Of Mice and Men Project Resources
There are a lot of wonderful websites to help you do this project -- but don't forget that there are also a LOT of books you can check out from the library as well. We may not have a book that's just about every topic, but we should at least have an article in a reference book for everything.
There are a few different sections of the library where you can find information about your project topics:
- Biographies: John Steinbeck
- 973: U.S. History
- 813: Literary Criticism
- 331.5: History of Migrant Workers
You can also look up specific titles in the library catalog (here).
Databases are going to be incredibly useful for this project, and we have quite a few that will work for you. Remember, everything in these databases is guaranteed to be from a reliable source!
The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and The New Deal
Modern American Poetry: The Great Depression
This website has everything: a super-comprehensive overview of the Depression and the Dust Bowl with lots of facts and background, an art gallery, and a massive photo essay with photos from the Depression and the Dust Bowl. A must-see.
Surviving the Dust Bowl
This is actually a film from PBS (that you can watch on the website). It’s full of information, but it’s also a very moving and sad story. Give yourself a break from reading! There’s also a lot of supporting documents, interviews, and more.
American Cultural History: The 1930s
Learn about what daily life was like during the Depression.
Voices from the Dust Bowl
Interviews, photographs, music, and more from workers in the Farm Security Administration migrant worker camps.
America in the 1930s
Video, real audio from radio programs, interviews, documents, photos, and more. There’s also a particularly nice timeline on this website.
The New Deal Network
This website focuses on documents. So, there are lots of scanned letters, speeches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, flyers, photographs, etc. A fantastic place for primary sources. The New Deal came after the Great Depression, but this archive has lots of documents from both eras.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: The Great Depression
A timeline, essays by historians, primary sources, interviews with historians and survivors of the Depression, as well as interactive feature on life on the Lower East Side during the Depression.
Picturing the 1930s
This is one of the coolest history resources online -- it’s a virtual museum. Like a museum, you can use your mouse to walk around to different rooms. Each room has a different exhibition, with artworks, videos, newsreels and more. There’s also a curator in each room who can help explain the exhibit to you.
Letters of Note
Actual letters from the 1930s.
Time Magazine Archives
Search through magazine covers and articles from any year since 1923. This is a great way to see what was on people’s minds and what was happening during a particular time period.
Digital History: The Great Depression
Digital History is basically an interactive, online history textbook from The University of Houston. It’s packed with information about the time period, with lots of primary source documents, images, etc.
A Biography of America: FDR and The Depression
This website includes a timeline, maps, and some helpful links for further research, but the best part is the video section. Each video is straightforward and easy to understand, with lots of expert opinions and a good story.
I Remember... Reminiscences of the Great Depression
There’s not much to this site, but these are beautiful and moving stories shared by people who loved through the Depression. It’s a great way to get a sense of what life was really like.
Smithsonian Source Primary Sources
Search through the Smithsonian’s extensive collection of primary sources: artifacts, documents, and photographs. The collection can be broken down by topic, so you can see all of the photographs related to the Great Depression, and are searchable, so you can easily find a document George Washington signed.
Calisphere: 1929-1939: The Great Depression
Calisphere is a program from the University of California libraries. Their primary source project collects pictures, letters, and other primary source documents from different historical periods. Their section on the Great Depression is mostly pictures, but they’re broken down by topic in an easy-to-understand way and really worth a look.
New Deal Network
This is going to be one of the best resources for you to use. It’s chock full of all different kinds of primary sources, and all from the Great Depression/New Deal era. You can search by the name of the person you’re looking for, by the type of source (picture, letter, artifact, etc.), or you can just browse. Even if your specific person isn’t mentioned here, you can still get a good idea of what the time period was like by browsing through.
Studs Terkel: Conversations with America
Studs Terkel is a prominent oral historian, which means that he has basically been interviewing people about historical events for several decades now. This website contains audio files of the vast majority of Terkel’s interviews, which you can search through. He tends to interview non-famous people, so you might not have any luck searching for your specific person, but you can search for things like "dustbowl" or "farms" or "new deal" or just "depression".
The Steinbeck Institute at Stanford University
Some of the information here isn’t relevant for this project (there’s a lot about the region Steinbeck lived in), but try the Teacher Resources page -- there’s a lot on there about Of Mice and Men in particular that is very helpful.
Center for Steinbeck Studies
One of the most comprehensive biographies on the internet.
Monterey County Historical Society: John Steinbeck Chronology
Most of the info on this website is about Monterery County, not John Steinbeck; however, this timeline is fairly detailed and might be a good starting point for your research.
The Nobel Prize in Literature: John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962, so there’s a section about him on the Nobel website. There’s a short biography here, as well as some interesting FAQs about Steinbeck. Try reading Steinbeck’s speech to the Nobel Committee - it’s really interesting to hear him talk about his own writing.
History of Treatment of People with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Parallels in Time: A History of Developmental Disabilities
Each era in time (extending all the way back to ancient times) has a section here, with lots of information about what was happening to people with disabilities during that period. There’s a lot of detail, and it’s easy to understand. Make this your first stop - it’s probably the most helpful website on this page.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund: A History of the ADA
A really, really detailed history of the Americans with Disabilities Act, written by someone who was part of the movement.
The Disability Social History Project
This timeline starts in 3500 BC and goes up to the present day. The entries are short, but it’s a great jumping off point. The rest of the website is also worth a look. There are some biographies of important fighters for disabled people’s rights, as well as some helpful links.
National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth: Disability History
There’s another (shorter but more detailed) timeline here, a map showing where disability legislation has passed and where different protections exist, a history of the movement, as well as lots of ideas for what’s happening today and what people can do to contribute to the movement.
University of Washington: History and Current Trends Regarding People with Disabilities
This website breaks the history down into trends (exclusion and dependence, civil rights, etc.) that might be helpful in showing you the bigger picture.
Temple University: Disability History Timeline
This is actually a school project done by a student at Temple, but it’s very detailed and seems to be accurate (but remember to double check!). It only starts in the 19th Century, but each entry is a bit longer than some of the other timelines. There’s also a nice bibliography at the bottom for further reading.
Migrant Workers in the 1930s and Now
The Atlantic: For Migrant Workers, Still the Harvest and the Shame
A look at a documentary (The Harvest and the Shame) that drew national attention to the plight of migrant workers 40 years ago. You can see the documentary, read some history about it, and see a short news piece that shows how conditions have changed - and how they’ve stayed the same.
United Farm Workers: History
A history of the UFW, the primary organization fighting for migrant workers rights.
American Memory Project: The Migrant Experience
This focuses only on migrant workers during the Depression, but gives a great idea of what life was like for them. There are also lots of pictures here, as well as some audio.
California Perspectives on American History: Repatriation for Mexican and Filipino Farmworkers
This focuses on California in the 1930s, but has some good information about how migrant workers came to California during the Depression and how they were forced to leave. There is a small photo gallery as well.
Florida Memory Project: Migrant Workers During the Depression in Florida
This website focuses on migrants who came to Florida during the Depression. It’s got great information about how they lived and what the conditions were. There are also lots of photos here.
University of Michigan: Migrant Farmworkers
This is actually a student project (but one that is well researched and accurate) about the history of migrant farm workers. There’s a section here about education, healthcare, laws and activism, and a great bibliography. It does focus more on modern migrant workers (so, not the Depression), but it’s a great resource for more recent history. There’s also a really detailed bibliography with lots of other resources you might find helpful.
National Center for Farmworker Health: About Farmworkers
This website focuses not just on history, but also on giving a good picture of the demographics of farmworkers throughout history: who they are, where they came from, why they came.
African Americans and Women in the 1930s
Discovering Women’s History
This collection of primary sources connected to women’s history is incredibly comprehensive. Each decade contains hundreds of different primary sources: documents, artifacts, photographs, letters, etc. You can search by time period or by using a specific search term. Obviously, this site will only be useful for people researching women.
American Women Through Time: The 1930s
A huge detailed timeline, describing every notable event in the history of women's rights. Super comprehensive.
Race Relations During the 1930s and 40s: American Memory Project
This website has some introductory information about African Americans during the Depression, but also has links to lots of primary sources from this time period, which are incredibly interesting (including speeches by Booker T. Washington, Southern folktales, and more).
Jim Crow Stories: The Great Depression
A great overview of race relations during the Depression, with lots of first person stories.
American Women and the Great Depression
This is just an essay, but it's a great look at women during the depression.
BBC Women's Hour: Women's History Timeline
This resource is from the BBC, so it's a great look at women around the world during this time. There's a timeline (not as detailed as the one above, but pretty good) and also a radio program and slideshow you can watch and listen to. It's a nice break from reading, with lots of interesting pictures you might want to use.
A Short History of Salinas, California: Monterey County Historical Society
This website has a great introduction to the history of Salinas. It's broken down by period, and the period you'll need to look at is the last one, from 1910 - 1940.
The City of Salinas
This website is partially geared towards tourists, but there's also valuable historical information. For a brief history of the town, look in the "Our History" section. For information about the town now, try "Community Profile".
Salinas Public Library: Salinas History
The library website is really valuable: it has a huge collection of links to information about historical Salinas, notable town residents, and more. Keep scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page - there's a lot there!
Historical Landmarks in Salinas, California
This is actually a website for a school project - students were assigned to research a landmark in their town. It was done by a 3rd grade class, so there isn't a lot of in depth information, but it's a good starting list of historical landmarks, with some lovely photos (and 3rd grader drawings).
Historical Maps: Salinas
See Salinas then and now! The maps go all the way back to 1910, so you can compare the town at various points with the town now.