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North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories presents indexed and searchable full-text personal narratives, including letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories about immigrating to the U.S. or Canada. Several thousand pages of Ellis Island Oral History interviews are included, along with thousands of political cartoons. The materials begin around 1840 and extend to the present, focusing heavily on the period from 1920 to 1980. People from many countries are represented, including more recent waves of immigrants from Latin America and Asia. In selected cases, audio files will let users hear the actual voices of the immigrants, and facsimile images will show pages of their scrapbooks.

Search tips:

  • An interesting way to gain access to the content is to browse the table of contents.  To do this, click on the table of contents you wish to browse in the bar on the left side of the page.  Subject browsing can be very useful in tracking down documents with similar themes, for example schools, railroads, or the theater.
  • Use the Find Authors search to easily find documents by many criteria such as nationality, data of birth, religion, and port of entry into the United States.  Use the bar on the left side of the page to select Find Authors.
  • Full-Text searching enables you to do keyword searching for occurrences of words or phrases in the database. You can limit your full-text search to specific fields such as place of birth or gender.  For the largest list of fields to search, select the advanced search mode.

Where is it :

Go to the UNLV Libraries' home page. Under Find, select Articles, then under Article databases by name, click on the letter N and select North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories.

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