Imagine seeing into the minds of tens of thousands of individuals,
asking personal questions and getting answers within seconds. Thatís the
experience of using In the First Person. Among these account,
you'll find immigrants describing what it was like to come through Ellis
Island; a British nurse writing in 1945 upon hearing the news of
Hitlerís suicide; a black schoolgirl relating her reaction to seeing a
white person for the first time; a firsthand account of a smallpox
outbreak in Virginia in 1792; women columnists describing in the 1990s
what it took to break into journalism. In their own words, these and
tens of thousands of other voices tell us about their lives, loves,
careers, challenges, accomplishments, spiritual and identity struggles,
and countless other memories.
The most comprehensive archive of social memory yet created,
the First Person is a one-stop starting point for historians,
sociologists, genealogists, linguists, and psychologists who want to
find, explore, and analyze human experiences. All users of
First Person, a free index, will see citation level access to
materials within the following Alexander Street databases.
subscribers (APSU) will be able to hyperlink to the full-text within these
- North American Women's Letters and Diaries
- British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries
- Black Thought and Culture
- North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories
- The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries
- North American Indian Biographical Database
Ways to use the
Use these to see what's contained in the database. This is the best
way to check whether an author or a source is included. To use this
tool, simply click on the appropriate table of contents button on
the navigation bar.
-- The "FIND" tools let you search for specific authors and sources
that the database contains and combine criteria to narrow down what
you're looking for. The difference between the "FIND" tools and the
"SEARCH" tools (explained next) is in the results they give. The
"FIND" tools do not return documents, but rather lists of authors
and sources in the database.
-- The "SEARCH" tools let you analyze words and documents that occur
within the text of stories that meet your search criteria. The
"SEARCH" tools return stories or bibliographic citations or both.
Operators in Full-Text Searching:
line ( | ) is the OR operator (e.g., avarice|greed or holy
as the AND operator in sentence and paragraph Proximity Searching
(e.g., church state retrieve all cases where church and state appear
in the same specified context; this is not the case in phrase
expressions can be combined for more sophisticated searches; for
finds any of the three adjectives together with the nouns man or
fellow in the singular or plural.
Characters in Full-Text Searching:
single character (e.g., gentlem.n will retrieve gentleman and
string of characters, anchoring the match at the beginning of a word
(e.g., cigar* will match cigar, cigars, cigarette, etc.).
string of characters, anchoring the match at the end of a word (e.g.,
*habit will retrieve habit, cohabit, and inhabit), or in the middle
(e.g., c.*eers matches compeers, cheers, and careers).
characters entered or the characters entered plus one more character in
place of the question mark (e.g., hono.?r matches both honor and honour
and cat.? matches cat and cats, but not cathedral, Catherine, etc.).
single character found in the specified range (e.g., [c-f]at will match
cat, dat, eat, and fat) or any letters within the brackets (e.g.,
civili[zs]e will match both civilize and civilise).
# (hash mark):
capitalized words only (e.g., #bacon will retrieve Bacon, but not
bacon). Otherwise word searches are case insensitive. Please note that
this operator does not work properly in conjunction with the vertical
bar (e.g., searching #hamlet|#bacon will not retrieve accurate results).
accented and non-accented forms (e.g., to search naÔvetť regardless of
accents type naIvetE).
You may access In the First Person from anywhere
with a valid APSU ID.