Online Resources

These websites offer information of interest to teachers and students in material culture studies. Check back regularly for new additions—and if you’d like to add a favorite site to this list, send the URL and a brief annotation to

The University of Delaware Library Subject Guides features an extremely helpful section for Material Culture. This page includes an ever-changing list of the newest material culture scholarship.

The “Picturing America” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities introduces K-12 students and teachers to forty iconic American images as a way to teach the culture of objects and images in a variety of classrooms including history, politics, social studies, English, science, and art history. Visual Information Access (VIA) is a growing online union catalogue at Harvard documenting the arts, material culture, and social history. American Memory (Library of Congress), is the starting place for electronically accessing the many incredible things at the Library of Congress beyond books. Commonplace is a quarterly online journal featuring essays on the stuff of early American culture. Encyclopedia of American Studies is a publication by Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Studies Association. The Peabody Essex Museum offers an amazing collection of things emphasizing the global connectedness of early America. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing is a rich resource for all things related to the history of the book and print culture. The Daguerreian Society site is dedicated to “the art, history, and science” of the first form of photography. A Public Trust at Risk houses The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections Full Report of the Heritage Health Index (HHI), the first comprehensive survey ever conducted of the conditions and preservation needs of our nation’s collections. Connecting to Collections: A Guide to On Line Resources is a companion to the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of books, DVDs, online resources, and an annotated bibliography that is being distributed free to 2,000 collecting institutions.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work–AIC is a national membership organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural material. Heritage Preservation (HP), is the National Institute for Conservation dedicated to preserving our material culture in museums, libraries and private collections. Institute of Museum and Library Services–IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) ECHO (Exploring and Collecting History Online) is a directory to 5,000+ websites concerning the history of science, technology, and industry. H-Sci-Tech-Med is a discussion list for the history of science, technology, and medicine. Wisconsin Digital Library for Decorative Arts and Material Culture is an invaluable resource for material culture and decorative arts studies.