`The Persistence of Memory' by Salvador Dali (1931)Ray Bradbury's "The Chicago Abyss" is a tale of an old man who remembers too much. In the rubble of some bombed out urban center, the people physically abuse the old man when he shares his memories of such things as Baby Ruth candy bars, music, restaurants, and television. A small group protects and cares for the old guy, hiding him from the ever-searching police. Of course, the reason for the loathing and fear of this gentleman was that he held a frame of reference that degraded the present.

This brings us to the matter of controlling such memories and the proverbial "lessons of history." Although the past is for all intents and purposes gone (the present is shaped by its own past and future), it is routinely resurrected to serve various functions.  For instance, in the post-911 era of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and White House framings of policy criticism being unpatriotic, NPR observed in March 2004 the 50th anniversary of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's appearance of Edward R. Murrow's "See It Now." Each generation selects its own history--and the ancestors it chooses to remember. As George Orwell observed, "Whoever controls the past controls the future. Whoever controls the present controls the past."

Click here for more thoughts on the implications of historical ignorance


From Peter N. Stearns and his colleagues, The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern (6th ed.)
The HistoryNet "where history lives on the web"
Thomas Daccord's The Best of History Websites  
Refdesk's Historical Information Resources an alphabetical listing of some of the best web resources
HistoryWorld.net "Make history Make sense"
David W. Koeller's Web Chronology Project (North Park University)
Frank E. Smitha's WorldHistory.com
History Gateway at Kansas
World History Chart with HyperHistory Online
Roland Marchand's (UC-Davis) History Project, a collection of primary documents and lesson plans for all educational levels
Steven Kreis's Resources for Historians
Western European Specialists Section--history, literature, culture, and politics from the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries
Library of Congress Exhibits
International Institute of Social History
Spartacus Educational's (UK) comprehensive Teaching History Online
Carnegie Mellon's English Servers humanities texts online: History and Historigraphy
Hanover Historical Texts Project
EuroDocs: Western European Primary Historical Documents
British History Online from the University of London
Canada's Digital Collections
Mapping History: The Darkwing Atlas Project from the University of Oregon
Romanov Timeline
The History Channel


History Today
History Now


PBS's Great American Speeches: 80 Years of Political Oratory

A wealth of resources from Michigan state:

U.S. Labor and Industrial History Audio Project

19th-century recordings taken from wax cylinders from tinfoil.com

Historical Sounds in MP3 Format from The Free Information Society, includes Theodore Roosevelt, Che Guevara, JFK, and Einstein


Internet Moving Image Archive a project of the Internet Archive in association with Prelinger Archives.  Currently under construction, the site will eventually include 1,001 archival films, digitized as MPEG-2 files, that are free for everyone to use for any purpose except resale.  

Original format motion pictures from American Memory



Perseus Art & Archaeology
The Ancient World Web: Main Index
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
Eternal Egypt
History B94: History of Ancient Egypt - Piccione
The Ancient World Web: Main Index
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


The Age of King Charles V
University of Reading's Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies
Fordham's Medieval Web Links
History of the Crusades a University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Project

Paul Gans's Medieval Technology Pages
The Online Medieval and Classical Library (DL SunSITE)
UCLA Medieval Studies
The World of the Vikings


Medieval and Renaissance Sites
The Art of Renaissance Science


Spanish Armada


Digital History LTD. goal is the chronicle all of 18th century American history
Carnegie Mellon's English Servers humanities texts online: 18th Century
Penn State's C18-L: Resources for 18th-century studies across the disciplines


The Napoleonic Guide
19th-century articles from Harper's Weekly
The Victorian Web "literature, history, and culture in the age of Victoria"
The Victorian Dictionary "a guide to the social history of Victorian London"
Phillip Mallett's (University of St. Andrews) The Nineteenth-Century City   
The Southern Experience in 19th-Century America (from UNC Chapel Hill)
Furman's Nineteenth Century Documents Project
Romanticism on the Net--an international refereed electronic journal
The Web of American Transcendentalism, a product of Professor Ann Woodlief's Virginia Commonwealth U. class


China 1900-1976
Spanish Civil War: The Posters of the Spanish Revolution
Joseph Stalin Reference Library
Leon Trotsky: History of the Russian Revolution
Anarchism and the Russian Revolution
Paul Halsall's (Fordham) Internet History Sourcebook: Russian Revolution


David Schwalbe's guide to American history sites
From the Library of Congress:
"Making of America"--digital library from University of Michigan and Cornell containing thousands of 19th century books and journal articles
For primary source material from 18th century America check out Archiving Early America
National Museum of American History--and get real interactive with its HistoryWired
National Archives and Record Administration's Archival Information Locator of digitized images of documents, maps and photographs
History Matters: a project of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning of the City University of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
Dr. John McClymer and Dr. Lucia Knoles's E Pluribus Unum--America in the 1770s, 1850s, and 1920s
The History Place--a site to watch from Pearson Education (owners of Addison-Wesley Longman, Allyn & Bacon, and Prentice-Hall)
Manfred Helfert's contribution to the Folk Music Web Ring
Historical Maps of the United States
AnimatedAtlas.com's "Growth of a Nation" watch the USA's growth from 1790 to 1950
Organization of American Historians
TIMEly Pick of the Week
American Historical Review
American studies cultural maps from University of Virginia
US Historical Documents--U Oklahoma, Magna Carta on
USA PAGE--Mississippi State Archives
U Texas Center for American History
History Buff.com American newspaper printing and publishing history
The Early America Review--journal of fact and opinion on people, issues and events of 18th century America 
At Home in the Heartland Online--history of the Midwest from 1700 to the present
The Declaration of Independence from ushistory.com
Benjamin Franklin
Yahoo! 19th Century American History listings
From the Library of Congress/American Memory: The First American West: The Ohio River Valley 1750-1820 (contributed by the University of Chicago Library and Filson Historical Society of Louisville [KY])
Trailers of Hollywood's cinematic depictions of history
Lewis and Clark--The National Bicentennial Exhibition
Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion, 1820-1890
Meeting of Frontiers--on the explorations of the American West and Russian Far East
Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher"s The Oregon Trail
Territorial Kansas Online 1854-1861
Washington State Pioneer Life Database from the University of Washington libraries
Lincoln's Assassination
from Brown University's John Carter Brown Library
Stanley Schultz and William Tishler's American History 102: Civil War to the Present
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
The Great Seattle Fire of 1889
Early Motion Pictures Home Page
Klondike Gold Rush
Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935
Ellis Island Immigration Museum, with over 1300 oral histories
Turner Adventure Learning--Ellis Island
Smithsonian's "Make the Dirt Fly!"--exhibit on the construction of the Panama Canal
Alf the Poet - U.S. Government Collection
Keven Rayburn's Roaring Twenties site
Floyd Norris (NY Times) "Looking Back at the Crash of '29"
WPA Life Histories Project
New Deal Network sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute & the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College/Columbia University
Roosevelt and the New Deal a comprehensive, hypertexted encyclopedia from Spartacus
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum (with over 10,000 digitized documents online)
America in the 1930s from the University of Virginia's America Studies Program
Museum Online Resource Review
Museum of the City of San Francisco
Al Filreis's "The Literature and Culture of the American 1950s"
From the U.S. Senate and GPO Transcripts of the McCarthy Hearings 1953-54
Ralph Schuster's The John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage
John McAdams's Kennedy Assassination Home Page
Spartacus Educational's The Assassination of JFK: Index
KENNEDY ASSASSINATION RECORDS COLLECTION from the National Archives and Records Collection
The Secret History of the United States 1962-1996


The American West: A Celebration of the Human Spirit
New Perspectives on THE WEST
TreasureNet Historical Image Collection
The American West 19th century images from Harper's Weekly
Drawing the Western Frontier: The James E. Taylor Album
New Perspectives on The West PBS companion site to Ken Burns documentary
Photographs of the American West 1861-1912 from the National Archives and Records Administration
Donald J. Mabry's American West Historical Text Archive
The American West: A Celebration of the Human Spirit
Western History from the Denver Public Library with more than 100,000 historical photographs of Native Americans, pioneers, gold miners, railroads, and small town life
The California Heritage Digital Image Access Project
The Eastman Project: Images of California Life


Primary Sources from American Popular Culture from the Authentic History Center
Professor T.V. Reed's Popular Culture: Resources for Critical Analysis


An enterprise well worth investigating is the Legacy Project, that honors veterans by preserving their war letters. In May 2001 the first compilation was published by Scribner, War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence From American Wars (Andrew Carroll, ed.).  Check out its companion website.
Richard Jensen's Web Sources for Military History-- from ancient conflicts to Kosovo


The American Revolutionary War Home Page
The American Revolutionary War
From Revolution to Reconstruction


Yahoo! - American History: Civil War 1861-1865
David Mackey's DHQ's Civil War Portal
The American Civil War Homepage
Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society another gem from the Library of Congress' American Memory collection
Civil War Interactive
Pictures of the Civil War
The Battle of Antietam on the Web
Follow the salvation efforts on the H.L. Hunley, the human-powered Confederate submarine that disappeared after running the Charleston blockade and sinking the USS. Housatonic in 1864
Pearce Civil War Collection
The Civil War Letters of Galutia York - Project Home Page
The definitive Abraham Lincoln Research site
PBS's American Experience: Ulysses S. Grant


The Spanish American War Centennial Website


World War One links from "The World War I Living History Project" (2006 radio tribute hosted by Walter Cronkite)
Yahoo's World War I directory
Roger N. Mohovich's collection of WW I posters
BBC History interactive: World War One Super site. Tour a virtual 3-D trench, listen to veterans' oral histories
Michael Duffy's FirstWorldWar.com
World War I - Trenches on the Web
The Great War (from University of Pittsburgh)
Canadian Veterans Recollect
Shot at Dawn--details the 346 British soldiers who were executed during the First World War
Old Contemptible's Great War Website
World War I, Links to Other Resources
World War I photographs
Art of the First World War--supported by UNESCO, in collaboration with partner museums throughout Europe
The Illustrated Enemy -- graphic depictions of national leaders and military and civilian life as illustrated by artists both before and during World War I


National Geographic's Remembering Pearl Harbor with great photos and super interactive features
From PBS, The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color--with sections on the battlefield, the psychology of war, the home front and the impacts of the war on American social structure
Yahoo's World War II directory
World War II Oral History
World War II Maps
Great Britain's Home Front 1939-1945
Five million Royal Airforce photographs, including images of D-Day and the bombing of Cologne, at the Aerial Reconnaissance Archives
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
The German U-Boat War 1935-1945
WORLD WAR II--THE WORLD REMEMBERS from Patch High and Elementary Schools
The Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings from the United States Holocaust Museum
Holocaust Denial on Trial: David Irving (a Holocaust denier) v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt


CNN's 1998-99 Cold War series
The National Security Archive--transcripts of interviews with Cold War players
Cold War Remembered from the UK National Archives Learning Curve
Operation Vittles: The Berlin Airlift
Lethal Legacies of the Cold War


The Department of Defense's Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War
The Korean War


The Vietnam Project from Texas Tech
Moise's Bibliography of the Vietnam War
Re: Vietnam -- Stories Since the War

Return to A Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace