Major Research Tools

America: History and Life

Time period covered: prehistory to present; publication coverage: 1954 to present.

Indexes journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations on the history and culture of the United States and Canada. Subjects include area studies, folklore, government, historiography, political science, popular culture, and urban history.

Early American Newspapers I and II

Coverage: 1690-1900 (focus on 1700-1799 and 1820-1860)

Searchable, cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of U.S. historic newspapers. The publisher's web site includes a description of some of the key titles within Series I and Series II.

History Matters

Full-Text, Gateway

Selective gateway to online U.S. history resources. Also includes first-person, primary documents and teaching resources. Searchable by keyword or topic.

History Research Tools - U.S. (General)


Skillman Library's links to major indexes and full-text collections covering multiple periods of United States history.

Other Suggested Research Tools

Accessible Archives: African American Newspapers

Coverage: 1827-1855

Full text of African American newspapers from the 19th century.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998


Collection of digitized African American newspapers from more than 35 states.

American Periodicals Series Online


Digitized images from American magazines and journals that originated between 1741 and 1900. Includes general interest magazines, children's publications, women's magazines, and literary and professional journals.

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819


Electronic collection of American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the early part of the 19th century

Early Encounters in North America


Coverage: 1534 - 1850

Online collection of letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters. It has been indexed to allow for unique browsing and searching (e.g. by type of flora or fauna, encounters between groups of peoples, specific events or places, etc.).

Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980


Digitized collection of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. Includes many titles published bilingually in Spanish and English.

Making of America


Collection of primary sources for the study of American social history, featuring books and journals published primarily between 1850 and 1877. From the University of Michigan and Cornell University.

Periodicals Index Online

Electronic index to millions of articles published in over 6,000 periodicals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, covering more than 300 years.

Specialized Resources

African American Perspectives


Collection of 351 pamphlets by African Americans and others from the Library of Congress's Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907. The bulk of the material was published between 1875 and 1900 and includes public orations, organization records, personal narratives, legal documents, and literary works. Topics covered include segregation, voting rights, violence against African Americans, and the colonization movement.

Bethlehem Digital History Project


Collection of documents related to the development of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from 1741 to 1844. Includes community records, personal papers, visitors' accounts and maps.

Black Abolitionist Archive

Collection of abolitionist speeches by antebellum blacks and editorials from the period.

Brooklyn Newsstand


Full text of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1841 – 1955) and Brooklyn Life (1890 – 1924).

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers


Allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1836-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. From the Library of Congress.

Documenting the American South


Collection of primary sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the late colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century. Includes collections of slave narratives, Southern literature, and materials related to the church in the black community.

Dred Scott Case


Collection of 85 documents from Missouri's state courts related to Dred and Harriet Scott's legal battle to be declared free from their owner.

Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920

Visual Resource

Collection of over 9,000 print advertisements from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. See Ad*Access for advertisements in Duke's collection from 1911-1955.

Founders Online


Annotated, authoritative documents from six founders: Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. A project of the National Archives and the University of Virginia Press.

Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress


Contains approximately 2,000 items (16,000 images) relating to Douglass's life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk of the material from 1862 to 1895.

Global Commodities

Primary sources such as manuscripts/diaries, rare books, maps, paintings, advertisements, company records, etc., covering the global history of 15 major commodities: chocolate, coffee, cotton, fur, energy, opium, porcelain, silver & gold, spices, sugar, tea, timber, tobacco, wheat, wine & spirits.



Coverage: 1857-1912

Full text of Harper's Weekly with extensive indexing of articles, illustrations, and advertisements.

Historic Pittsburgh


Collection of primary and secondary sources related to the history of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region from the 18th century to the early 20th century. The site, from The University of Pittsburgh, includes over 300 books, nearly 600 maps, census schedules, and a timeline.

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930


Harvard University Library digital collection of primary source materials (books, pamphlets, photographs, maps, manuscripts, diaries, etc.) providing a window into the lives of ordinary immigrants to the United States. Focus is on voluntary immigration in the 19th century.

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties


Compilation of U.S. treaties, laws, and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes from 1778 to 1971.

Landmark Decisions: A Century of Change (1856-1955)


Full text of eleven decisions reflecting the Supreme Court's changing attitude toward race, from Scott v. Sanford to Brown v. Board of Education.

Museum of the City of New York Virtual Exhibitions


Collection of online exhibitions about New York City.

National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults

Hundreds of primary source documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other American history materials drawn from the holdings of the National Archives. Large collections on aviation and space, civil rights, Civil War, founders and founding documents, presidents, and World War II. Images can be used in papers and presentations.

New Nation Votes: American Election Returns, 1787-1825


Detailed election returns for all offices and all states. From the American Antiquarian Society

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories


Coverage: 1784-2004, majority of content 1807-2002

Database documenting the experiences in North America of immigrants from across the globe. The collection can be searched by facets such as 'age when writing', 'point of departure', and 'occupation', etc. or can be browsed by place ('where written', 'where sent', 'discussed'), nationality, and personal events experienced.

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800


Digitized documents from the Department of War, which was responsible for "Indian affairs, veteran affairs, naval affairs (until 1798), as well as militia and army matters."

Pennsylvania Civil War Era Collection


Searchable full text of some Pennsylvania newspapers from 1831 to 1877. From the Penn State Libraries.

Primary Documents in American History


Coverage: 1763-1877

Important documents from U.S. history (e.g., Treaty of Paris, Missouri Compromise) with brief background information and links to other relevant primary materials. Provided by the Library of Congress.

Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection


Extensive collection of pamphlets and leaflets relating to the anti-slavery struggle. Hosted by the Cornell University Library.

Secession Era Editorials Project


Newspaper editorials on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill (1854), the caning of Senator Charles Sumner (1856), the Dred Scott Case (1858), and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry (1859). Provided by the Department of History at Furman University.

Slavery & Abolition in the US


Small collection of books and pamphlets from the 19th century on slavery in the United States. Includes anti-slavery tracts and slave narratives. From Dickinson College and Millersville University.

U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875


Records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the 1st-43rd United States Congresses.

Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture


Collection of primary sources that provide a context for understanding the place of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) in American culture. Includes representative antebellum texts related to Christianity, sentimental culture, anti-slavery, and minstrel shows as well as responses to the novel.

Valley of the Shadow


Collection of resources documenting two Shenandoah Valley communities in the years before, during, and after the Civil War. Contains searchable newspapers, population census data, agricultural census data, manufacturing census data, slave owner census data, tax records, letters and diaries, images, maps, church records, and military rosters.

Women Working, 1800-1930


Digitized books, manuscripts, images, magazines, and catalogs from Harvard University libraries and museums on women in the U.S. economy from 1800-1930.