Hello history geeks! Here are four and a half of the coolest things I’ve found while researching lately.
The English Broadside Ballad Archive
This site is one of the most comprehensive treatments of early modern popular culture I’ve found. It’s searchable by ballad name (“Twa Sisters” or “Captain Ward”) or by keyword (“sex”, “catastrophe”) or by clever and inspired topics (“Deadliest Catch: Amazing Creatures of the Deep”). Best of all, many of the ballads have recordings attached to them too!
London Lives, 1690-1800
A detailed, searchable, and growing collection of documents and images that detail the lived experiences of ordinary people in London during the eighteenth century. My favorite feature is the “Lives” link; clicking it gives you profiles of individual men, women, and children that you can access by name or keyword.
The Public Domain Review
This site collects and organizes books, pamphlets, images, audio, and other cool stuff that’s fallen into the public domain. The focus is on the weird and interesting, but the goal is diversity and accessibility. It’s fully searchable by keyword and category.
This, folks, is microhistory at its finest. Each day tells the story of one individual (or sometimes a group) and provides the social and political context that surrounded her or his demise. It’s meticulously cited (some people we know more about than others, though) and very well indexed. Bonus content like the occasional video clip just makes it that much more awesome.
And just for fun, here’s how you can be insulted by Martin Luther.