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Within the humanities and social sciences, “Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format.” (Yale University)
American Business History Center
The purpose of the American Business History Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, is to create a nexus or hub for the study, popularization, and celebration of business and entrepreneurial history.
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. It includes web pages, books, audio, videos, and images.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The Andy Warhol Museum
Edison and Ford Winter Estates Museum
Visitors begin their museum experience in the Orientation Gallery. Here, exhibits introduce:
Thomas Edison’s life and his most well-known project, electric lighting.
The legacy of Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company, as well as several Ford automobiles.
Harley Davidson Motorcycles Museum
While building an international business—going from producing just over 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to manufacturing 27,000 motorcycles in 1920—the company’s Milwaukee factory experienced near-constant expansion. Construction through this relatively brief period created the buildings that today, a century later, are still the proud home of Harley-Davidson.
Henry Ford Museum
National Museum of American History
American Enterprise includes videos, pictures, and information about the history of American enterprise.
Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
The mission of the museum is to preserve, interpret and promote the culture of Sag Harbor through its collection of historical objects related to the village’s whaling history, as well as the presentation of contemporary exhibits and events that reflect the culture of the village today and put Sag Harbor’s past and present into context.
World of Coca-Cola
From the original World of Coca‑Cola® that opened on August 3, 1990 at Underground Atlanta, to the opening of World of Coca‑Cola at Pemberton Place® on May 24, 2007, we are proud to have welcomed over 24 million guests and counting across a span of 25+ years in Atlanta.
Examples of Primary Sources
- Diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies
- Personal papers, organizational paper
- Interviews, oral history, personal narratives (transcripts or audio)
- Photographs and recordings
- Newspaper/magazine articles (written at the time studied)
- Government information
- Presidential papers
- Legal cases (decisions, transcripts, hearings, treaties)
- Statistical data, census records, research results
American Memory - Library of Congress
provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
America's historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 from the Library of Congress
Inside an American Factory
The Westinghouse Works Collection contains 21 actuality films showing various views of Westinghouse companies. Most prominently featured are the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, and the Westinghouse Machine Company. The films were intended to showcase the company's operations.
National Child Labor Committee Collection
Working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Lewis Hine (1874-1940) documented working and living conditions of children in the United States between 1908 and 1924. The NCLC photos are useful for the study of labor, reform movements, children, working class families, education, public health, urban and rural housing conditions, industrial and agricultural sites, and other aspects of urban and rural life in America in the early twentieth century.
Business History Websites
Business in America Web Archive
The Business in America Web Archive is a collection of websites of major companies that have appeared on the Fortune 500 list.
Since 2004, Corporate History.net has been helping organizations large and small create corporate history publications, books, and campaigns and has become a recognized and award-winning leader in the field. We’re “history hedgehogs” — corporate history is our sole focus. We believe that organizations, like people, suffer when their memory erodes. We specialize in unique company histories that express each client’s special character and culture.
Company Website Histories
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Philanthropic organization created by Andrew Carnegie. Historical information and primary documents.
Started in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia. Explores the birth of the company, advertising, and memorabilia.
Dole Food Company
The foundations of Dole Food Company, Inc. are laid as Samuel Castle and Amos Cooke, originally from Boston, set up their trading company in Hawaii.
The Mississippi River rushes into an impressive drop over St. Anthony Falls, fueling water power that was once the lifeblood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. On those river banks in 1866, a man named Cadwallader Washburn began what would become General Mills.
Brinker (NYSE: EAT) is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies. Founded by Norman Brinker in Dallas, Texas, we’ve ventured far from home, but stayed true to our roots.