American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.
This project is a collaboration between researchers and developers at IATH, the University of California at Berkeley's School of Information, and the California Digital Library. The project recently finished its pilot stage with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Another grant, from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the project through another two years as it adds millions more records and begins beta testing with researchers.
The site allows visitors to search for the names of individuals, corporate entities, or families to find "archival context records" for them.