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HIST 29630. History Colloquium: American Twilight the Late 1940s.

Electronic Resources

America: History & Life: America: History & Life is the definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With indexing for 1,700 journals from 1964 to present, this database is the most important bibliographic reference tool for students and scholars of U.S. and Canadian history.

American Memory: Library of Congress: Multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library of Congress's Americana collections.

ArchiveGrid: Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.

British Periodicals (ProQuest): This database provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.

Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS): Provides online access to over 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents. Covering major international events from the Cold War to the Vietnam War and beyond.

Historical Newspapers: Contains 4 major historical resources for events of the last 200 years: Palmer’s Index to the Times, The Official Index to the Times, The Historical Index to the New York Times, and Palmer’s Full Text Online, 1785-1870.

Collections of Interest

Below are a list of collections (listed alphabetically) that are housed in Special Collections and may prove useful for your research papers. Each link takes you to the online inventory for the collection. 

Association of Cambridge Scientists Records 1945-1946The Association of Cambridge Scientists was founded in late 1945 as a response to the growing controversy over the use of atomic energy. Membership consisted of scientists in the Boston area and composed mainly of staff at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The main purpose of the association was "to inform the general public on scientific matters when such information is pertinent to matters of public policy." The collection consists of 1 linear foot and contains correspondence, memoranda, press releases, committee minutes, and newsletters for the Association of Cambridge Scientists and associated organizations.

Atomic Scientists of Chicago Records 1943-1955: The Atomic Scientists of Chicago (ASC) was founded in September 1945 at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago to address the moral and social responsibilities of scientists regarding the use of nuclear energy and to promote public awareness of its possible consequences. Members included J. A. Simpson, Jr., Kenneth Cole, Farrington Daniels, James Franck, Lester Guttman, Thorfin Hogness, Robert Mulliken, Glenn Seaborg, Leo Szilard, Harold Urey, and Walter Zinn. ASC sponsored conferences, lobbied for policies and in December 1945 began publishing the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The collection contains correspondence, subject files, financial records, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, conference material, membership records, and reports. It also includes material relating to the Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, the Association of Scientists for Atomic Education, the Federation of American Scientists, the University Office of Inquiry into the Social Aspects of Atomic Energy, and the papers of Lester Guttman.

John L. Balderston, Jr. Collection 1945-1947: This collection contains correspondence related to the Letters on World Government project, conducted by John L. Balderston, Jr., Dieter M. Gruen, W.J. McLean, and David B. Wehmeyer. The collection includes over one hundred letters from prominent intellectual, political, and entertainment figures of the 1940s concerning the creation of a world government and a report summarizing the responses they received. It also includes a bound volume entitled the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The collection dates from 1945 to 1947, with the bulk of the material dating from 1945. 

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Records 1945-1984: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, journal of nuclear energy and security news. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Records consist of material relating to the organization's two purposes of exploring, clarifying, and formulating the opinion and responsibilities of scientists in regard to the problems brought about by the release of nuclear energy as well as educating the public to a full understanding of the scientific, technological and social problems arising from the release of nuclear energy. The collection includes newspaper clippings, press releases, periodicals, correspondence, editorial materials, manuscripts, and other related materials.

John Gunther Papers 1935-1967: John Gunther, journalist and writer. The John Gunther Papers consist of different draft versions of Gunther's books along with correspondence, articles, and notes related to these projects. Papers related to Chicago Revisited.  as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and remained in Europe until 1936. He was at various times in charge of Daily News offices in London, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, Rome, and Paris, and has worked or visited in every European country except Portugal. In 1936, he published the results of his early years of European experience in the first of his "inside" books, INSIDE EUROPE, which sold more than 500,000 copies. For more than twenty years Gunther continued the writing of these phenomenally successful "inside" books. In addition, Gunther wrote a number of other books on current affairs as well as biographical studies of major figures in American life. These include D-DAY (1944), concerning the Allied invasion of Italy and the Mediterranean war in general; BEHIND THE CURTAIN (1949), investigating conditions in Europe at the time, especially the countries behind the Iron Curtain; ROOSEVELT IN RETROSPECT (1950); THE RIDDLE OF MACARTHUR (1951); EISENHOWER: THE MAN AND THE SYMBOL (1952).

Robert M. Hutchins personal papers: There is not an online inventory for this collection. Please speak with Special Collections staff to view the paper inventory. 

Morris Janowitz Collection 1940-1989: Morris Janowitz, sociologist. Papers include professional correspondence, biographical materials, research and subject files, manuscripts of Janowitz's books and articles, course materials, and papers concerning the Inter-University Seminar on the Armed Forces and Society, founded by Janowitz in 1960. Most dates from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Earlier material includes Janowitz's research using World War II military, and psychological warfare documents.

Charles E. Merriam Papers 1893-1957: Charles E. Merriam, professor of Political Science and politician. Candidate for mayor of Chicago, 1911 and 1919. Founder, Social Science Research Council, 1924. Contains personal and professional correspondence; manuscripts; class notes Merriam took as a student; memoranda; election campaign material; minutes; reports; scholarly and political speeches; articles; diaries; book reviews; degrees; and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia. Materials record Merriam's influence as academic and politician and his vision of national policy-making and social reform, the first fifty years of the University of Chicago, and early twentieth-century Chicago politics.

Bernadotte E. Schmitt Papers 1913-1961: Bernadotte Everly Schmitt (1886-1969) was professor of Modern European History at the University of Chicago from 1924 until 1946.. Schmitt's historical work centered on diplomatic history, particularly the origins of World War I. The Schmitt papers are divided into five series comprising correspondence, speeches and correspondence relating to a public exchange with Robert Maynard Hutchins, research notes, lecture notes, and student papers.

Resources on Research

Below is a list of links for websites that offer research strategies and advice. 

What are Primary SourcesA Yale University website that provide excellent detailed descriptions of the different types of primary sources used in research.

Research Using Primary SourcesA list of resources and strategies for starting research using primary sources from the University of Oregon.

Using Primary Sources on the WebA comprehensive guide to primary sources on the web created by the American Library Association.

Citing Primary Source-Chicago Style

Citing Primary Sources-MLA

Subject Guide

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Nancy Spiegel
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Bibliographer for History
Regenstein Library Room 463

Contact us

For help with your research:

Visit us on the first floor of Regenstein Library:

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Phone: 773-702-8705

Hours and Location

Monday through Friday: 9:00 am to 4:45pm. 

Saturdays: 9:00am to 12:45pm (when classes at the University of Chicago are in session.)

The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center is located on the first floor of Regenstein Library: 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637