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MC112: Primary Sources on the 1930s in Special Collections: Home


This is not a comprehensive guide to our primary sources on the 1930s, but it identifies some pockets of material and links to keyword searches that may be of interest for your MC112 course in Spring 2017.

White supremacy, anti-semitism, nationalism

We have extensive material on racist & nationalist organizations in the Radicalism collection, covering the 1930s as well as other periods.

The bulk of this material is cataloged as part of the "Arsenal Collection." (It was given this name to enable quick keyword searching.)

Arsenal collection materials published between 1929 and 1940

If you're looking for everything by a particular author or organization, do a keyword search for that name without the phrase "arsenal collection." That way you'll retrieve all relevant material whether or not it has the Arsenal Collection tag.

Ethnic stereotypes

Mainstream popular culture in the 1930s was full of stereotyped depictions of ethnic and racial groups, ranging from ridiculous to seriously offensive. Our sheet music collection and "Little Cookbooks" food advertising collection are two of the best places to look for examples.

1930s sheet music about African Americans

1930s sheet music about Gypsies

1930s sheet music about Mexican Americans

"Little Cookbooks" recipe pamphlets and food advertising collection

  • Go to Advanced Search. Search for "ethnic stereotypes" in any field, limit to 1931-1940, and "Show only items with pictures."

Vanity Fair

Not everyone was poor during the Depression. For a look at the other end of the income spectrum we have issues of Vanity Fair from 1929 to 1932.

Soviet propaganda

The Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow produced PR materials about the Soviet Union for Western audiences.

We have about two dozen of its pamphlets, many prepared for the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Communist Party of the United States of America

In 1960 we acquired about 10 boxes of material from the Communist Party of the USA, ranging from the 1920s up to 1960.

Many of the items are copies of brochures and pamphlets produced for the public, to explain the Communist position on public events and economic conditions. There are also materials from related leftist organizations and internal documents from the central CPUSA to local chapters.

The CPUSA Collection is stored offsite. Please check the guide to the collection to find out which boxes you need. Then request the boxes through our online request system. Allow three days for retrieval and delivery to the Main Library.

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