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Archival Databases and Other Historical Sources

The African American Migration Story

A companion curriculum produced through the PBS series Many Rivers to Cross: The African Americans focused on African migrations to the United States.

Archive of Immigrant Voices

A collection of interviews of recent immigrants to the United States.

Archives of Irish America

A repository of primary research materials that assists students, faculty and visiting scholars in evaluating the Irish impact on U.S. history, as well as the evolution of a specifically Irish-American identity. The archives also collects oral histories.

Bracero History Archive

This digital archive contains oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964.

Brooklyn Historical Society Oral History Collection

The society hosts oral history collections that include over 1,200 interviews, many related to immigrant communities in Brooklyn with audio, and in some cases transcripts, that can be accessed online.

Cato Institute: A Brief History of U.S. Immigration Policy

From the colonial period through the Industrial Revolution, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and up to today, radical swings in immigration policy have had their connections to earlier debates and policies.

The Center for Migration Studies

An educational institute and nonpartisan think tank based in New York City that studies domestic immigration and international migration issues. Its site features policy reports and papers as well as a digital archive that contains rich sources on immigration history in the United States.

Chinese Immigrants in America in the 19th Century: A Study Module

A teaching tool with materials designed to expand students’ knowledge on China, the Chinese immigrant experience, and the impact of Chinese communities on the United States.

Chinese Laundries in Massachusetts Oral History Project

Interviews and transcripts with Chinese Americans who owned, or whose parents owned, a laundry in Massachusetts.

Corazón de Dixie

Provides primary sources to explore the histories of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the U.S. South, from 1910-2010.

Densho Encyclopedia

Japanese American incarceration history.

DHS, “Mapping Immigration”

Maps which show LPRs in the United States for various years by class of admission and region/country of birth and the distribution of naturalized citizens over time.

Facing History and Ourselves: Immigration

Stories of global immigration and identities.

Foreign Born Population, 1850-2010

Interactive map for exploring migrant demographic statistics.

Harvard Open Library

U.S. Immigration archives 1789-1930.

Houston Asian American Archive

A collection of oral histories, letters, diaries, photographs, and other records that document the legacy of Asian Americans as local residents and global citizens.

The Immigrant Experience

Follow individual immigrants to the United States from 1848 to the present and choose which path they take.

Immigration History Research Center Archives

A renowned archives and library at the University of Minnesota dedicated to the study of immigration, ethnicity, and race. The archives feature extensive digital collections.

Immigration Maps

37 maps that explain how America is a nation of immigrants.

Immigrant Stories

A digital exhibit hosted by the University of Minnesota that empowers immigrants, refugees, and their family members to create digital and share stories– brief videos with images, text, and audio about a personal experience.

Japanese American National Museum

Online collection features highlights from the museum’s collection of over 60,000 unique artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Korean American Digital Archive: Oral Histories

KADA’s oral history collections include interviews from several sources. The sound recordings of these interviews are included in this section of the database and can be listened to; transcriptions are available for some.

Korean American Oral Histories

Short films share the Korean American experiences.

Library of Congress

The LOC site feature extensive digital collections and teaching aid on a variety of U.S. history topics.

Mapping American Social Movements Project, Chicano/Latino Movements History and Geography

Explore the historical geography of many different organizations in 32 maps and charts, including United Farm Workers, MEChA and Chicano organizations, Spring 2006 Immigrant Rights protests and other movements.

The Mexican Migration Project

A binational research effort between researchers at the University of Guadalajara and Princeton University, which gathers social as well as economic information on Mexican-US migration. The data collected has been compiled in a comprehensive database that is available to the public free of charge for research and educational purposes through this web-site.

Migration Policy Institute

Major U.S. Immigration Laws, 1790-present

Migration Scholar Collective: Migration History Calendar

A project that highlights important historical immigration milestones that have shaped today’s complex immigration system in the United States and abroad. Though this calendar mostly focuses on U.S. immigration policy, it also mentions important events that have shaped migration across the world. It also incorporates lesser-known policies and events in order to highlight their impact on the current landscape of migration we inherit today.

Minnesota Immigrant Oral Histories

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.

Museum of Chinese in America

Database of physical collections by the museum, dedicated to presenting the history and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States.

The National Archives

The full National Archives’ catalog is searchable and contains a wealth of material related to immigration and immigrant communities.

National Immigrant Law Center

A center for immigrant legal advocacy and information. NILC also produces useful reports on ongoing immigration policy issues.

New York Times Archive

Explore 100 years of immigration history with the NYT archive.

New York Times Immigration Lesson Plans

A guide to learning about immigration using the NYT.

Nuestro South

A podcast exploring the experiences of Latinx people in the U.S. South.

Online Archive of California

Provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections (including many related to immigration) maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.

Pew Research Center, Hispanic Trends

Data, reports, and resources on the U.S. Hispanic population.

The Pulitzer Center, The 1619 Project Curriculum

Inaugurated with a special issue of The New York Times Magazine, the 1619 project curriculum features reading guides, activities, and other resources that challenge students to reframe U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as the nation’s foundational date.

Reference Library of The 1990 Institute

Selected resources on Modern China, US-China Relations, and the Asian American Experience for Educators, Students and the General Public


South Asian American Digital Archive.

Smithsonian Cultural Centers

Traveling exhibits and centers, including the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Latino Center, that promote education and the understanding of diverse cultures. Sites contain digital resources for teachers.

South Asian Oral History Project

Based t the University of Washington Libraries, this project represents one of the first attempts in the U.S. to record pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history.

The Southeast Asian Archive

The UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive collects, preserves, and makes accessible primary and secondary source materials documenting the history of the Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese diaspora..

The Southern Oral History Program Interview Database

Provides detailed descriptions of interviews in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, as well as transcripts in many cases.

UCLA Center for Oral History Research

The Center collects oral history interviews related primarily to the history of Southern California and the Los Angeles metropolitan region, many from immigrant communities.

University of Washington, America’s Great Migrations Project

This project explores consequential migration trends in the U.S. through five units, with interactive maps, charts, and data.

Vietnamese American Oral History Project

A collection of oral histories that illustrate the experiences of Vietnamese-Americans collected by UC Irvine.