History

Know it Now!

An overview of nearly 70 digital collections relating to African American history.

Go to resource

"American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning." from web site

Go to resource

Background Notes are frequently updated publications from the U.S. State Department for virtually every country in the world. Each section includes topics such as the following:

  • Geography
  • Population and notes
  • History and political conditions
  • The economy and recent economic trends
  • Foreign relations
  • Relations with the United States
  • Travel and business information

Go to resource

"Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation and the development of the federal government and its role in the national life. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75." from web site

Materials are dated 1774-1875, when available. The following are components of this collection:

  • Journals of the Continental Congress
  • Letters of Delegates to Congress
  • Elliot's Debates
  • Farrand's Records
  • Bills and Resolutions
  • Statutes at Large
  • American State Papers
  • U.S. Serial Set
  • House Journal
  • Senate Journal
  • Senate Executive Journal
  • Maclay's Journal
  • Annals of Congress
  • Register of Debates
  • Congressional Globe
  • Congressional Record

Go to resource

"To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society, a core group of current and historical "This collection provides American citizens with direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society. These titles contain information about the democratic process that are critical to informed citizens. They support the public's right to know about the essential activities of their Government" from web site

Go to resource

"This Web site contains the online versions of books previously published (1988-98) in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army. Because the original intent of the series' sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser-known areas of the world or regions in which U.S. forces might be deployed, the series is not all-inclusive. At present, 101 countries and regions are covered. The date of information for each country appears on the title page of each country and at the end of each section of text.

This Web site also contains brief, more up-to-date Country Profiles on select countries." from web site

Go to resource

Covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States, Early American Imprints, Series II (1801-1819) provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first nineteen years of the nineteenth century. The continuation of Readex's Early American Imprints: Series I, this rich primary source database, based on the authoritative bibliography by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker and now supplemented by thousands of new items, allows students and scholars to explore the development of the American nation as never before. Designed for researchers of varying skill levels, the intuitive interface of this long-awaited digital edition offers both simple and advanced searching as well as in-depth browsing within sixteen carefully indexed subject categories.

From Aaron Burr to Zebulon Pike, from abolitionism to Tippecanoe, this unique Web-based collection thoroughly chronicles the people, ideas and events behind the early political, social, cultural and geographic growth of the United States. Researchers can study the emergence of American arts and literature, follow the progression of American economic, religious and scientific thought, track the westward expansion, and much more. Specific topics covered include the Adams-Onis Treaty, Bible societies, canals, the Embargo Act, fur trade, Hartford Convention, Lewis & Clark expedition, Louisiana Purchase, nationalism, Panic of 1819, romanticism, Seminole War, Treaty of Ghent, 12th Amendment, U.S. Military Academy, War of 1812, widows and wives, and thousands of others. Also included are the works of many European authors reprinted for the American public.

In addition to its books, pamphlets and broadsides, this comprehensive collection features many state papers and government materials, including published reports; presidential letters and messages; congressional, state and territorial resolutions.

Go to resource

From the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this incomparable collection now contains about 100,000 of over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection and the Early English Books Tract Supplement.

Go to resource

Use the Electronic Reading Room of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to explore FBI records for famous individuals throughout the twentieth century. Listings of documents available include:

  • Espionage
  • Famous Persons
  • Gangster Era
  • Historical Interest
  • Unusual Phenomena
  • Violent Crime

Go to resource

Resources compiled by the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Go to resource

"The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The release of the Douglass Papers, from the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division, contains approximately 7,400 items (38,000 images) relating to Douglass' 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. The collection consists of correspondence, speeches and articles by Douglass and his contemporaries, a draft of his autobiography, financial and legal papers, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous items. These papers reveal Douglass' interest in diverse subjects such as politics, emancipation, racial prejudice, women's suffrage, and prison reform. Included is correspondence with many prominent civil rights reformers of his day, including Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Horace Greeley, and Russell Lant, and political leaders such as Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Scrapbooks document Douglass' role as minister to Haiti and the controversy surrounding his interracial second marriage." from web site

Go to resource

Humanities E-Book is an online collection of over 1500 books of high quality, covering most humanities disciplines and area studies. Humanities E-Book was formerly known as the History E-Book Project.

Go to resource

In the First Person provides in-depth indexing of more than 2,500 collections of oral history in English from around the world. It allows for keyword searching of more than 260,000 pages of full-text by more than 9,000 individuals from all walks of life. The index is updated regularly.

Go to resource

This publication from the U.S. Census Bureau includes the census questionnaires and instructions for every United States census, including the separate questionnaires for free, slave, and Indian inhabitants. It also includes a guide to the availability of census schedules and other finding guides. The last section of the publication is a detailed history of the decennial censuses.

Go to resource

Morgan Bibliography of Ohio Imprints, 1796-1850 describes books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed in Ohio, from the earliest in 1796 through 1850. The bibliography includes names of libraries that own copies of these historical materials to aid in locating originals. The Morgan Library of Ohio Imprints is also compiling an Ohio Name and Institution Index of those names and institutions mentioned in the imprints.

Go to resource

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center E-Books provides digital versions of two historical books on slavery, from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. You can search for specific words or phrases within the books, or view an entire book. The transcribed pages link to images of the original printed pages.

Go to resource

North American Women's Letters and Diaries includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters. Particular care has been taken to index this material so that it can be searched more thoroughly than ever before. The materials have been carefully chosen using leading bibliographies, supplemented by customer requests and more than 7,000 pages of previously unpublished material. The collection also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography of the sources in the database.

Go to resource

The Library is where electronic versions of classic books about individual liberty are stored. These texts go back some 4,000 years and cover the disciplines of economics, history, law, literature, philosophy, political theory, religion, war and peace. They are in a variety of formats - facsimile PDFs so scholars can view the original text, HTML for ease of searching and attractive layout, and text-based PDF EBooks for personal use. The Library also contains bibliographic information about the books as well as other "metadata" about the authors and editors.

Go to resource

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.

Go to resource

"This selection of manuscript and printed text and images drawn from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society illuminates the history of black Ohio from 1850 to 1920, a story of slavery and freedom, segregation and integration, religion and politics, migrations and restrictions, harmony and discord, and struggles and successes." from web site

Go to resource

The American Presidency Project contains more than 85,000 documents related to the Presidents of the United States, including The Messages and Papers of the President, The Public Papers of the President, The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, party platforms, remarks, debates, and executive orders. Search by date, president, or topic.

APP is hosted by UC Santa Barbara.

Go to resource

The Smithsonian Institution includes nearly thirty museums and research centers as well as the National Zoo. Museums and collections include African art, Air and Space, American Art, American History, American Indian, National Zoo, Natural History, and the Portrait Gallery. Research includes American art, astrophysical observatory, museum conservation, environment, libraries, photography, and the tropics.

The web site includes an online encyclopedia for Art and Design, History and Culture, and Science and Technology.

Go to resource

The University of Akron Libraries has made arrangements for the university community to preview and trial the Women and Social Movements in the United States. Please explore this resource and submit your evaluation to the Previews Project website [faculty evaluations, student evaluations, librarian evaluations].

Women and Social Movements in the United States is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding about U.S. history generally at the same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The collection currently includes 94 document projects and archives with more than 3,750 documents and 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, and almost 2,100 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.

Go to resource