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Best Foot Forward: The Shoe Industry in Massachusetts
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It was approximately 40,000 years ago that mankind first donned a pair ...

It was approximately 40,000 years ago that mankind first donned a pair of shoes. During humanity’s long history of footwear, and an equally broad array of styles, the basic fundamentals of Western shoemaking remained mostly unchanged until the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1800s, the small state of Massachusetts revolutionized the shoemaking industry, cladding the feet of consumers nationwide in unprecedented numbers. One of America’s original colonies, Massachusetts found itself at the heart of the nation’s shoemaking industry by attracting and retaining skilled shoemakers and shoe machinery engineers. Only when the technology that Massachusetts' shoemakers invented became available beyond the state did the industry’s market expand throughout the country. Even with the spread of industrialization, Massachusetts remained the largest producer of shoes in the United States through World War I, responsible for nearly forty percent of America’s shoes and home to an equal percentage of its shoemakers. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA’s Public Library Partnerships Project by collaborators from Digital Commonwealth. Exhibition organizer: Anna Fahey-Flynn.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Unit of Study
Provider:
Digital Commonwealth
Digital Public Library of America
Provider Set:
DPLA Exhibitions
Author:
Anna Fahey-Flynn
A History of US Public Libraries
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
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For many Americans, their fondest memories revolve around a library card. From ...

For many Americans, their fondest memories revolve around a library card. From searching through the stacks, to getting a return date stamped on the back of a new favorite book, libraries are a quintessential part of how Americans learn and engage with their local communities. Since this country’s founding, public libraries have received broad and consistent popular support for their democratic missions and services. The ability to access free information has become a core ideal of what it means to be an American citizen, despite periods of historic inequality. Libraries help make this access possible by placing public benefit at the center of their work and continually adapting their strategies to meet changing public needs over time. This exhibition tells the story of the American public library system, its community impact, and the librarians who made it possible—from the founding of the first US libraries through the first one hundred years of service. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA’s Public Library Partnerships Project in collaboration with partners and participants from Digital Commonwealth, Digital Library of Georgia, Minnesota Digital Library, Montana Memory Project, and Mountain West Digital Library.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Unit of Study
Provider:
Digital Commonwealth
Digital Library of Georgia
Digital Public Library of America
Minnesota Digital Library
Montana Memory Project
Mountain West Digital Library
Provider Set:
DPLA Exhibitions
Author:
Franky Abbot
Hillary Brady
Patriotic Labor: America during World War I
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
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Amidst tensions over European political and territorial boundaries, the assassination of Archduke ...

Amidst tensions over European political and territorial boundaries, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian terrorist in 1914 derailed peace in the western world by sparking World War I—one of the highest-casualty conflicts in modern times. While European nations quickly engaged, the United States immediately declared neutrality. By 1917, however, remaining neutral was no longer an option. The Great War would bring the United States out of isolationism and onto the world stage. It would also change life on the American home front forever. A centralized government took control of American life in an unprecedented fashion by instating a mandatory military draft, controlling industries, initiating food and ration restrictions, and launching elaborate campaigns to encourage patriotism. One of the most important, if temporary, changes brought by the war at home came from the stifled flow of labor, as men were pulled away by the draft and immigration slowed. The need for American labor provided second-class citizens, such as women and African Americans, a brief opportunity for better jobs. This glimpse would help foment in them a desire for more and equal opportunities after they were pulled away once more at war’s end. This exhibition was created as part of the DPLA’s Public Library Partnerships Project by collaborators from Digital Commonwealth. Exhibition organizer: Anna Fahey-Flynn.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Unit of Study
Provider:
Digital Commonwealth
Digital Public Library of America
Provider Set:
DPLA Exhibitions
Author:
Anna Fahey-Flynn