New Exhibition: American Empire

By DPLA, May 10, 2017.

We are pleased to announce the publication of our newest exhibition, American Empire, curated by DPLA intern and Brown University Public Humanities MA candidate Andrea Ledesma. American Empire offers a dynamic exploration of the Age of American Imperialism between the Spanish-American War and the mid-twentieth century. Through the examination of the culture, administration, and development of American colonialism in Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Hawaii, the exhibition explores the rise and fall of the American empire and its legacies.

American Empire draws on diverse materials from across DPLA’s partner collections, including propaganda posters, administrative documents, photographs documenting life in the empire, and video clips. Using this rich trove of materials, the exhibition investigates critical questions about the Age of American Imperialism and its place in the nation’s ongoing conversations about heritage, citizenship, racism, and globalization.

  • What are the origins of American imperialistic foreign policy?
  • How did American colonizers and territorial residents navigate the boundaries between citizen and subject?
  • In what ways did indigenous residents wage cultural, political, and military resistance against American colonization?
  • How did Americans at home both embrace and reject the empire and imperialistic foreign policy?
  • How and why did the American empire fall?

Explore the answers to these questions and more in the exhibition.

View the Exhibition

American Empire was curated using materials contributed by institutions across our partner network. In particular, we would like to thank Recollection Wisconsin, California Digital Library, Illinois Digital Heritage Hub and The New York Public Library for their assistance in creating this exhibition.