- Colorado State University Libraries
- Research Guides
- HIST 360: United States Immigration History
- Finding Freely Available Primary Sources
HIST 360: United States Immigration History
Freely Available Resources
There are a plethora of freely available primary source collections online. I have listed a small selection of immigration resources, divided by regional and national collections, below .
Regional Resources - Freely Available
- Boulder County Latino HistoryIncludes photographs, documents, and oral histories that document the Latino experience in Boulder.
- City of Greely MuseumsProvides access to reginal materials.
- Colorado Folklife Project Collection (Library of Congress)The collection consists of field recordings, photographs, drawings, and field notes that document aspects of local history, traditional ranch life, vernacular architecture and other forms of material culture in the lower Blue River Valley in Summit and Grand Counties, Colorado. Ranches operated by the Knorr, McKee, and Lund families are featured. Additional documentation was created in Breckenridge, Dillon, Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado, and at the Holzwarth homestead in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
- Colorado LGBTQ History ProjectIncludes oral histories and documents related to the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans.
- CSU Archives & Special ColelctionsContains oral histories, documents, photographs, and much more. Topics range from CSU history to agricultural history.
- Fort Collins History ConnectionOnline archive of historical materials, records, and photographs from Fort Collins and the Cache la Poudre region created by collaboration between Poudre River Public Library District and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
- History ColoradoIncludes interviews conducted by the Civil Works Administration, photographs, artifacts, and manuscripts. All materials are related to Colorado history.
- Northern Colorado Veterans History ProjectRemember and Honor is a resource developed by Brad Hoopes dedicated to the preservation of stories as told by United States military veterans. The stories provide personal perspectives and historical context from those who served during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
- University of Northern Colorado Special CollectionsEstablished in 1982, the University of Northern Colorado Special Collections supports the University's academic programs and its instructional and research interests. It also preserves and promotes collections that hold particular historical and cultural significance. Holdings range from manuscripts and rare books to works of art and visual material.
- Chronicling America: Historic American NewspapersSearch America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. You can limit your search to Colorado or other specific states.
- Colorado Historic Newspaper CollectionsCurrently includes more than 1.5 million digitized pages, representing 335+ individual newspaper titles published in Colorado from 1859 to 1923. Due to copyright restrictions, CHNC does not generally include newspapers published after 1923.
- Rocky Mountain CollegianThis digital collection contains the first 69 volumes of the Collegian, dated December 1891 to October 1960, and issues and supplemental issues from 2006 to present, with some missing.
- Wyoming Digital Newspaper CollectionThis collection contains 142,270 issues of Wyoming based newspapers comprising 1,171,758 pages.
- Cemetery InformationCemetery maps and records about the deceased buried in Roselawn or Grandview cemeteries in Fort Collins.
- City of Fort Collins Public Records SearchThis website contains digital public records including things like Building Permits,
Plans, Ordinances, Inspections, and more.
- Larimer County Official Records SearchInformation ranges from marriage certificates to deeds.
- Larimer County Property Search (Tax Assessor)The Larimer County Tax Assessor website allows you to look up recent property
National Resources - Freely Available
- African American Perspectives: Materials Selected from the Rare Book CollectionThe 800 + titles in the collection include sermons on racial pride and political activism; annual reports of charitable, educational, and political organizations; and college catalogs and graduation orations from the Hampton Institute, Morgan College, and Wilberforce University. Also included are biographies, slave narratives, speeches by members of Congress, legal documents, poetry, playbills, dramas, and librettos.
- American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1940This collection of life histories consists of approximately 2,900 documents, compiled and transcribed by more than 300 writers from 24 states, working on the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program that was part of the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1940.
- Caribbean Sea MigrationMaterials related to Cuban, Dominican and Haitian maritime migration from 1965-1996, including camps at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 1991-1996.
- Chicago Ethnic Arts Project CollectionThe collection consists of approximately 344 sound recordings, 14,141 photographs, 269 folders of manuscript materials, 2 videorecordings, publications, ephemera, administrative files, and field notes produced and collected during the 1977 Chicago Ethnic Arts Project field survey from 1976-1981; but primarily during fieldwork conducted by fourteen folklorists directed by the American Folklife Center in 1977.
- Danish American Archive & LibraryCollections include photographs and documents exploring the Danish American experience.
- DenshoDensho documents the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished.
- Digital Public Library of America*The Digital Public Library of America is a US project aimed at providing public access to digital holdings in order to create a large-scale public digital library.
- Digitizing Immigrant LettersThe Immigration History Research Center Archives in the University of Minnesota Libraries (IHRC) is a renowned archives and library for the study of immigration, ethnicity, and race. The Digitizing Immigrant Letters Project aims to make available online letters from the IHRC Archives and other collections that were written between 1850 and 1970 both by immigrants (the so-called “America letters”) and to immigrants (“homeland letters”).
- Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael CollectioThe collection consists of approximately 8 hours of audio recordings (146 titles on 36 recording discs), 1 graphic image, and 218 pages of print material including administrative correspondence, recording logs, song text transcriptions, and publications.
- Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History (Library of Congress)Contains primary source materials related to immigration and relocation in US history.
- Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930*This digital collection of historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums documents voluntary immigration to the United States from the signing of the Constitution to the start of the Great Depression. Concentrating heavily on the 19th century, the collection includes more than 2,200 books, pamphlets, and serials; over 9,600 pages from manuscript and archival collections, more than 7,800 photographs
- Minnesota Immigrant Oral HistoriesImmigrant Oral Histories presents a collection of over 360 oral history interviews conducted between 1967 and 2012 with recent immigrants to Minnesota and their American-born children, including both streaming audio and written transcripts accessible online in digital formats.
- South Asian American Digital ArchiveDocuments the South Asian diaspora experience in the United States; includes photographs, correspondence and more.
- Immigration Data and StatisticsThe US Department of Homeland Security Web site, this database aggregates data tables on foreign nationals who: (1) have been granted lawful permanent residence for being admitted as immigrants or becoming legal permanent residents; (2) have been admitted on a temporary basis (students, workers, tourists); (3) have been granted asylum or refugee status; and (4) are becoming naturalized citizens. Each category is divided into subsets including immigrants' country of origin, type and class of admission, gender, age, marital status, and occupation. The database also provides statistics on immigration law enforcement actions such as alien apprehensions, removals, and prosecutions.
- National Archives Census Records*Federal Census records have been digitized by several of NARA's partners, and will eventually be available as well through the National Archives Catalog.
- Farm Security AdministrationThe collection encompasses the images made by photographers working in Stryker's unit as it existed in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935-1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937-1942), and the Office of War Information (1942-1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and non-governmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations. In total, the collection consists of about 175,000 black-and-white film negatives and transparencies, 1,610 color transparencies, and around 107,000 black-and-white photographic prints, most of which were made from the negatives and transparencies.
- Ellis Island Photographs from the Collection of William Williams, Commissioner of Immigration, 1902-1913Small collection of photographs taken on Ellis Island.
- Ellis Island Passenger DatabaseThe Passenger Search database allows you to look for family members who arrived at the Port of New York from 1820 to 1957. At the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration and on the Foundation’s website you can explore your family heritage by searching nearly 65 million passenger records and ship manifests, examining information collected at debarkation points. Some passenger records are more complete than others, but many reveal name, age, date of arrival, ship name, nationality, birthplace, occupation, last residence overseas, and final destination.
- Castle GardenCastlegarden.org is a free database developed and funded by The Battery Conservancy. It contains and makes available eleven million records of immigrants who arrived at the Port of New York from 1820 - 1892.
- Family TreeThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides FamilySearch free of charge to everyone, regardless of tradition, culture, or religious affiliation. FamilySearch resources help millions of people around the world discover their heritage and connect with family members.
Poudre River Public Library District
CSU students, faculty, and staff can use their RamCard at the Poudre River Public Library District to check out and access PRPLD’s impressive collection of material.
- Ancestry.com*Explore billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos and more in this online collection of individuals from North America, the UK, Europe, Australia, and more.
- Sanborn MapsFire insurance maps that show locations of businesses and residences in downtown areas of major towns in Colorado. Maps depict the size and footprints of the buildings.
The CSU Libraries and Poudre River Library district does not subscribe to HeritageQuest, a powerful database that provides access to U.S. Federal Census, family and local histories and city directories, Revolutionary War records, Freedman's Bank records, genealogical periodicals and selected congressional documents and reports from the American State Papers and U.S. Serial Set.
If you have access to another public library, please check to see if they provide access to this tool.
Ask a Librarian
Ask Us About:
- Finding articles, books, & more
- Using library resources
- Citing your sources