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Find Books and eBooks - American History

Start Your Research with Library Databases - American History

Academic Search Complete

scholarly and peer-reviewed journals - a good choice for most topics

click here for a how-to video about using Academic Search Complete

America: History & Life with Full Text

history & culture of U. S. and Canada from prehistory to the present

American History Online

history of U.S. from selected reference sources & documents

Ethnic NewsWatch

newspapers, magazines & journals of the ethnic, minority and native press

click here for a how-do video about how to use Ethnic NewsWatch

Watch Films - American History

American History - Films on Demand

Watch acclaimed documentaries and educational programs about American history.

North American Studies - Kanopy

Documentaries and feature films about American history, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, California, New York, American politics and more (including Ken Burns films).

American History - Academic Video Online (AVON)

Educational programs from well-known producers like A&E, BBC, and PBS.

Archival Films - Films on Demand

Watch archival films from 1888-present day: pre- and post-WWI, the Jazz Age & Depression, pre- and post-WWII, the late 20th Century, and the early 21st Century.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents, images, recordings, or any other physical objects created during the time period being researched.  They are essential to the study of history because they allow a researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during a historical event or time period. 

In the field of History, primary sources include (but are not limited to):

  • Books written during the period for your topic (e.g. during the 1780s)
  • Books written by key participants of an event
  • Published collections of correspondence and other personal writings
  • Memoirs and reprints of primary source material
  • Newspapers from the time (these provide a first rough draft of events)
  • Popular magazines from the time  (news, fashion, sports, etc.)
  • Official government publications from the time
  • Manuscript material such as unpublished letters, diaries and organizational and company records
  • Photographs, drawings, and other images from the time
  • Works of art and artifacts from the time
  • Maps from the time

Secondary sources are created by someone who did not personally experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions being researched.  Instead secondary sources interpret and analyzes primary sources. 

Some common types of secondary sources in the field of History are:

  • Textbooks
  • Journal articles
  • Histories
  • Criticisms
  • Commentaries
  • Encyclopedias                                                                                                                           

Internet Resources - American History

American History | Library of Congress

Browse the digital collections of the U.S. Library of Congress for documents, photographs, essays and more

American Museum of National History

Museum collections reflect the breadth, depth, and complexity of the experiences of the American people, from social and cultural history to the history of science, medicine, and technology. The Museum collects the ordinary as well as the extraordinary and is interested in how objects are made, how they are used, how they express human needs and values, and how they influence society and the lives of individuals.

Voting America: United States Politics, 1840 - present

Voting America examines long-term patterns in presidential election politics in the United States from the 1840s to today as well as some patterns in recent congressional election politics. The project offers a wide spectrum of animated and interactive visualizations of how Americans voted in elections over the past 168 years. The visualizations can be used to explore individual elections beyond the state level down to individual counties, which allows for more sophisticated analysis.

American History Association

The primary professional association for historians in America.

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