The Industrial Revolution in England and the United States - resources from the library and on the web
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2017
Here are a few of the books and films we have on this topic in the library catalog. To find more, try a keyword search. For example, type "industrialization" and click Keyword.
Industrial Revolution Reference Library.
Call Number: 909.81 O93i
Four-volume encyclopedia divided into Almanac, Biographies, Primary Sources, and index. "Almanac" provides an overview of the era beginning in the mid-1700s in Great Britain, which transformed an agricultural society to a complex industrial society. "Primary Sources" presents excerpts from speeches, diaries, newspaper accounts, and other documents from the Industrial Revolution era. "Biographies" profiles twenty-five of the most dynamic figures of the Industrial Revolution. This set does not circulate; it must be used in the library.
Call Number: OVR 909.81 C591i
Describes the dramatic technological, industrial, and social changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution in America and Europe.
The Industrial Revolution
Call Number: 909.81 IND
The development of industrialization in the mid-1700s sparked a surge in technology that changed the world. Chapters in this anthology discuss the great inventions of the industrial revolution and their unprecedented effects -- both beneficial and harmful -- on society.
Call Number: 941.081 SWI
Chronicles the influence of Queen Victoria in England and abroad, profiling England's progression from an agricultural to an industrial society, noting the cultural changes that industrial development caused throughout the world.
English urban life: 1776-1851
Call Number: 941.076 W242e
Discusses the changes caused by the industrialization of the mid-1700s in England. Covers the changes in social classes and working-class life; the massive influx of people to the cities from the countryside, the problems caused by this migration, and the political response to it.
David Lean's Oliver Twist
Call Number: DVD 823 DIC
Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home.
"These are prints of young persons included in Lord Ashley's report on children in mining from 1842. Although children under ten and all women and girls were banned from working underground as a result of the report, boys over ten continued to be used underground...They show how young persons were used to move the coal to the surface."
From the British National Archives' guide to Victorian Britain. This is an excellent source for primary sources online. The Victorian era, from 1837 to 1901, was a time when the government tried to respond to many social changes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution.
Some great resources that are available for free on the web:
- BBC History: British History
Within the section "Victorian Britain (1837-1901)" you will find many articles on technology and innovation, daily life and health, social reform, and the divisions between social classes during the time of the Industrial Revolution.
- British National Archives: Victorian Britain
Explore the world of Victorian Britain through this website filled with primary sources such as interviews, sketches, and inspection reports, as well as essays on different aspects of the Industrial day and age.
An immensely extensive and well-organized world history site created by Bamber Gascoigne, reaching from the prehistoric to the present day. There are two ways to browse the site: by keyword ("Histories") or by timeline. The Timelines section is broken down by century, country, continent, empire, or theme (religion, science, etc).
- BBC News: "Did Charles Dickens really save poor children and clean up the slums?"
Through his many novels, Charles Dickens depicted the poverty and squalor common throughout many neighborhoods in Victorian London. He gave the poor and disenfranchised a voice and brought their horrible living conditions to the attention of middle- and upper-class British society.
**Note! if you are accessing these databases from off-campus you will need to email the librarians for a password (see the "Off Campus" section below).
- Encyclopedia Britannica
A great alternative to Wikipedia! Use Britannica to gather general information as you start out with your research (simply search by keyword; e.g. "industrial revolution", "poor laws", "workhouses", etc). In each article, follow the cross-reference links in blue, and the links to related articles at the bottom of the page to find more information.
- Academic Search Premier
For exploring your theme through in-depth research. This database is a great place to look for scholarly articles on history, the sciences, the humanities, politics, and more. Use the Advanced Search to narrow in on a topic.