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AMS 231: Contemporary America (Weisbard): Start Here
"See what somebody at the time the work came out had to say about [your cultural document from the 1970s]."
If you haven't selected a topic, you might browse databases or specific publications for ideas. Look for options to browse by date range, or enter search terms relevant to the type of artifact you're interested in (song, album, episode, movie, painting, photograph, speech, etc.) along with any additional keywords (protest, race, feminism, etc.)., then look for options to limit or sort the results by date. Many of these sources will have articles about cultural artifacts, as well.
ARTstor is a digital library of images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.
The TVNA collection holds individual network evening news broadcasts from the major U.S. national broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN - and hours of special news-related programming, including ABC's Nightline since 1989. Use the advanced search to limit by year and search commercials or other specific types of segments.
Equipment Requirements: Users will need RealOne media play installed to view the video clips.
Full-text archive of many important magazines documenting the early days of the film, television and popular music industries. Notably, includes Billboard (1894-2000), Variety (1905-2000), and The Stage (1880-2000).
This website compiles lists of books, by year, in the following categories:
1. The top ten bestsellers in fiction, as recorded by Publishers Weekly.
2. The top ten bestsellers in nonfiction, also as recorded by Publishers Weekly.
3. The main selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, which was founded in 1926.
4. Critically acclaimed and historically significant books, as identified by consulting various critics' and historians' lists of important books.
This guide lists award-winning children's books by decade. Awards given in the 1970s include the Caldecott Medal for picture books, Coretta Scott King Awards, Newbery Honor books, and Young Reader's Choice.
LIFE Magazine is the treasured photographic magazine that chronicled the 20th Century. Google partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine's entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972.
Once you've found your artifact, use these resources to find what people had to say about it at the time it came out. Scout or one of the databases below will be the best resources to find that information.
Scout searches the libraries' catalog, most of the databases the library subscribes to, and our digital archives.
For this assignment, try searching for your topic (the title of the work, etc.) and use the publication date limiter on the left to limit the results to items published at the time your artifact came out.
Film & Television Literature Index Full Text is a comprehensive full-text database covering a range of television and film research, including film & television theory, preservation & restoration, screenwriting, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews. It also includes Variety movie reviews from 1914 to present and images from the MPTV Image Archive.
This database offers full-text and full-image articles for newspapers dating back to the 19th century. For most titles, the collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--in downloadable PDF files. Current access includes: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1984); The Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003); The Baltimore Sun (1837-1991); The Chicago Defender (1909-1975); Chicago Tribune (1849-1993); Chinese Newspapers Collection (1832-1953); The Christian Science Monitor (1908-2003); Hartford Courant (1764-1922); Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005); Los Angeles Times (1881-1993); Louisville Courier Journal (1830-1922); New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993); The New York Times (1851-2013); Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2003); Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002); San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922); The Scotsman (1817-1950); St. Louis Post Dispatch (1874-1922); The Wall Street Journal (1889-1999); and The Washington Post (1877-2000).
Check out the video tutorials below for help using some of the databases listed on this page.