The Family History Writing Studio

Social History Resources

History and social history are important ingredients in building the world and stories of your ancestors. Below is a list of resources to help you with that research. If you have found a website that could benefit others please email me at so we can add it to the list. Likewise, if you have found a link on this list that is broken or no longer is available please let us know.


The Social Historian – Archives of Sears Wishbooks

Historic Catalogues of Sears Roebuck 1896-1993  (


Digital Libraries

HathiTrust Digital Library

Google Books

Smithsonian Digital Library

Digital Public Library of America

American Centuries

American Journeys

Documenting the American South

The New York Library Digital Collections

Harvard University Library



Timelines of History

HyperHistory Online

The Food Timeline

Timelines: Sources from History



Gendisasters – Disasters that touched our ancestor’s lives



Measuring Worth


Love and Marriage

Love and Marriage in the 19th Century



Waterloo County House of Industry and Refuge




Early English Costume: Medieval Women’s Fashions

Had to Be There – fashion covering nearly 1000 years by NY Times

16th Century Fashion

Women’s Fashions of the 17th Century


Travel and Immigration 

Historical Background on Traveling in the 19th Century  

Voyages – Immigrants on the Ocean (focus on Norwegian emigrants)

Emigration to USA and Canada

Journeys to Australia

Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives: Social and Cultural History – The Future of Our Past

Canadian Immigration – Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21



Canadian Social History Series

Canadian Museum of History: Online Resources for Canadian Heritage

A Nation’s Chronicle: The Canada Gazette

History of New France

Rural Diary Archive

War Diaries of the First World War

Canada’s Nursing Sisters – Diaries

Ink – Free Early Newspapers 

Military Oral History – University of Victoria

Pioneer Life in Upper Canada


United States of America

Making of America 

American Memory Collection

Historical Census Browser

Discovering American Women’s History Online

American Social History Project

Bethlehem Digital History Project

Chronicling America



British History Online

A Vision of Britain through Time 

HistPop: Online Historical Population Reports

The Health of London: Medical Officer Health Reports 1848-1972

Connected Histories: 1500-1900

History to Herstory: Yorkshire Women’s Lives, 1100 to present

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1791-1845

Timelines Sources from History

VCH Explore, Explore England’s Past

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers

Witches in Early Modern England

Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette  – Victorian Etiquette


Medieval Times

Life in a Medieval Castle

Manorial Language

Tales of the Middle Ages



Economic and Social Conditions in France during the Eighteenth Century



March 12, 2017
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