1. Proquest*, which puts you in touch with the complete run of the New York Times, from 1852-present and the following titles:
Atlanta Daily World Chicago Defender
Christian Science Monitor Los Angeles Sentinel Pittsburgh Courier
Also included in Proquest is the American Periodicals Series Online, 1740-1900, which contains digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals that originated between 1741 and 1900. Titles range from America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository, to popular magazines like Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal. You can find the Proquest articles by going to the library website and choosing “links.” Proquest instructions follow this list.
* Visit proquest.com for lists of products available (for a fee) to k-12 and high ed institutions.
2. The Making of America:
A vast collection of newspapers and periodicals from the 19th century, plus full-text versions of the official histories of the Civil War. Bucketloads of “ephemeral” or throw-away stuff.
3. Home Economics Archive
The very phrase, home economics, often conjures up images of women learning how to prepare a household budget, or learning about various child-rearing techniques in a somewhat less than empowering setting. However, a reassessment of this rather multifaceted discipline has begun in recent years. Visitors will want to start by looking through the Subjects section of the site, where they may read brief essays about the various sub-disciplines within home economics, such as clothing and textiles and home management.
4. University of Pennsylvania Online Books Page
Links to over 25,000 free books online! An astonishing collection of full-text books on different subjects -- from etiquette and child-care manuals [Beautiful Girlhood, 1922], and a host of other treasures. Some amazing stuff, like a 1950s textbook on advertising -- Madmen, indeed!
5. The Internet Public Library/Project Gutenberg
A number of historic texts and secondary sources are available to you free of charge! You can search by author or title, and download what you need. This is where you will find DeTocqueville and others!
6. An American Time Capsule:
“The Printed Ephemera Collection at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the Collection comprises 28,000 primary source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. Among them is a variety of posters, notices, advertisements, proclamations, leaflets, propaganda, manifestos, and business cards.” This is the website that provided us with runaway slave ads, and many other gems for classroom use.
You can search this huge collection by topic, keyword, or genre, or you can start with the collections assembled for research: