PRIMARY SOURCE COLLECTIONS
By the late 19th century, rapid industrial growth had created crowded industrial cities across the United States. Workers flocked to manufacturing centers as jobs in industry replaced jobs in farming. The City Beautiful movement of the early 20th century was a response to rapid industrialization and immigration in America's urban centers. The movement set out to create orderly cities that contained healthy open spaces and showcased public buildings that expressed the moral values of the city. The 1908 Columbus Plan is a strong example of City Beautiful era urban plans that were created throughout the country. The elements of the 1908 Columbus Plan include the 1) Introduction, 2) The General Survey, 3) Parks, Parkways and Recreation Grounds, and 4) The Civic Center. This full-color copy is a scanned version of an original, available in the Genealogy, History, and Travel section of the downtown branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Click here to view the 1908 Columbus Plan.
Mark Twain referred to the era of the late 19th century as the Gilded Age — glittering on the surface, but corrupt underneath. This period was one of technological innovation, mass immigration, political corruption, and railroads and business trusts. From the beginning of the 20th century through World War I, the Progressive Era changed 19th century villages into 20th century cities, laid bare the slums and the worst urban vices that resulted from rapid industrialization and urbanization, tentatively supported labor unions to provide a living wage for working families, proposed parks to be used by children, and worried about typhoid-ridden drinking water and lack of sewers and sanitation collection. Drawn primarily from the archives of the Columbus Dispatch and the Columbus Citizen, the news articles and political cartoons in this collection highlight the concerns of Gilded Age Columbus and the Progressive efforts to remake the social and political order of the city. Click here to view the news articles and political cartoons.
Primary Source Collections Under Development
- The Crisis Newspaper, Volume IV, No. 10, March 30, 1864
- Columbus Illustrated Negro Directory, 1929-1930
- Columbus in the Great Depression: Selected City Reports
- The Desegregation of Columbus Schools: 1977-1978