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World's Fairs 1850-1950

guide on how to research world's' fairs and expositions, based on on Birth of the Modern Spring 2019 course guide

Suggested Search Terms

There is a huge amount of material out there to find on these topics.

In Databases, search the fair title. Also alternatives. For example, the 1893 "Chicago World's Fair" is also called "The Columbian Exhibition."

On Google, try searching for the name of the fair, plus either "visual culture" or "artifacts" or "posters,:Suggested Search Terms" etc.

A search like this also provides good results: “world’s fairs and visual culture.”

Otis College Library Catalog

Primary Sources

If you find something written in the period you are studying, it may qualify as a primary source.

Vogue is perfect for historical research because it has every issue completely available going back to the late 1800s, including ads, articles, etc. All searchable by key word and date range. This amounts to PRIMARY sources. When off campus, login is required.

Periodical Databases

Film and Video

Check YouTube for documentaries, newsreels, and home movies about the fairs.

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