The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with Nellie Bly (1864–1922), including newspaper articles, photographs, and books. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to Nellie Bly that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on Nellie Bly and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.
Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography
American Memory Historical Collections
American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
This resource provides an overview of women’s history materials in the Library’s collections. Primarily intended as a gateway into the Library’s physical collections, it offers introductions to topics and images in women’s history. Nellie Bly is mentioned in an introduction on finding women in newspapers and a section on researching women in the newspaper industry. She is also featured in a newspaper image commemorating her journey around the world
Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World's Transportation Commission, 1894-1896
The World's Transportation Commission Photograph Collection contains nearly nine hundred images by American photographer William Henry Jackson from 1894 to 1896. In addition to railroads, elephants, camels, horses, sleds and sleighs, sedan chairs, rickshaws, and other types of transportation, Jackson photographed city views, street and harbor scenes, landscapes, local inhabitants, and Commission members as they traveled through North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania. Collected only a few years after Bly’s journey around the world, the photographs offer insight into some of the types of transportation she used on her journey: ship, train, jinrikisha, sampan, horse, and burro. The World’s Transportation Commission itinerary includes countries that Bly visited.
Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey, 1933-Present
This collection documents achievements in architecture, engineering, and landscape design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types, engineering technologies, and landscapes. Photos and data pertaining to the historical buildings of Blackwell’s Island can be found by searching on “Blackwell’s Island” or “Welfare Island.” Images of the insane asylum where Bly went undercover as a journalist can be found under the title “Welfare Island, Insane Asylum, New York, New York County, NY.”
Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies
Thomas Edison's laboratory was responsible for the invention of the Kinetograph (a motion picture camera) and the Kinetoscope (a peep-hole motion picture viewer). This collection features 341 Edison films, including 127 titles also available in other American Memory motion picture groupings. Created in 1903, Panorama of Blackwell's Island, N.Y., was photographed from a boat heading south along the eastern shore of Blackwell's Island, known today as Roosevelt Island. The island lies in the East River, between Manhattan (which can be seen in the background) and Long Island City, Queens.
Designed for elementary and middle school students, America's Story from America's Library provides the following story related to Nellie Bly:
Jump Back in Time: Nellie Bly Circled the Globe: January 25, 1890
Digital Collections & Services
This collection of historical American newspapers covering the period from 1836-1922, provides digital images of articles written by and about Bly during her lifetime. A search on the exact phrase "Nellie Bly" returns numerous results, which can then be sorted by state, title, or date. Examples of articles about Bly that can be found in this collection include the following:
- "A Girl's Feat. Nellie Bly Starts Out on a Wondrous Flying Trip Around the Globe." The Evening World (New York, N.Y.), November 14, 1889
- "Bly and Bisland." The St. Paul Daily Globe (St. Paul, Minn.), December 16, 1889
- "Nellie in the Lead." The St. Paul Daily Globe (St. Paul, Minn.), January 23, 1890
- "Nellie Bly Extra." The Evening World (New York, N.Y.), January 25, 1890
- "Nellie Bly, Noted as Newspaper Writer, Dies." New York Tribune (New York, N.Y.), January 28, 1922
Federal Research Division
Country Studies and Country Profiles
The Country Studies Series presents the online version of books published between 1988 and 1998 by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. Each work provides a description and analysis of the country’s historical setting and its social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions. Nellie Bly’s travels took her 28,000 miles. Her journey began in Jersey City, New Jersey. From there her journey included England, France, Egypt, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan before she returned to the United States. Browse the Country Studies to discover more about the places Bly visited. The Country Profiles are a series of profiles of foreign nations that are part of the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program. They offer reasonably current, brief, summarized country information.
Prints & Photographs Division
Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)
Search PPOC using the phrase Nellie Bly to retrieve the greatest number of images related to her. To limit the number of results, search on the phrase Nellie Bly 1867 - 1922.
Around the World in 1896
This is a lesson plan for grades 6 to 8, based on the photograph collection of the same name. Although not explicitly discussed, Nellie Bly’s travels can easily be worked into this lesson plan. Working in groups, students plan, take, and document a trip around the world in 1896 using the digital collection Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World's Transportation Commission, 1894-1896
Presentations and Activities
Women’s Words of Wisdom: Thoughts Over Time
Discover the wisdom shared by women from many walks of life through the years of America's past in this online presentation. Click on the portrait of Nellie Bly to view her quote, “Energy rightly applied can accomplish anything.”
Today in History
On January 25, 1890, police cleared a path through a cheering crowd for reporter Nellie Bly as she stepped off a train in New York just 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days.
External Web Sites
A Celebration of Women Writers
This electronic collection maintained by the University of Pennsylvania recognizes the historical contributions of women writers by making their works available online. Bly’s accounts of her undercover investigation at the Blackwell Island insane asylum, Ten Days in a Mad-House (1887), and of her globe-circling travels, Around the World in Seventy-Two Days (1890), are available here. Of special note, Ten Days in a Mad-House includes original illustrations and advertisements as published by Ian L. Munroe, and Around the World in Seventy-Two Days includes an itinerary and mileage table tracking her famous trip.
American Experience: Around the World in 72 Days, from PBS
This 56-minute documentary recounts the daring adventures and fearless attitude that made Bly a successful journalist and eventually a household name. The accompanying PBS Web site includes a map of Bly’s travels, excerpts from her book Around the World in Seventy-Two Days, additional background information, special features, and a teacher’s guide.
National Women’s Hall of Fame: Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochran)
Nellie Bly was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998 for her pioneering work as an investigative reporter.
Kroeger, Brooke. Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist. New York: Times Books, 1994.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 K76 1994 [Catalog Record]
Marks, Jason. Around the World in 72 Days. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Sterlinghouse Publisher, 1999.
LC Call Number: G440.B67137 M37 1999 [Catalog Record]
Rittenhouse, Mignon. The Amazing Nellie Bly. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 R5 1971 [Catalog Record]
Freeden, Charles. Nellie Bly: Daredevil Reporter. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2000.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 F74 2000 [Catalog Record]
Kendall, Martha E. Nellie Bly: Reporter for the World. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1992.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 K4 1992 [Catalog Record]
Knudsen, Shannon. Nellie Bly. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2006.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 K68 2006 [Catalog Record]
Macy, Sue. Bylines: a Photobiography of Nellie Bly. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2009.
LC Call Number: PN4874.C59 M33 2009 [Catalog Record]
* Fall 2009 SLIS MSLS Practicum