American History and American Studies: Historical Text Collections

Full-Text Resources

  • African American Communities   (Adam Matthew)

    "Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina, this resource presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports and in-depth oral histories." (Acquired December 2015)

  • Afro-Americana imprints, 1535-1922: from the Library Company of Philadelphia  (Readex)
    "Created from the Library Company of Philadelphia's acclaimed Afro-Americana Collection - an accumulation that began with Benjamin Franklin and steadily increased throughout its entire history - this unique online resource provides researchers with more than 12,000 printed works. These essential books, pamphlets and broadsides, including many lesser-known imprints, hold an unparalleled record of African American history, literature and culture. This collection spans nearly 400 years, from the early 16th to the early 20th century." (from publisher's description)
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Readex AllSearch.
  • American Broadsides and Ephemera. Series I (Readex)
    Based on the American Antiquarian Society's landmark collection, American Broadsides and Ephemera offers fully searchable facsimile images of approximately 15,000 broadsides printed between 1820 and 1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between 1760 and 1900.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Readex AllSearch.
  • American Civil War: Letters and Diaries (Alexander Street)
    A collection of personal accounts written between 1855 and 1875 that deal with some aspect of the Civil War, related events preceding or following it, or the impact of these on American life.  Includes both previously published materials (memoirs, letters, diaries, and diary excerpts) and previously unpublished materials.
     ►May be cross-searched with other text collections in Social and Cultural History : Letters and Diaries Online.
  • American Consumer Culture : Market Research & American Business, 1935-1965 (Adam Matthew)
    Collection of proposals, pilot studies, advertisements, reports, memorandums, letters, and supporting material created by Ernest Dichter and the Institute for Motivational Research. (Acquired June 2015)
  • American Founding Era Collection (University of Virginia Press, Rotunda)
    Rotunda’s Founding Era Collection is an integrated research environment that provides access to scholarly editions of the correspondence and other papers of a number of key figures from America’s founding era. Included here are papers of: John and John Quincy Adams; Alexander Hamilton; John Jay; Thomas Jefferson; Dolley Madison; James Madison; John Marshall; Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry; and George Washington. Also included is a Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution.
  • American History, 1493-1945 (Adam Matthew)
    Contains books, maps, artwork, and other primary source materials from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. It consists of two modules: Module 1 Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859; and Module 2 Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945. (Acquired June 2015)

  • American Indian histories and cultures    (Adam Matthew)
    A wide-ranging digital resource presenting a unique insight into interactions between American Indians and Europeans from their earliest contact, continuing through the turbulence of the American Civil War, the on-going repercussions of government legislation, right up to the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. This resource contains material from the Newberry Library's extensive Edward E. Ayer Collection. Includes manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books, photographs and newspapers.
  • American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library (Library of Congress) [Open Access]
    “A gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.” Provided by the Library of Congress.
  • The American Presidency Project [Open Access]
    Includes: Papers of the Presidents, party platforms, documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary, and many other resources related to the study of the presidency.
  • The American West: sources from the Everett D. Graff Collection at the Newberry Library, Chicago
    (Adam Matthew)
    "Original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material, and rare printed sources from the Graff Collection about the American West, including tales of frontier life, Native Americans, vigilantes, and outlaws, and the growth of urban centres and environmental impact of westward expansion and of life in the borderlands."
  • (ProQuest)
    Allows you to search a wide range of historical records that record specific aspects of the lives of individuals. Useful for general historical research as well as genealogical research. Includes records in the following categories: Birth, Marriage & Death; Census & Voter Lists; Immigration & Travel; Military; Schools, Directories & Church Histories; Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills; and Photos & Maps. This resource is often updated by the addition of new collections of records. Geographic scope is wide ranging. The most extensive series of records included are from the United States,  the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.
  • Archives Direct : Sources from The National Archives, UK (Adam Mathew)
    "Archives Direct is a suite of collections sourced from The National Archives, Kew, the official archive of the United Kingdom. Containing diplomatic correspondence, letters, reports, surveys, material from newspapers, statistical analyses, published pamphlets, ephemera, military papers, profiles of prominent individuals, maps and many other types of document, it consists of the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from the British state’s point of view." Includes Confidential print: North America 1824-1961; The Nixon years, 1969-1974; and many other modules.
  • Archives of human sexuality and identity. LGBTQ history and culture since 1940  Icon  (Gale CENGAGE Learning)
    "With material drawn from hundreds of institutions and organizations, including both major international activist organizations and local, grassroots groups, the documents in the Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 present important aspects of LGBTQ life in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The archive illuminates the experiences not just of the LGBTQ community as a whole, but of individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions, political orientations, and geographical locations that constitute this community. Historical records of political and social organizations founded by LGBTQ individuals are featured, as well as publications by and for lesbians and gays, and extensive coverage of governmental responses to the AIDS crisis. The archive also contains personal correspondence and interviews with numerous LGBTQ individuals, among others." (Acquired March 2016)

  • Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection. Series 1 (EBSCO)
    Consists of historical articles, political and religious pamphlets and broadsides, and complete texts of historical books of U.S. Hispanic literature, political commentary and culture. "The content is 80% Spanish and 20% English.  Importantly, the collection is indexed and searchable in both Spanish and English."
  • Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2 (EBSCO)
    "Presents manuscript, book, and newspaper content in the areas of Hispanic American civil rights, religion, and women’s rights ranging from the eighteenth through the twentieth century." This database was formerly known under an alternative title: Latino-Hispanic American Experience : Leaders, Writers and Thinkers.
  • Associated Press Collections Online  (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "A publishing program focusing on making varied treasures of the Associated Press Corporate Archives, AP Images, and AP Archive available to libraries worldwide." Explores "the history and back story of the venerable Associated Press—decades' worth of wire copy, correspondence, memos, internal publications, and more..." (from publisher's description)
  • Black Thought and Culture (Alexander Street)
    "Contains 1,303 sources with 1,210 authors, covering the non-fiction published works of leading African Americans. Particular care has been taken to index this material so that it can be searched more thoroughly than ever before. Where possible the complete published non-fiction works are included, as well as interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamplets, letters and other fugitive material."
    ►May be cross-searched with other text collections in Social and Cultural History : Letters and Diaries Online.
  • China, America and the Pacific : Trade & Cultural Exchange (Adam Matthew)
    China, America and the Pacific explores the cultural and trading relationships that emerged between America, China and the Pacific region between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Sourced from twelve North American libraries that include the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Massachusetts Historical Society. (Acquired June 2015)
  • Colonial America [Modules 1 through 3] (Adam Matthew)
    "Colonial America will make available all 1,450 volumes of the [Colonial Office] CO 5 series from The National Archives, UK, covering the period 1606 to 1822. CO 5 consists of the original correspondence between the British government and the governments of the American colonies, making it a uniquely rich resource for all historians of the period." (Modules 1 through 3, were acquired Dec 2015 to Aug 2017. Database to be completed with modules 4 and 5 by 2019)
  • Colonial State Papers (ProQuest)
    Colonial State Papers provides access to thousands of papers concerning English activities in the American, Canadian, and West Indian colonies between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Colonial State Papers integrates two important research tools as one service: Collection CO 1 from The National Archives (full name: Privy Council and related bodies: America and West Indies, Colonial Papers); and Calendar of State Papers, Colonial: North America and the West Indies 1574-1739. All of the documents from CO 1 have been reproduced as full-colour, high quality images. Users can limit their searches to records that include scanned documents or can search all documents recorded in the Calendar.
  • Declassified Documents Reference System [DDRS] (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "Provides online access to over 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents. Covering major international events from the Cold War to the Vietnam War and beyond, this single source enables users to locate key information underpinning studies in international relations, American studies, United States foreign and domestic policy studies, journalism and more."
  •  Digital National Security Archive [DNSA]    (ProQuest; National Security Archive)
    Provides access to declassified U.S. documents in over forty-five topic-based collections. "Working in collaboration with the National Security Archive to preserve and widen access to this significant material, ProQuest has created a far-reaching, curated collection of U.S. official documents."
  • Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) [Open Access]
    "A digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs." Includes: North American Slave Narratives; Library of Southern Literature; Colonial and State Records of North Carolina; and many other collections.
  • Early American Imprints, Series I. Evans (1639-1800)
    "Contains virtually every book, pamphlet and broadside published in America during the 17th and 18th centuries. More than 36,000 items from the renowned bibliography by Charles Evans and Roger Bristol’s Supplement. Published in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society." Since its initial publication, the Evans database has been expanded with two supplemental modules, one sourced from the Library Company of Philadelphia and the other sourced again from the American Antiquarian Society. Each supplement includes "a broad range of recently uncovered books, pamphlets and broadsides, most of which were not included in either Charles Evans’ monumental work or Roger Bristol’s supplement."
    ►May be cross-searched with Evans Supplements from the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) and the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) and with other databases in  America's Historical Imprints.
  • Early American Imprints, Series II. Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)
    "Provides a comprehensive set of American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the early part of the 19th century. It is based on the noted “American Bibliography, 1801-1819” by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker." Published in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society. Since its initial publication, the Shaw-Shoemaker database has been expanded with two supplemental modules, one sourced from the Library Company of Philadelphia and the other sourced again from the American Antiquarian Society. Most of the works in these supplemental modules had either gone unnoted in Shaw-Shoemaker's Bibliography, or were listed by them but could not be found until now.
    ►May be cross-searched with Shaw-Shoemaker Supplements from the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) and the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) and with other databases in  America's Historical Imprints.
  • Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment (Alexander Street)
    "Painstakingly assembled from hundreds of sources, Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment documents the relationships among peoples in North America from 1534 to 1850. The collection focuses on personal accounts and provides unique perspectives from all of the protagonists, including traders, slaves, missionaries, explorers, soldiers, native peoples, and officials, both men and women. The project brings coherence to a wide range of published and unpublished accounts, including narratives, diaries, journals, and letters."
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (Gale Cengage Learning)
    The aim of ECCO is to provide access to "every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom during the 18th century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas." Based on the English Short Title Catalogue.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • The First World War (Adam Matthew)
    "The First World War portal presents rich and varied primary source documents on the personal experiences of men and women, recruitment, and the development and dissemination of various forms of propaganda. The documents feature in two self-contained modules, Personal Experiences and Propaganda and Recruitment, and both modules can be explored seamlessly." (Acquired June 2015)

  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily reports (Readex)

    The original mission of FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. These translations, or transcriptions in the case of English language materials, make up the Daily Reports. These texts, and their subsequent analysis, have benefited the U.S. intelligence community for almost the past 60 years. Translated into English from more than 50 languages - from Amharic to Urdu - these comprehensive media reports from around the globe include news, interviews, speeches, editorial commentary and other materials.

  • Frontier life : borderlands, settlement & colonial encounters  Icon   (Adam Matthew Digital)"This digital collection of primary source documents helps us to understand existence on the edges of the anglophone world from 1650-1920. Discover the various European and colonial frontier regions of North America, Africa and Australasia through documents that reveal the lives of settlers and indigenous peoples in these areas."  (Acquired October 2016)
  • Gale Primary Sources    Cross-Searchable Platform  (Gale Cengage Learning)
    Allows researchers to select and search across any combination of twenty-five key historical text collections from Gale. Includes Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO); Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO); Associated Press Collections; Smithsonian Collections; Indigenous Peoples--North America; The Making of the Modern World; The Making of Modern Law; and Sabin Americana, 1500-1926. Many collections devoted to periodicals or newspapers are also included, such as Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers and 19th Century UK Periodicals.
  • Gateway to North America : People, Places, and Organizations of 19th-Century New York (EBSCO)
    "Features over 1500 residential and business directories, organization records, urban guidebooks, and other sources rich in names and places that present a history of the people of New York City from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth century."
  • The Gerritsen Collection of Aletta H. Jacobs (ProQuest)
    "In the late 1800's, Dutch physician and feminist Aletta Jacobs and her husband C.V. Gerritsen began collecting books, pamphlets and periodicals reflecting the revolution of a feminist consciousness and the movement for women's rights. By the time their successors finished their work in 1945, the Gerritsen Collection was the greatest single source for the study of women's history in the world, with materials spanning four centuries and 15 languages." This database is based on that collection.
  • Independent Voices : An Open Access Collection of an Alternative Press (Reveal Digital)
    "Independent Voices chronicles the transformative decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s through the lens of an independent alternative press. Consolidated for the first time, Independent Voices provides over 1,000 titles from the special collections of dozens of libraries. Independent Voices provides easy access to the powerful voices of feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Latinos, gays, lesbians and more."
  • Indigenous peoples--North America    (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "The archive includes extensive monograph, manuscript, newspaper, periodical and photograph collections.. . . [It] provides users with a robust, diverse, informative source that will enhance research and increase understanding of the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada." (from publisher's description) 
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale primary sources.
  • LGBT thought and culture    Icon    Alexander Street Press
    "LGBT Thought and Culture is an online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection illuminates the lives of lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual individuals and the community with content including selections from The National Archives in Kew, materials collected by activist and publisher Tracy Baim from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s, the Magnus Hirschfeld and Harry Benjamin collections from the Kinsey Institute, periodicals such as En la Vida and BLACKlines, select rare works from notable LGBT publishers including Alyson Books and Cleis Press, as well as mainstream trade and university publishers." (Acquired March 2016)
  • Literature Online (ProQuest)
    A fully searchable collection of more than 355,000 works of English-language poetry, drama and prose from various nations and regions and spanning many centuries. Also includes key resources for reference and literary criticism. Updated at least nine times a year.
  • Making of America (University of  Michigan and Cornell University) [Open Access]
    A collaborative effort between the University of  Michigan and Cornell University, Making of America (MOA) draws on the depth of primary materials at those universities' libraries. MOA is a thematically-related digital library documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, focusing on items printed from 1850 to 1877.
  • The Making of Modern Law : Legal Treatises 1800-1926 (Gale Cengage Learning)
    Provides access to "22,000 legal treatises on US and British law published from 1800 through 1926."
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • The Making of the Modern World (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "Provides digital facsimile images of unique primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth. Full-text searching across millions of pages of works from the period 1450-1914." Facilitates "research in the areas of history, political science, social conditions, technology and industry, economics, area studies and more."
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • Migration to new worlds  Icon  (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "Migration to New Worlds explores the movement of peoples from Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia." Includes "collections from 26 archives, libraries and museums, Migration to New Worlds brings together the movement and memories of millions across two centuries of mass migration." (This database is now complete with the addition of Module 2 in Aug 2017)
  • NAACP papers  ProQuest
    The Papers of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are "the most widely used collection in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress." Now "nearly two million pages of internal memos, legal briefings and direct action summaries" can be easily searched and accessed in the NAACP Papers database. "With a timeline that runs from 1909 to 1972, users can examine the realities of segregation in the early 20th century to the triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and beyond." [From publisher's site.] (Acquired September 2016)

  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "A multi-year global digitization and publishing program focusing on primary source collections of the long nineteenth century. . . . The content is sourced from the world's preeminent libraries and archives. It consists of monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages." Now complete in twelve collections. Collections include: Asia and the WestBritish Politics and SocietyBritish Theatre, Music, and LiteratureEurope and AfricaChildren's Literature and Childhood; Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925 (Parts I & II); Women: Transnational Networks and many more.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • Past Masters (InteLex)
    Provides access to full-text scholarly editions in the following areas: Classical, Medieval, American, British, and Continental Philosophy; English Letters; Women Writers; Religious Studies; Social Science; and History of Science.
  • Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900 (Adam Matthew)
    "This unique collection showcases the development of 'popular' medicine in America during the nineteenth century, through an extensive range of material that was aimed at the general public rather than medical professionals. Explore an array of printed sources, including rare books, pamphlets, trade cards, and visually-rich advertising ephemera." (Acquired September 2015)
  • ProQuest Historical Annual Reports
    Annual reports covering more than 800 U.S. companies. Reports date from the 1800s to current; oldest report dating back to 1844. Strong industry coverage of the most influential companies in their industry.
  • Race Relations in America  Icon  (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "Sourced from the records of the Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, housed at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, this resource provides access to a wealth of documents highlighting different responses to the challenges of overcoming prejudice, segregation and racial tensions. These range from survey material, including interviews and statistics, to educational pamphlets, administrative correspondence, and photographs and speeches from the Annual Race Relations Institutes." Includes documents ranging in date from 1928 to 1976, with the bulk dating from 1943 to 1970. [From publisher's site.] (Acquired May 2017)

  • Readex AllSearch  Cross Searchable Platform  (Readex)
    A streamlined platform for efficiently searching across all Readex collections available through Columbia University Libraries. The list of cross-searchable collections includes African American Periodicals, America's Historical Newspapers, America's Historical Imprints, Hispanic American Newspapers; and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set
  • Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "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."
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale primary sources.
  • Slavery & Anti-Slavery : A Transnational Archive (Gale Cengage Learning)
    "Includes collections on the transatlantic slave trade, the global movement for the abolition of slavery, the legal, personal, and economic aspects of the slavery system, and the dynamics of emancipation in the U.S. as well as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions." Collections published through partnerships with leading relevant institutions, such as the Amistad Research Center, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the British Library, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Smithsonian collections online (Gale Cengage Learning)
    Database containing primary source materials from the Smithsonian's museums, libraries, and archives. Two collections are currently included: Trade literature and the merchandizing of industry; and World's fairs and expositions: visions of tomorrow.
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • Social and Cultural History : Letters and Diaries Online (Alexander Street)
    “Aims to provide an electronic archive of unprecedented scope. In addition to offering keyword searching across thousands of collections freely available on the Web, the Letters and Diaries Online platform allows users to perform in-depth fielded searches across all of the letter, diary, and oral history collections published commercially by Alexander Street Press.” The Alexander Street collections cross-searchable here are: The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries; Black Thought and Culture; British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries; Manuscript Women's Letters and Diaries from the American Antiquarian Society; North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories; and North American Women's Letters and Diaries.

  • Trade Catalogues and the American Home   Icon  (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Explore domestic consumerism, life and leisure in America between 1850-1950 with Trade Catalogues and the American Home. This resource presents a wealth of highly illustrated primary source documents that highlight commercial tastes and consumer trends, and provide a valuable visual record for a breadth of interdisciplinary study. (Acquired May 2017)