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In this Guide:

Bibliographic database containing citations to articles on American and Canadian history, including ethnic history and relations, from prehistory to the present. Covers more than 2000 journals published worldwide.

Coverage: 1964-present
Tags: Canada, History, United States Of America

An electronic version of the classic Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. Readers’ Guide Retrospective, produced by The H. W. Wilson Company, is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.

Related: The print version of the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (1890-present) is located in the Humanities/Social Sciences Department in Shields Library, AI3.R4

Coverage: 1890-1982
Tags: Multidisciplinary

This extensive annotated bibliography focuses on the “interactions between different peoples and cultures on four continents and many islands in the period between Columbus’ voyages to the New World in the late fifteenth century and the end of slavery in the Americas in the late nineteenth century.”

It consists of roughly 250 separate entries, presenting the best in modern scholarship as well as key primary sources. Entries can be geographical (Brazil, the Caribbean), or broadly or narrowly topical (Religion, Sugar).

 

Periodicals Index Online is a retrospective database (1665-1995); over 300 philosophy titles are included. It also provides access to a smaller set of titles in fulltext electronic form.

Coverage: 1665-1995
Tags: Art, Humanities, Social Science

Companion resource to Periodicals Index Online (PIO), PAO is a fulltext archive of hundreds of historical digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences; about 35-40 of the titles covered are philosophy journals.

Coverage: 1802-1995
Tags: Art, Humanities, Social Science

The principal index to nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives (primarily US and UK). The C19 Index incorporates the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, Poole’s Index to Nineteenth Century Periodicals, Periodicals Index Online and more to provide coverage of over 1.5 million books and official publications, 71,000 archival collections and 16.3 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers.

“The scholarly study of children and young people is a relatively new multidisciplinary effort that spans multiple epistemologies and methodologies, making it challenging for students and scholars to stay informed. From psychology to labor rights, from ethics to education, Childhood Studies is one of the most active fields in academia today. It encompasses the meanings that adults place on children’s innocence or competence, and interrogates the notion of childhood as a social category. . . .   Researchers and practitioners at all levels need tools that help them filter through the proliferation of information sources to material that is reliable and directly relevant to their inquiries. Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies will offer a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.”

Oxford Bibliographies in International Law is designed to provide authoritative guidance. The field is rife with debate and controversy, as with most anything that deals with such a complex system of rules and principles meant to govern the relations between states and other institutional subjects, such as the United Nations or the European Union. Because scholarship in this field is so bound up with diplomacy, the vast array of potentially relevant material that appears on the free web can overwhelm even the savviest scholars. . . . Oxford Bibliographies in International Law will offer a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.”

“The study of military history has evolved into a multidisciplinary effort to go beyond the history of military operations to consider broader political, cultural, and social questions. It spans across several disciplines and genres, including sociology and political science, biography, war and battle narratives, the history of technology, foreign affairs and international relations, and various national histories. From ancient military history to contemporary studies of international conflict, a great deal of this work has moved online with the most recent scholarship, research, and statistics appearing in online databases and often only discoverable through online search tools. . . . Oxford Bibliographies in Military History will offer a trustworthy pathway through the thicket of information overload.”

The Collection indexes and abstracts 400 journals pertaining to all branches of the military and government; full text is available for close to 300 titles, including some U.S. government documents.

All Time Period Primary Source Collections

“Based on Joseph Sabin’s landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900’s. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. With over 6 million pages from 29,000 works, this collection is a cornerstone in the study of the western hemisphere.”

Includes the full text of diaries and letters of more than 100 women from the 18th and 19th centuries, with biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography on women’s narratives.

Coverage: 1675-1950
Tags: History, United States Of America, Women's Studies

EENA contains full text letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters, centered on present-day Canada and the United States with some limited coverage of Mexico. Includes information on the peoples, places, environment, flora and fauna encountered. Of note are more than 9,000 Audubon prints from “The Birds of America” as well as the complete contents of the three-volume “The Quadrupeds of North America”.

This site consists of online primary sources in the following areas:

  • Abolition and Antislavery Movements Including the Underground Railroad
  • Civil War Philadelphia
  • Japanese American Internment and Redress
  • Immigration and Ethnicity

Searchable database of citations and digitized images of the pages of more than 1100 American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century.

Coverage: 1741-1940s
Tags: Art, Humanities, Multidisciplinary, Science, Social Science

The Massachusetts Historical Society offers several digital collections from the Colonial period to the present, with an emphasis on Colonial, Revolutionary and Early Republic History.

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Black Studies Center brings together historical and current material for research projects on African-Americans, the wider African Diaspora, and Africa. It is comprised of several cross-searchable component databases including the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, The International Index to Black Periodicals, and Newspapers, including the full text backfile of the Afro-American newspaper, The Chicago Defender from 1910-1975.


Colonial and Early Republic Primary Source Collections

Empire Online contains several thousand searchable scanned images of original documents relating to Empire Studies. Includes documents from English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and German points of view, and that from indigenous peoples from Africa, India and North America. Sections also include thematic essays by leading scholars in the field of Empire Studies.

Coverage: 1492-present
Tags: Empires, History
Related links: Help using this database

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides full-text searchable access to the digital images of 150,000 books and other materials published during the 18th Century. Based on the English Short Title Catalog bibliography, it includes English-language and foreign-language titles printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.

Coverage: 1701-1800
Tags: Europe, History, Language, Literature, North America

This is a full-text collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides and periodicals published between 1639-1819. It combines two collections: “Early American Imprints Series I (1639-1800). Evans” and “Early American Imprints Series II (1801-1819). Shaw-Shoemaker”.

Coverage: 1639-1819
Tags: History, United States Of America

The EADA is a collection of electronic texts and links to texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820. Published by by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.

Coverage: 1492-1820
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19th- and 20th-Century Primary Source Collections

A full text collection of letters and diaries by hundreds of participants and witnesses to the Civil War. Includes biographies, bibliographies and a day-by-day record of events, all accessible via a detailed search engine.

Coverage: 1861-1865
Tags: History, United States Of America

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Provides full-image reproductions of Harper’s Weekly from 1857-1912, one of the most important weekly magazines read by Americans during the 19th Century.

Coverage: 1857-1912
Tags: History, United States Of America

From 1935-1967, Time Inc. offered Americans views of significant historical events in their newsreel series The March of Time. Several hundred of these newsreels can be searched and viewed as streaming videos. Transcripts of these commercial, documentary, instructional and public service videos accompany the films. In support of research and teaching, the resource enables users to create, edit, and share playlists or film clips.

Coverage: 1903 - 1967
Tags: Film, History, United States Of America

Started in 1942, the Bracero Program brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the United States, and over the next two decades, more than 4 million Mexicans came to work in the country. This public history resource from the Center for History and New Media at Georgetown University brings together oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the program. Visitors can read the “About” section to learn more about the program and its legacy and then move on to browse the documents. The document archive can be searched in its entirety, or users can also move through areas that include “Images”, “Documents”, and “Oral Histories”. Educators will want to look over the “Teaching” area, as it features three different learning activities which draw on the archive’s documents. Also, the “Resources” area includes a video tutorial on how to use the archive effectively and several interview questions for those who might know some former Bracero workers.

Provides streaming video access to the 60 Minutes news show archive for the third and fourth decades of this long-running show, plus segments from the CBS News program Sunday Morning. Includes transcripts of the videos for ease of citation, and a citation export feature. Topics include international and national news, politics, women’s studies, society and culture, and many more

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The American Founding Era collection includes the edited papers of key early figures in the history of the United States, including: John Adams and his family; Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson,John Jay,Thomas Jefferson, Dolley Madison, James Madison, John Marshall,Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry, and George Washington. It also includes a documentary history of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, People of the Founding Era (a biographical dictionary) and more.

The Readex/NewsBank collection of American State Papers are legislative and executive publications of Congress between 1789 and 1838. The documents cover the historical period before the first U.S. Congressional Serial Set volume in 1817 and includes some items omitted from the early Serial Set between 1817 and 1838. The collection is full text and fully searchable.

Coverage: 1789-1838
Tags: History, United States Of America

Provides detailed indexing from 1789 forwards for publications of Congress: documents, reports, hearings. Modules licensed include: Proquest Congressional digital U.S. Congressional hearings collection from 1824-1979; and Digital U.S. Bills and Resolutions from 1789-present. Full text for congressional committee documents and reports is included from 1990 to current. Selected hearing testimony and transcripts are available from 1988. Congressional Research Service Reports module included from 2004-2010. For full text historical serial set (committee documents & reports) from 1817-1980 see U.S. Congressional Serial Set by Readex. Formerly titled LexisNexis Congressional.

The Readex/Newsbank U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980) has full text Congressional committee reports and documents originally published in the Serial Set from the 15th through the 96th Congresses, 1817-1980. Also includes the American State Papers (a retrospective collection of materials originating from 1789 through 1838 but published in the second quarter of the 19th century). The U.S. Congressional Serial Set is the bound, sequentially numbered set of volumes of all the Reports, Documents and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Many early agency reports were published originally in congressional editions. The Serial Set constitutes an incomparably rich collection of primary source material on all aspects of American history and government.

Coverage: 1817-1980, with American State Papers 1789-1838
Tags: Congress, Government

The Digital National Security Archive contains the most comprehensive set of declassified government documents available. The resource now includes 44 collections consisting of over 104,000 meticulously indexed documents, with more than 733,000 total pages. Each of these collections, compiled by top scholars and experts, exhaustively covers the most critical world events, countries, and U.S. policy decisions from post World War II through the 21st century. Together, these collections offer unparalleled access to the defining international strategies of our time. Glossaries, chronologies, bibliographies, overviews, and photographs are included.

“The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy and political history.”  Their Web site offers biographical information on all the presidents as well as transcripts of speeches, audio of conversations secretly recorded by 6 presidents, and more.

The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. The series, which is produced by the State Department’s Office of the Historian, began in 1861 and now comprises more than 450 individual volumes. The volumes published over the last two decades increasingly contain declassified records from all the foreign affairs agencies. All volumes have not yet been digitized by the State Dept.

See also Foreign Relations of the U.S. digitized by Univ. of Wisconsin.
Also in print: Shields Library JX233 .A3

This is a full text collection of documents pertaining to the origins of U.S. Law broadly conceived.  Part 1 covers materials from the 17th century through 1920. The materials are an “archive of the published records of the American colonies, documents published by state constitutional conventions, state codes, city charters, law dictionaries, digests and more.” Part 2 covers materials from 18th century through the 1960’s. The materials available come from constitutional convention and compilations, and include, U. S. state and territorial codes and municipal codes.  The two parts can be searched separately or together.

Access is courtesy of the UC Davis School of Law, Mabie Library.

Coverage is primarily from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but there are also several hundred classics in European international law since the seventeenth century.

The Foreign Law component features foreign legal treatises from a variety of countries, covering the national and sub-national (e.g., provincial) laws or jurisdictions. Because the term “treatise” is more of a common-law category, the equivalent works in civil-law systems may have other names such as commentaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, monographs, or festschriften.

Access is courtesy the UC Davis School of Law, Mabie Library.

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a project to create and freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate census information for the United States between 1790 and 2000. Census Tract Shapefiles are available for select areas for the 1940 – 1990 census.The NHGIS consists of three major components: 1)Collect and enrich historical and contemporary U.S. Census summary data; 2)Incorporate these data into a Geographic Information Systems framework; 3) Create a web-based system for access to both census data and the metadata. Free access, but requires you to register and login to use.

Coverage: United States; 1790 - 2011
Tags: Census, Geography, History, Medicine

American Factfinder is the Census Bureau’s data access point. It provides tools to look up, view and deliver data, reports, tables, maps and fact sheets on United States population, economy and industry statistics. Large and small scale geographies, eg., states, counties, places, census tracts and blocks can be searched. Data sets are from the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Annual Population Estimates, Economic Census, and annual economic surveys. All data sets and statistics may be freely downloaded or viewed online.

Coverage: Data sets are current and include 2000 Census and some 1990 Census data and American Community Survey data.
Tags: Census, Economics, Social Science, United States Of America
Related links: American FactFinder: How do I find all the Census Tracts in a Place?

The Atlas presents (in maps, text, and downloadable GIS data) complete data about the creation and all subsequent changes (dated to the day) in the size, shape, and location of every county in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia. It also includes non-county areas, unsuccessful authorizations for new counties, changes in county names and organization, and the temporary attachments of non-county areas and unorganized counties to fully functioning counties. The principal sources for these data are the most authoritative available: the session laws of the colonies, territories, and states that created and changed the counties.

Coverage: 1788 – present

Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) is the long-awaited 4th edition of the landmark government reference tool, last published in 1975. This expanded digital edition (available also as a five-volume print edition) updates and expands the original tables and introduces dozens of new topics. HSUS was culled from more than 1,000 sources to produce nearly 2,000 tables containing some 37,000 time series covering virtually every quantifiable dimension of American history: agriculture, population, the economy, government, welfare and work. Some data from the 1975 edition have been extensively revised, and data determined to be unreliable or inaccurate have not been included. Each series is fully documented and placed in historical context by a scholar in the field. Tables can be downloaded and viewed, as well as graphed and merged into custom tables.

The 5-volume print edition of Historical Statistics of the United States is available in Shields Library Gov Info Reference and H/SS Reference (HA202 .H57) and the Agricultural and Resource Economics Library (HA202 .H57 2006)

The online IHS updates the last print edition of International Historical Statistics, which was published in 2007 in 3 volumes. It now includes 260 years of rich data, collected between 1750-2010 and available online. Data tables can be downloaded as ePDFs and/or Excel files.

Tags: History

This site allows users to examine, manipulate and map data from the U.S. Censuses from 1790-1960. It is a powerful and easy-to-use resource produced by the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia Library.

Includes links to numeric and geographic data covering a variety of topics including demography, health statistics, state contracts, traffic records. Statistics and data sets are available from state agencies and links are provided to other data sources – local, federal and other sources.

“Calisphere is the University of California’s free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere’s content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations.”

Colonial Newspapers

Historic American newspapers from 1690-1900, parts 1 & 2: images and full-text content, drawn from the American Antiquarian Society and from the collections of other institutions and societies. Note: These parts can be searched separately using the following URLs. For Part 1: http://uclibs.org/PID/42513 For Part 2: http://uclibs.org/PID/275700 This search also includes UCD’s subscription to California’s Historical Newspapers which can be searched separately by clicking the link on the upper right of the search screen.

Coverage: 1690-1900
Tags: History, News, United States Of America

Searchable, full-text of the most important colonial and early national newspaper.

Coverage: 1728-1800
Tags: History, News, Pennsylvania, United States Of America

“The Virginia Gazette was the first newspaper published in Virginia and the first to be published in the area south of the Potomac River in the colonial period of the United States. Issues have the following subtitle: “Containing the freshest advices, foreign and domestick”

Between 1776 and 1780 there were often two and sometimes three competing papers with the same name publishing simultaneously. All available copies are included here with the competitors described as Virginia Gazette 2 and 3.

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Includes The South Carolina Gazette, 1732-1775; The South Carolina & American General Gazette, 1764-1775; The South Carolina Gazette & Country Journal, 1765-1775; The Gazette of the State34 of South-Carolina, 1777-1780

Coverage: 1732-1780
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19th-and 20th- Century Newspapers

19th Century US Newspapers (NCNP) provides access to over 28 million articles of primary source newspaper content from the 19th-century, featuring full-text content and images from newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the U.S. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century, with an emphasis on such topics as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history,Western migration and the Antebellum-era among other subjects. Newspapers from all 19th-century U.S. states and territories are included.

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Google has a growing collection of digitized historic and contemporary newspapers mostly from the U.S. and Canada. It’s hard to know exactly what is included, but this link goes to the alphabetical list of papers including the years covered and number of issues scanned.

Tags: News

Historical coverage of the New York Times from 1857-2012, with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue.

Coverage: 1857-2012
Tags: New York, News, United States Of America

The Chicago Tribune is one of the oldest continuously published newspapers in the United States. Provides in-depth coverage during the Civil War period and includes many special editions such as the Lincoln Centenary Issue, honoring Abraham Lincoln. Part of ProQuest Historical Newspapers, this database delivers cover-to-cover full-images in PDF and searchable ASCII text.

Coverage: 1849-1990
Tags: United States Of America

Historical coverage of the Los Angeles Times, with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue in 1881.

Coverage: 1881-1985.
Tags: California, History, News, United States Of America

Historical coverage of the Philadelphia Tribune from 1912-2001, with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue.

Historical coverage of the Wall Street Journal 1889-2002 with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue.

Coverage: 1889-2002
Tags: News

Historical coverage of the Washington Post from 1877-1997, with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue.

Full text plus page images of the early decades of this important Southwestern Newspaper.

Coverage: 1890-1922
Tags: Arizona, History, News, United States Of America

African American Newspapers

Full-text of seven 19th Century African American Newspapers: Freedom’s Journal, The Colored American (Weekly Advocate), The North Star, The National Era, Provincial Freeman, Frederick Douglass Paper, The Christian Recorder. Coverage varies by newspaper.

The Los Angeles Sentinel is the flagship newspaper of the local African-American community. The database provides coverage from 1934 to 2005.

Includes the full image of articles published in the Chicago Defender from 1910 to 1975. The Chicago Defender was the most influential African-American newspaper of the 20th century. With the majority of its readership outside the Chicago region, it served as the de facto national black newspaper in the U.S. You can browse individual issues by clicking Publications at the top of the screen, or search by keyword(s), author(s), article title, date ranges, and more. Includes illustrations and advertisements.

One of nine African American newspapers available through ProQuest. The Atlanta World was founded in 1928, became the Daily World in 1932, and is still published today. Keep in mind, this database does not include the full run of the title.

This database provides full text search of articles, classified ads, display advertisements, bylines, headlines, obituaries and more, and is cross-searchable with all other ProQuest titles.

 

One of the oldest African American newspapers of the United States, Amsterdam News was founded in New York in 1909 and is still published today. Keep in mind that this database does not contain the full run of the title.

Provides primary source documentation on Black history, politics, culture, and the arts. Full text search of articles, classified ads, display advertisements, bylines, headlines, obituaries and more. Cross-searchable with all other ProQuest titles.

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One of the nine African American newspapers available through ProQuest. This weekly paper was founded in 1928 with a merging of the Cleveland Call and the Cleveland Post, and is still published today. Keep in mind, this database does not include the full run of the newspaper.

Provides primary source documentation on Black history, politics, culture, and the arts. Full text search of articles, classified ads, display advertisements, bylines, headlines, obituaries and more. Cross-searchable with all other ProQuest titles.

 

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California Newspapers

Full-text of the Sacramento Bee newspaper from 1857-1983. In time, coverage will be complete to 1984 where the current online edition begins.

The CDNC provides full text access to more than 5 million articles and 400,000 pages of 21 significant historical California newspapers published from 1846-2009, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California. The San Francisco Call, the Sacramento Transcript and the Sacramento Daily Union also are included in the CDNC.

Coverage: Coverage varies by title.
Tags: California, News

A full text collection of 13 California Newspapers covering the period between 1850 and 1900. It can be searched separately or in conjunction with the Early American Newspapers Collection (Series 1).

Coverage: 1850-1900
Tags: California, News

Full-text page images of for the years 1865-1922.

Coverage: 1865-1922
Tags: California, News, United States Of America

Historical coverage of the Los Angeles Times, with both full page and individual article images. Searchable full text back to the first issue in 1881.

Coverage: 1881-1985.
Tags: California, History, News, United States Of America

The Los Angeles Sentinel is the flagship newspaper of the local African-American community. The database provides coverage from 1934 to 2005.

UCDavis subscribes to part II: Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, and part III: The Institution of Slavery of this resource. These components of Slavery and Anti-Slavery include collections on the transatlantic slave trade and the legal and economic aspects of the slavery system from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries

This database provides “information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.” It is primarily a data set permitting not only the display of details of each individual voyage but also the manipulation of that data in tables and charts. It also contains Maps and primary source images.

This image archive features numerous maps, images, and photographs depicting the slave trade and African culture in the Americas. Most are drawn from sources between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865.
Over 15,000 items are available for searching.

This database contains citations to books, journal articles, essays, conference papers, and US and Canadian government documents about native peoples of North America published from the sixteenth century to the present.

Coverage: 16th century to current
Tags: History, Native Americans

This full-text collection documents “interactions between American Indians and Europeans [in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico] from their earliest contact, . . .[through] the civil rights movement of the mid- to late-twentieth century.” The documents are drawn from Edward E. Ayer Collection at the Newberry Library. Also includes maps and images, scholarly essays to provide context and bibliographies to suggest further reading.

This resource focuses on American Indians in the first half of the 20th Century, although it is strong in the 19th Century as well. It includes two major collections on the 20th Century: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and records from the Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes.

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“The archive includes extensive monograph, manuscript, newspaper, periodical and photograph collections.” It “sources collections from across Canadian and American institutions, providing insight into the cultural, political and social history of Native Peoples from the seventeenth into the twentieth century.”

EENA contains full text letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters, centered on present-day Canada and the United States with some limited coverage of Mexico. Includes information on the peoples, places, environment, flora and fauna encountered. Of note are more than 9,000 Audubon prints from “The Birds of America” as well as the complete contents of the three-volume “The Quadrupeds of North America”.

“The Indian Claims Commission was created by the Act of August 13, 1946 (605 Stat. 1060, 25 USC 70a et seq.) to hear claims of ‘any Indian tribe, band, or other identifiable group of American Indians’ against the United States. The Act provides broad grounds for recovery, including claims based on ‘unconscionable consideration’ for tribal lands which were taken and ‘claims based on fair and honorable dealing not recognized by any existing rule of law or equity.'” (From the Index to Indian Claims Commission Decisions.)

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American Indian Newspapers presents the publications of a range of communities, with an extensive list of periodicals produced in the United States and British Columbia, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada and Oklahoma, from 1828 to 2016.

American West

Sanborn fire insurance maps, created to assist fire insurance companies assess risk, are large-scale community plans drawn at a scale of 50 feet to one inch. The maps give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, and house and block numbers. Sanborn maps also contain data about construction details, building use and the utilities and transportation infrastructure that supported the community overall. Several editions of maps exist for some cities.

Coverage: 1867-1970
Tags: California, Geography

The Everett D. Graff Collection is one of the major special collections on the American West. This database contains a full-text selection of original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources from that collection. It also includes such supplementary materials as scholarly essays and data maps. It is a rich resource to explore almost any aspect of the history of the American West.

A fully searchable collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century histories of counties in the Western United States.
On the Search Page, select “American County Histories.”

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Searchable full-text of the journals edited by Gary Moulton. Also includes related primary and secondary material.

Tags: History

“Alaska’s Digital Archives presents a wealth of historical photographs, albums, oral histories, moving images, maps, documents, physical objects, and other materials from libraries, museums and archives throughout our state.”

Tags: Alaska, History

“The Arizona Memory Project provides access to the wealth of primary sources in Arizona libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions.” Collections cover a wide variety of topics in Arizona history including, among others, Japanese American Relocation, Hydroelectric Power, Aviation, Military, Native American History, Law.”


Principally California

This index provides the first ready access to one of the richest sources for California history in the 20th Century. “The Appendices include reports produce by California executive agencies as well as the California Legislature. In a few instances, the reports include work by the United States federal government or the University of California.The reports are indexed by subject as well as by agency.

Sanborn fire insurance maps, created to assist fire insurance companies assess risk, are large-scale community plans drawn at a scale of 50 feet to one inch. The maps give street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, and house and block numbers. Sanborn maps also contain data about construction details, building use and the utilities and transportation infrastructure that supported the community overall. Several editions of maps exist for some cities.

Coverage: 1867-1970
Tags: California, Geography

“Calisphere is the University of California’s free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere’s content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations.”

The Los Angeles Public Library’s History and Genealogy Department’s Photo Collection emphasizes the history of Los Angeles, Southern California, and California.

Fire Insurance Maps online (FIMo) is a research portal to find and view high-definition, color Fire Insurance Maps, Real Estate Atlases, Plat Books, and other historical maps showing building structures, building construction details, property ownership, property uses, and other useful information.

UC Davis has licensed the maps for the state of California.

Tags: Maps

California County Agricultural Commissioners’ Reports from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This collection consists of annual crop and livestock data from each of the 58 California Counties. The collection covers 1915-1981.

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Special Collections at California State University, Chico’s Merriam Library has a fine collection of scanned historic topographic maps of California.

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“The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials. Included are photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter.”  Some of this material is available online.

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