Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.

Punishment of Foulon

This engraving reveals the aftermath of the seizure of the Bastille. Here the crowd parades the severed head of the official, Foulon.

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Attack on the Bastille

This engraving of the attack highlights the heroism of the people charging determinedly into the billowing clouds and firing relentlessly in the face of strong resistance emanating from the fortress.

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Tobacco Workers

In addition to sugar, tobacco was important to Puerto Rico’s industrial agricultural order after the arrival of the United States. Puerto Rican women and men labored in a building called a fabrica (or factory). Women’s jobs consisted of being seated for long hours rolling tobacco leaves—as visible in this 1945 photograph of women working as tobacco-strippers in a factory.

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Sugarcane Workers Strike

After the United States's occupation of Puerto Rico in 1898, agricultural production shifted from a diverse model of production to a mono-agricultural model of growth, where sugar was the main crop. American companies’ preference for cultivation of sugar over coffee and other crops broke with a long tradition of coffee haciendas or plantations.

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Workers’ Celebration

When Americans arrived on the island, the labor movement in Puerto Rico was in its infancy. Labor leaders were aware of the reputation of the U.S. labor unions, so they worked to affiliate with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) as early as 1899. Local labor unions adopted the celebrations and rituals of similar unions in the United States and around the world.

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Lady Florentia Sale Diary

Lady Florentia Sale (1790-1853), wife of Major-General Sir Robert Henry Sale, wrote a journal of her experiences during the First Afghan War. In January 1842, in what is usually seen as a humiliating defeat for the British army, 4,500 British and Indian troops with around 12,000 camp followers retreated 116 miles from Kabul back to the British garrison at Jalalabad.

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Sati Engraving, Burning a Hindoo Widow

Toward the end of the 1700s, the evangelical movement in Britain argued that one’s commitment to Christ should be reflected in action, primarily the effort to end slavery in the British empire and to proselytize or seek converts among the “heathen.” Initially, the English East India Company had prohibited Christian missionaries from living within their territories and seeking Indian converts in

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The True Woman

This is a 17th-century French engraving entitled The True Woman. Although its author and its circulation to the public in general is not precisely known, engravings such as this one were ever more popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, when the power of the newly-invented printing press to reach the masses became apparent.

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Drawing of Khoi Dancers

In the late 17th century, an anonymous artist did a series of impromptu sketches and set pieces showing Khoikhoi at the Cape of Good Hope.

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Woman with Lenin/Stalin Flag

Articles and images published in Soviet newspapers on March 8, International Communist Woman’s Day, provide the most obvious examples of how women were used as symbols in a propaganda campaign. These texts and images were clearly intended to convey a certain message about the changing role of women in the Soviet system.

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