for those researching and traveling the world outside of the U.S. as well as an excellent repository of articles on important science and technological discoveries and advances.


For help with any aspect of the library or research, please don’t hesitate to contact Cornell’s Ask a Librarian reference service.


More Historical Newspapers

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Defender

Over the summer the Library purchased the digital backfiles of three more historical newspapers: The Baltimore Sun, The New York Tribune/Herald Tribune, and The Globe and Mail.  All three of are available through the collection Proquest Historical Newspapers and can be searched individually or with the other titles in the collection.

Cornell now has access to 15 titles:

Baltimore Sun (1837-1990)
Boston Globe (1872-1984)
Chicago Defender (1909-1975)
Chicago Tribune (1849-1991)
Chinese Newspapers Collection (1832-1953)
Globe and Mail (1844-2012)
Hartford Courant (1764-1990)
Los Angeles Times (1881-1991)
New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
New York Times (1851-2011)
New York Tribune / Herald Tribune (1841-1962)
Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
Times of India (1838-2005)
Wall Street Journal (1889-1997)
Washington Post (1877-1998)

More recent issues of these newspapers are often available through other databases such as FactivaLexis-Nexis Academic, or Library PressDisplay.

Additional newspaper resources are described on this research guide: American Historical Newspapers Online.

Contact Ask a Librarian for help with newspapers or other questions.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post


SPARK Talks: A New Opportunity for Grad Students and Post Docs

spark-logoAs academic pursuits grow ever more complex and specialized, it’s critically important that scholars know how to clearly communicate their research, whether to undergraduates in the classroom, prospective employers, funding agencies, or to the general public. With this in mind, the Library presents SPARK Talks — a series of 5-minute lightning talks by CU grad students and postdocs that offer them opportunities to present their research to a diverse audience, get feedback, and network with other scholars.

This event is held once a year in the fall and is held at a library.

Each SPARK Talks has an interdisciplinary theme.

Questions? Visit our FAQ or contact us. Interested in presenting?  Apply today.

Gale’s Nineteenth Century Collections Online now available

Nineteenth Century Collections Online provides full-text, searchable content from a broad range of primary sources including a variety of material types: monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more. Selected with guidance of an international team of experts, these primary sources cover a wide range of academic disciplines and areas of study. They include works in Western and non-Western languages, and are sourced from rare collections at libraries and other venerable institutions from around the globe.

Special Cornell link that can be used in Blackboard, as a browser bookmark, or in email:

Note that NCCO consists of 12 parts, Cornell has access to 9 to date:

  • British politics and society
    Includes tens of thousands of primary sources related to the political climate in Great Britain during the “long” nineteenth century. From Home Office records and papers of British statesmen to working class autobiographies and ordnance surveys, British Politics And Society is a remarkable resource for scholars looking to uncover new connections or explore new directions in understanding 19th century British political and social history. British Politics And Society enables researchers to explore such topics as British domestic and foreign policy, trade unions, Chartism, utopian socialism, public protest, radical movements, the cartographic record, political reform, education, family relationships, religion, leisure, and many others.
  • Asia and the West: diplomacy and cultural exchange
    Features primary source collections related to international relations between Asian countries and the West during the 19th century. These invaluable documents include government reports, diplomatic correspondence, periodicals, newspapers, treaties, trade agreements, NGO papers, and more. This unmatched resource allows scholars to explore in great detail the history of British and U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy; Asian political, economic, and social affairs; the Philippine Insurrection; the Opium Wars; the Boxer Rebellion; missionary activity in Asia; and other topics. This resource also includes personal letters and diaries, as well as nautical charts, maps, shipping ledgers, company records, and expedition and survey reports for more than a century of world history.
  • British theatre, music, and literature : high and popular culture
    Features primary sources related to the arts in the Victorian era, from playbills and scripts to operas and complete scores. These rare documents, many of them never before available, were sourced from the British Library and other renowned institutions, and curated by experts in British arts history. Interest in the arts became big business in the Victorian era, as a burgeoning middle class became patrons. This resource explores Victorian popular culture, penny dreadfuls, music, the history of the English stage, the Royal Literary Fund, and more, and provides a detailed look at the state of the British art world with not only manuscripts and compositions, but also documents like personal letters, annotated programs, meeting minutes, and financial records.
  • European literature, 1790-1840 : the Corvey collection
    Includes the full-text of more than 9,500 English, French, and German titles. The collection is sourced from the remarkable library of Victor Amadeus, whose Castle Corvey collection was one of the most spectacular discoveries of the late 1970s. The Corvey Collection—one of the most important collections of Romantic era writing in existence—includes fiction, short prose, dramatic works, poetry, and more, with a focus on especially difficult-to-find works by lesser-known, historically neglected writers. As a resource for Romantic literature and historical studies, the Corvey Collection is unmatched. It provides a wealth of fully searchable content with digital research tools that enable scholars to uncover new relationships among authors and works, on range of topics including Romantic literary genres; mutual influences of British, French and German Romanticism; literary culture; women writers of the period; the canon; Romantic aesthetics; and many others.
  • Europe and Africa : commerce, Christianity, civilization, and conquest
    Many research topics emerged from the colonial conquest and the legacy of slavery in modern South African society—the Anglo-Boer War, imperial policy, and race classification among them—that this volatile corner of 19th-century history draws enduring interest from scholars and students. To support their research, Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Europe And Africa: Commerce, Christianity, Civilization, And Conquest delivers monographs, manuscripts, and newspaper accounts covering key issues of economics, world politics, and international strategy.
  • Photography: the world through the lens
    Assembles collections of photographs, photograph albums, and photographically illustrated books and texts on the early history of photography from libraries and archives worldwide, delivering approximately 2 million photographs from Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. While some images are well known, many have rarely been viewed. Key areas of research covered include: exploration and travel; empire, colonization, and life in colonized regions; topography and archaeology; daily life in 19th century in countries across the globe; people and portraiture; science, medicine, and criminology; photography as reproduction of art works; and key events and wars.
  • Science, technology, and medicine : 1780-1925 parts II & II
    The collection consists primarily of two components: Journals track the connection between major episodes in the history of science, specifically in general science, medicine, biology, entomology, botany, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geology, paleontology, and technology. Monographs in the hard and social sciences touch upon the history of anthropology, archeology, ecology, public health, sanitation, geography, oceanography, astronomy, industrial and battlefield technology, and the philosophy of science.
  • Women: transnational networks
    Issues of gender and class ignited 19th century debate in the context of suffrage movements, culture, immigration, health, and many other concerns. Using a wide array of primary source documents, Nineteenth Century Collections Online: Women: Transnational Networks focuses on issues at the intersection of gender and class from the late 18th century to the era of suffrage in the early 20th century, all through a transnational perspective. The collection contains deep information on European and North American movements, but also expands its scope to include collections from other regions. Researchers and scholars will find rare content related to social reform movements and groups, high and “low” culture, literature and the arts, immigration, daily life, religion, and more.

Gale’s Artemis platform allows basic text mining of these collections:

State Papers Online Eighteenth Century part I, 1714‐1782: Domestic – now available


State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782, part 1: Domestic, Military, Naval and Reigsters of the Privy Council, represents the final section of the State Papers series from the National Archives in the UK before the series was closed and replaced by the Home Office and Foreign Office series in 1782. Covering the reigns of the Hanover rulers George I (1714-1727), George II (1727-1760) and part of the reign of George III (up to 1782), the series provides unparalleled access to thousands of manuscripts that reveal the behind the scenes, day to day running of government  during the eighteenth century.

Special Cornell link that can be used in Blackboard, as a browser bookmark, or in email:

Cambridge Archive Editions Online — now available


Cambridge Archive Editions Online presents a wealth of historical reference materials which otherwise would remain unknown, difficult to access, or fragmentary. Considered collectively, this body of documents represents many thousands of original documents of the National Archives (UK) represented in facsimile, including numerous maps, on the national heritage and political development of many countries. The value and discoverability of this content is enhanced immeasurably through CAE’s document-level citations and rich indexing. For many years CAE has specialized in the history of the Middle East, Russia and the Balkans, the Caucasus, Southeast Asia, and China and the Far East. Now, through collaboration between Cambridge University Press and East View, these materials are made searchable and accessible as never before in e-book form.

Special Cornell link that can be used in Blackboard, as a browser bookmark, or to email to students:

Gale’s Slavery & Anti-Slavery digital collection –parts II-IV now available

Gale’s Slavery & Anti-Slavery collection consists of four parts:

  • Slavery and Anti-Slavery Part I: Debates over Slavery and Abolition
  • Part II: Slave Trade in the Atlantic World
  • Part III: Institution of Slavery
  • Part IV: Age of Emancipation

From the Gale site:

Part II, The Slave Trade in the Atlantic World  covers the inception of slavery in Africa and its rise throughout the Atlantic world, with particular focus on the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.  This collection features a wide range of materials, from monographs and individual papers to company records, newspapers, and a variety of government documents. More international in scope than Part I, this collection was developed by an international editorial board with scholars specializing in European, African, Latin American/Caribbean, and United States aspects of the slave trade.

Part III: The Institution of Slavery explores in vivid detail the inner workings of slavery from 1492-1888. Through legal documents, plantation records, first-person accounts, newspapers, government records and other primary sources, Part III reveals how enslaved people struggled against the institution. Sourced from the National Archives at Kew, the British Library, the U.S. National Archives  and the University of Miami, among others, these rare works explore such topics as slavery as a legal and labor system; the relationship between slavery and religion; freed slaves; the Shong Massacre; the Dememara insurrection; and many others.

Part IV: The Age of Emancipation includes a range of rare documents related to emancipation in the United States, as well as Latin America, the Caribbean, and other areas of the world. From the time of the American Revolution, when northern states freed relatively small numbers of slaves, to later periods when an increasingly large free black community was developing, emancipation was a long-sought dream, and ultimately a political and moral expectation.

Special Cornell link that can be used in Blackboard, as a browser bookmark, or to email to students:

African Blue Books, 1821-1953 – now available online

About “African Blue Books, 1821-1953” from the British Online Archives site:

The Blue Book was a key item of considerable standing in 19th century colonial administration.

With a particular focus on the latter nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the focus of these Blue Books is upon economic development; imports, exports and each territory’s balance sheets are a recurring theme throughout. Ecclesiastical records, public works and population statistics are also common themes. The enforcement of the Blue Book structure upon various territories has resulted in some degree of standardisation where administrations were compliant. Analysis of the data within these documents and the different emphases as governments changed, reveals patterns of social change during a period for which limited other records are available.

Colonial Regulations of the time state that:

“The Annual Blue Book containing accounts of the Civil Establishment, of the Colonial Revenue and Expenditure and of various statistical particulars etc. must be completed as early as possible after the close of each year. The various returns which it comprises must be filled up with the greatest possible accuracy and the Statistical Tables must be full and complete, blank copies of the book in sheets will be annually transmitted to each Colony from the Colonial Office”.

The bare statistical material which the Blue Book provided was somewhat daunting, and the annual report was intended to present in a readable form the gist of the information which the book contained. The directions given in the Colonial Regulations referred to above to colonial governors as to the compilation of the annual report were somewhat terse: “The Governor, in transmitting the ‘Blue Book’ to this Department, must accompany it with a report which should be written on one side of the paper only, exhibiting generally the past and present state of the Colony and its prospects under the several heads specified in the Book…”

Not all governors, however, provided reports of the required standard.  In 1887 governors were informed that, whereas hitherto it had been the practice to wait until a sufficient number of reports had been received, to form a volume, it was now proposed to publish reports separately as they arrived, but, it was added, “It has been decided only to publish the more interesting and important Reports,..because in some cases the Reports contain too little to be worth producing separately”.

With the quality of the Annual Reports so variable, the more rigorously standardised Blue Books gain an increased significance through their increased level of, though certainly not absolute, reliability. In May, 1904 the Foreign Office decided that something must be done about the annual reports “to put the condition of our Protectorates more clearly before the House and the Public”. The Indian “small Blue Book” was examined as a possible model and rejected as too detailed; in any case it was felt that it would:

“be preferable for our Protectorates, which must before long be handed over to the Colonial Office, to follow Colonial, rather than Indian, models. We have already in working order the annual Blue Book. All we do now is to assimilate our annual reports to the Colonial Report on the Blue Book. The Blue Book remains in manuscript. But the Colonial Office experience is the publication of the report on the Blue Book induces those people who genuinely desire information to go to the Office and consult the manuscript volume which is there open for such inspection. It is this system which we thought of introducing as otherwise we find that the information contained in the Blue Book is not made use of to its fullest extent.”

The Annual Reports, currently available on microfilm, do assist with the interpretation of the data in the Blue Books; however, data such as income and expenditure can be analysed and comparisons between countries can be made, through use of these books alone. This collection is a digital extraction from our existing microfilm series, Government publications relating to African countries prior to independence.


Special Cornell link that can be used in Blackboard, as a browser bookmark, or to email to students:


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