At a Glance


More than 1,800 primary sources provide a window into the Temperance Movement and Prohibition.

Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives

Alcohol, Temperance, and Prohibition

Image, "Who will pay the beer bill?,", American Issue Publishing Company

This small, but useful, website offers a wide range of primary source material for researching the history of the prohibition movement, temperance, and alcoholism. The more than 1,800 items include broadsides, sheet music, pamphlets, and government publications related to the temperance movement and prohibition.

Materials come from the period leading up to prohibition, such as an 1830s broadside on the "Absent Father" as well as the prohibition era itself, such as a 1920 pamphlet entitled, "Alcohol Sides with Germ Enemies." They end with the passage of the 21st Amendment in 1933.

All digitized items are in the public domain. An essay, "Temperance and Prohibition Era Propaganda: A Study in Rhetoric" by Leah Rae Berk provides an overview of the topic and historical context.