The USA: Cultural History

Resources exploring the arts, culture, sports & music.

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A History of African-American Music
A History of African-American Music
Portia Maultsby's guide to the history of African-American music. Contains a useful interactive map exploring the historical development of musical traditions.
Association for Cultural Equity: The Alan Lomax Online Archive
Association for Cultural Equity: The Alan Lomax Online Archive
Alan Lomax was a folklorist who spent a large part of the twentieth century touring the United States & the world recording and interviewing musicians. This site holds vast amounts of his important collections on blues, bluegrass, calypso. A resource for the casual browser and cultural historians.
Folkstreams
Folkstreams
A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures streamed with essays about the traditions and filmmaking. Also contains links to other resources & lesson plans.
Open Culture: Hunter S. Thompson Documentary (1978)
Open Culture: Hunter S. Thompson Documentary (1978)
BBC Omnibus documentary from 1978 exploring the world of the renowned cultural commentator and writer.
Open Culture: Alfred Hitchcock’s Rules for Watching Psycho (1960)
Open Culture: Alfred Hitchcock’s Rules for Watching Psycho (1960)
This short 11-minute film was created by Hitchcock as part of the promotion for his 1960 classic Psycho. A tool for convincing cinema managers to make people queue to watch!
Hollywood - Celebration of the American Silent Film (tv series)
Hollywood - Celebration of the American Silent Film (tv series)
13-part tv documentary charting the rise and fall of silent movies in America from 1980 narrated by James Mason. Each episode packed with interviews and clips.
Duke University: Adviews
Duke University: Adviews
A vast searchable archive of tv advertisements from the 1950s to the 1980s. Useful for exploring trends in culture & consumption. Indexed by subject and all ads available for download.
The Virtual Armory Show of 1913
The Virtual Armory Show of 1913
From February 17th to March 15th, 1913, New York's 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th streets was home to approximately 1250 paintings, sculptures, and decorative works by over 300 European and American artists. In many ways the exhibition was the affirmation of modernism in America. You can explore that exhibition and consider its impact here.
Some Enchanted Evenings: American Picture Palaces
Some Enchanted Evenings: American Picture Palaces
The University of Virginia's online cultural history of the American movie theater. An exploration of their place in society, culture & architecture.