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Beginning with Tom Paine's Common Sense, which altered the course of early U.S. history, pamphlets have played a crucial role in American history. Pamphlet literature has been the medium through which people have expressed their opinions and feelings on contemporary affairs.

This unique microfiche collection brings to your library these historic documents of public opinion, which are generally unavailable as research sources. There are more than 15,000 titles in this collection, drawn from all periods of United States history.

Pamphlets in American History also provides the cataloging necessary to integrate pamphlet literature into the mainstream of collection development activities. This collection has been carefully designed to meet the needs of historians and librarians in the areas of bibliographic control and access. Each of the five groups within the collection is accompanied by its own guide, and each guide includes bibliographic citations, author, title, and subject indexes. In addition, complete cataloging is available for each portion of the collection.

Pamphlets in American History is organized within each group in subject-specific segments. In this way, the collection can be tailored to meet a library's collecting policies or departmental teaching strengths.

The historical information contained in the pamphlets is as rich and varied as the authors. Included are biographies, campaign literature, speeches, legal decisions, trade union leaflets, personal narratives, and more. (However, the collection does not duplicate materials in Pamphlets on the Civil War, 1861-1865.)

The American history pamphlets collection at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin has been a major resource for this undertaking. The collection also draws upon the pamphlet resources of many other general and special collections, including: the Syracuse University Libraries; The Tamiment Library of New York University; The New York Historical Society; The Kenneth Spencer Research Library of the University of Kansas; and the Walter Clinton Jackson Library at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Below is a brief description of each subject segment within each of the five groups.


Group I

  • Revolutionary War (404 titles, 429 fiche)--Presented are opinions on Colonial rights and Great Britain's rights, accounts of battles, opinions, and debates on the Declaration of Independence, as well as material on every issue surrounding the Revolutionary era.
  • Indians (1,519 titles, 1,570 fiche)--provides for a definitive study of the Indian question, with emphasis on the years 1825-80 when America was expanding southward and westward
  • Women (646 titles, 722 fiche)--The majority of materials on women are grouped in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and deal with issues such as women in the workplace, women's suffrage, and the continuing struggle for equal rights after the vote was obtained.
  • Biography (2,625 titles, 2,625 fiche)--sermons, discourses, eulogies, newspaper accounts, and biographical sketches on famous Americans circa Revolutionary through Civil Wars. The lives of U.S. presidents, state and community founders, and famous early citizens are documented here.
  • Revolutionary War Biography (140 titles, 142 fiche)--Biographical accounts of early America's heroes are included--from Revere and Washington to soldiers and military leaders.


Group II

  • Civil Liberties (324 titles, 350 fiche)--provides mainly 20th-century titles on civil liberties, including the reaction to censorship and subversive activities
  • Labor (3,410 titles, 3,628 fiche)--traces the growth of America's labor movement. Included are labor union publications, government documents, legal briefs, and many other types of literature covering more than a century of union history.
  • Tariffs and Free Trade (1,530 titles, 1,581 fiche)--highlights America's most significant tariff legislation toward the end of the 19th century and the effect on American labor

Group III

  • Cooperative Societies (390 titles, 411 fiche)--These pamphlets document the cooperative ownership movement as it began in the United States in the 19th century. There is a great deal of material on workers' co-ops formed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Finance (2011 titles, 2,069 fiche)--gives a history of 19th and early 20th-century discussion on such topics as bimetallism versus monometallism, banks and currency, state banks and national banks, the Federal Reserve System, taxation, and bankruptcy
  • Mexican War (139 titles, 139 fiche)--Although the annexation of Texas in 1845 was the immediate cause of the war, this collection of pamphlets clearly points out that there were other factors lending to this conflict: property losses sustained by U.S. citizens in Mexican revolutions, America's ambition to acquire New Mexico and California, and the desire to extend slave-holding territory.
  • Socialism (689 titles, 712 fiche)--includes numerous documents published by the Socialist Labor Party and the United States Socialist Party
  • War of 1812 (146 titles, 176 fiche)--includes many pamphlets debating such issues as embargo laws, the effect of the war on the consolidation of the union, and the morality of the war itself


Group IV

  • Catholicism and Anti-Catholicism (1,340 titles, 1,503 fiche)--From the earliest Catholic missions in California and New France in Colonial 17th century to the 20th-century Church, this section presents the theological, intellectual, social, economic, and political history of the American Catholic Church.
  • Spanish-American War, 1893 (394 titles, 515 fiche)--presents documents published before, during, and after the conflict. Topics include issues like the pre-war conditions in Cuba, the emergence of the United States Navy, and America's involvement in overseas expansion.

Group V

  • Mormons and Mormonism (466 titles, 512 fiche)--presents an overview of the theological, intellectual, social, economic, and political history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • The Civil War, 1861-1865 (743 titles, 797 fiche)--provides documents published before, during, and after the conflict. Topics include such issues as pre-war political thought, eyewitness accounts of battles, narratives of battles, biographies of Civil War soldiers and leaders such as Lincoln, Grant, and Lee, and many documents relating to the Confederate view of the war.
  • The European War, 1914-1918 ( 704 titles, 708 fiche)--includes material published before, during, and after the war. Included in the topics covered are pre-war sentiment toward Great Britain and Germany, German-American thought, accounts of battles and the state of affairs in France, health care, and discussions of the duties of citizens in the United States during the war.

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