Researching the 20th Century
Useful Materials for Decades Projects

Chronologies and timelines Statistics, year books, and other valuable resources
General overviews Electronic resources
Specific topics Video recordings

Chronologies and Timelines

American Chronicle: Year by Year through the Twentieth Century. 1999.
(Reference 973.9 G)
Earlier editions of this book are available to be checked-out (973.9 G).
The American Years: A Chronology of United States History. 1999. (Reference 973.0202 G)
Chronicle of America. 1993. (Reference 973 C)
Chronicle of the 20th Century. 1987. (Reference 909.82 C; also Youth Reference)
Day by Day (series).
The Forties. 1977. (Reference 909.824 L Oversize)
The Fifties. 1979. (Reference 909.82502 M Oversize)
The Sixties. 1983. (Reference 909.826 P Oversize)
The Seventies. 1988. (Reference 909.827 L Oversize)
The Eighties. 1995. (Reference 909.828 M Oversize)
National Geographic Eyewitness to the 20th Century. 1999. (909.82 N Oversize)
Our Times: An Illustrated History of the 20th Century. 1995. (909.82 O Oversize)
The Twentieth Century: An Almanac. 1984. (Reference 909.82 T)
Twentieth Century Day by Day. 1999. (Youth Reference 909.82 T)
This is the updated version of the Chronicle of the 20th Century listed above.

General Overviews

American Decades: 1900-1989. 9 vols. 1994-1996. (Reference 973.9 A)
This multi-volume set is probably the best "all-in-one" source for information on all aspects of a specific decade.
Our American Century (series).
Dawn of the Century: 1900-1910. 1998. (973.911 D Oversize)
End of Innocence, 1910-1920. 1998. (973.913 E Oversize)
The Jazz Age: the 20s. 1998. (973.915 J Oversize)
Hard Times, the 30s. 1998. (973.917 H Oversize)
Decade of Triumph, the 40s. 1999. (973.917 D Oversize)
The American Dream: the 50s. 1998. (973.92 A)
Turbulent Years: the 60s. 1998. (973.923 T Oversize)
Time of Transition: the 70s. 1998. (973.924 T Oversize)
Pride and Prosperity, the 80s. 1999. (973.927 P Oversize)
Our Glorious Century. 1994. (973.92 O Oversize)
Reader’s Digest Great Events of the 20th Century: How They Changed Our Lives. 1977. (909.8 R)
This Fabulous Century. 8 vols. 1970. (917.303 T Oversize; also Reference and Youth Reference)
Like the Our American Century series, each volume in this set focuses on a specific decade, covering the years 1900-1970.

Specific Topics

100 Years of Hollywood. 1999. (791.430973 O Oversize)
100 Years of Wall Street. 2000. (332.64273 G)
The All Music Book of Hit Singles. 1994. (Reference 781.6409 M)
This book features monthly top twenty singles charts (both United States and United Kingdom) from 1954 to 1993.
The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-1950. 1999. (709.73074 H Oversize)
The American Century: Art and Culture, 1950-2000. 1999. (709.73 P Oversize)
Art of Our Century: The Chronicle of Western Art 1900 to the Present. 1989.
(709.04 A Oversize)
The Century of Sex: Playboy’s History of the Sexual Revolution: 1900-1999.
1999. (306.709 P)
A Century of Sports. 2000. (796.0973 C Oversize)
Chronicle of the Cinema. 1995. (791.43 C Oversize; also Reference)
ESPN Sports Century. 1999. (796.0973 E)
Executive Opinion: What Business Leaders Said and Thought on Economic Issues, 1920s-1960s. 1970. (330 K)
Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads. 1995. (641.0973 L)
This combination food history and cookbook covers each decade from the
twenties to the nineties.
The Food Chronology: A Food Lover’s Compendium of Events and Anecdotes, from Prehistory to the Present. 1995. (641.09 T; also Reference)
From Elvis to E-mail: Trends, Events, and Trivia from the Postwar Era to the End of the Century. 1999. (973.90202 D)
Hollywood 1920-1970. 1977. (791.437 H Oversize)
How Teachers Taught: Constancy and Change in American Classrooms, 1890-1980. 1984. (370.973 C)
Life: Our Century in Pictures. 1999. (909.829 L Oversize)
The Look of the Century. 1999. (745.20904 T)
This well-illustrated book traces the development of hundreds of products including furniture, appliances, clothing, and posters.
Love: A Century of Love and Passion. 1998. (306.7 M Oversize)
Million Selling Records from the 1900s to the 1980s: An Illustrated Directory. 1984. (Reference 789.912 M)
The New York Times Century of Business. 2000. (330.904 N Oversize)
Panati’s Parade of Fads, Follies, and Manias: The Origins of Our Most Cherished Obsessions. 1991. (306.0973 P)
Besides fads, this decade-by-decade survey covers books, songs, television, and radio.
The Sporting News Chronicle of 20th Century Sport. 1992. (Reference 796.09 S)
The Timetables of Science: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Science. 1988. (509 H Oversize)
Twentieth Century Teen Culture by the Decades: A Reference Guide. 1999. (305.235 R; also Youth Reference)
Variety Music Cavalcade: 1620-1969: A Chronology of Vocal and Instrumental Music Popular in the United States. 1971. (Readers Services Desk 781.97 M)
This useful reference work provides lists of popular songs and synopses of political and cultural events for each year from colonial times to 1961.
Visual Arts in the Twentieth Century. 1997. (709.04 L Oversize)
Vogue: Twentieth-Century Fashion. 1999. (746.9209 W Oversize)
Your Hit Parade and American Top Ten Hits: A Week-by-Week Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Music, 1935-1994. 1994. (Reference 782.42163 E)
An excellent source, this book includes year-end hit singles, albums lists, and weekly charts.

Statistics, Year Books, and Other Valuable Resources

Almanacs provide brief summaries of the events of a given year along with statistical and factual information.
Information Please Almanac. 1947-1998. (Reference 310 I)
Time Almanac. 1999- . (Reference 310 T)
The World Almanac and Book of Facts. 1897- . (Reference 310 W)
Encyclopedia Year Books
These annual volumes provide a thorough survey of the preceding year’s people, events, and notable developments through chronologies, country reports, biographies, obituaries, and feature articles.
The Americana Annual. 1939, 1949- . (Reference 030 A)
Britannica Book of the Year. 1939- . (Reference 030 B)
The World Book Year Book. 1964- . (Youth Reference 031 W)
Other Resources
Annals of America. 21 vols. 1976-1987. (973 A; also Reference)
The Annals is a multi-volume collection of primary sources including speeches, formal documents, court decisions, excerpts from books and periodicals, and much more illustrating the period from 1493 to 1976.
Facts on File. 1941- . (Reference 909.82 F)
Facts on File provides a detailed summary of the national and international
news events of a week. These weekly summaries are then gathered into yearly volumes, each with a comprehensive index.
Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. 2 vols. 1975. (Reference 317.3 U)
The two volumes of this work provide a vast treasure trove of statistics on subjects such as population, immigration, prices, income, social life, and manufacturing.
Modern America, 1914-1945. 1995. (Reference 973.9 G)
Arranged topically rather than chronologically, this book is a great source for statistics, facts, and lists on all aspects of American life during the first half of the century.
Page One: Major Events, 1920-1994, as Presented in the New York Times. 1994. (909.82 P Oversize; also Reference)
This book reprints the first page of the New York Times’ coverage of significant news events.
The Times in Review: A New York Times Decade Book. 5 vols. 1970-1973. (Reference 909.82 T Oversize)
The five volumes in this series, each covering a different decade, reprint the New York Times’ coverage of the top ten national and international news.
Value of a Dollar. (Reference 332.410973 V; also Information Services Desk)
Use this book to find the prices of various items from the Civil War period to the present.

Electronic Resources

American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century
This excellent website provides an overview of the cultural, political, and technological events of each decade and hundreds of links to sources of additional information.
Chronicle of the 20th Century. 1996. (CD-ROM Oversize 909.82 C)
Decades in 20th Century America: Doing the Decades Report
A good starting point for Internet research, this website contains carefully selected and annotated links to other sites arranged by decade.
Our Times Multimedia Encyclopedia of the 20th Century. 1995. (CD-ROM 909.82 O Oversize)
United States Historical Census Data Browser
Use this website to create your own customized tables and charts of census data for any decade from 1790 to 1970.

Video Recordings

The Century: America’s Time. 6 videocassettes. 1999. (Video 909.82 C)
The Twentieth Century (series).
The 1910s: The Modern Age Begins. 2000. (Video 973.91 T).
The 1920s: A Decade of Contradictions. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1930s: The Great Depression. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1940s: War, Recovery, and Rebirth. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1950s: Promoting the American Dream. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1960s: A Global Revolution. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1970s: Power Plays. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1980s: A Decade of Decadence. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)
The 1990s: America’s Hard Drive. 2000. (Video 973.91 T)