Tankard engraved with scenes of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London, 1675-76, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987.54

Primary Sources and Teaching Tools

This section includes primary sources, maps, and timelines related to past epidemics that are suitable for research or classroom use.

Maps and Timelines

Sarah Schuetze, "Mapping a Demon Malady: Cholera Maps and Affect in 1832," Commonplace  

"Pandemics That Changed History," History.com (May 19, 2020) 

Primary Sources

"The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918: A Digital Encyclopedia," University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library 

"The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878," Digital Public Library of America 

"Archive-It—Global Health Events web archive," National Library of Medicine 

"Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics," Curiosity Collections, Harvard Library 

"Fifth Annual Report of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital for the Year 1918," Harvard Library     

"Infectious Disease in American History," National Museum of American History

Various authors, "South African Verses from 1918," World History Bulletin (Spring/Summer 2020)

Kristie Flannery, "How to Research the History of Maritime Asia and the Spanish Pacific during a Pandemic," Toynbee Prize Foundation (August 19, 2020)

Ian Milligan, "Help Archive 2020 for Future Generations," Waterloo Chronicle (October 8, 2020)

Lucie Levine, "How to Gather the Oral Histories of COVID-19," JSTOR Daily (December 2, 2020)

Jason M. Kelly, "The COVID-19 Oral History Project: Some Preliminary Notes from the Field," The Oral History Review (September 2, 2020)

Jordan Meyerl and Katy Kole De Peralta, "Identifying and Filling Silences in a COVID-19 Archive," History @ Work (September 30, 2020) 

Laura Spinney, "What Are COVID Archivists Keeping for Tomorrow's Historians?" Nature (December 17, 2020)

Teaching Guides

Kristin Anderson-Bricker, "'Keep Germs to Yourself': Lessons from the 1918 Influenza Epidemic," The Loras Daily (April 9, 2020)

Phillip A. Cantrell, II, "World History in the Time of Covid-19: Using Stay-at-Home Orders to Process IDP Experiences," World History Bulletin (Spring/Summer 2020)

Whitney A. M. Leeson, "Jesuit Relations Reading Workshop: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Jesuit and Wendat Medical Responses to the 1636 Influenza Epidemic," World History Bulletin (Spring/Summer 2020)

Joseph M. Gabriel, "Teaching the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in the Time of COVID-19, Part 1" Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (July 21, 2020) 

Joseph M. Gabriel, "Teaching the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in the Time of COVID-19, Part 2" Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (July 28, 2020) 


Michael G. Vann, "Microsyllabus: Histories of Epidemic Disease," The Abusable Past (July 10, 2020)

David Barnes, Merlin Chowkwanyun, and Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, "Pandemic Syllabus," Public Books (July 13, 2020)

Antoine S. Johnson, Elise A. Mitchell, Ayah Nuriddin, "Syllabus: A History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine," Black Perspectives (August 12, 2020) 


John Fabian Witt, American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to COVID-19, Yale University Press (October 27, 2020)

Vinayak Chaturvedi ed., The Pandemic: Perspectives on Asia, Columbia University Press (December 2020)