Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
American Memory is a collection of materials available free and online through the U. S. Library of Congress, chronicling the history, events, people, places, and ideas that shaped American history and creativity. The aim of the project is to serve as a "resource for education and lifelong learning." The American Memory collection includes written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music, documenting the American experience. One can browse the collection by topic and search by keyword within categories.
The value of this resource to genealogists almost goes without saying, when one considers the breadth of the collection. Included in the American Memory collection are the Slave Narratives and Voices from the Thirties, manuscripts from the Federal Writer's Project (FWP). The histories provide first-hand personal insight into the lives, experiences, and beliefs of everyday people. Pseudonyms are often substituted for individuals and places named in the narrative texts, which in no way diminishes their value in providing historical context of time and place.