Selected web sites in US History

General Sources



The Ad*Access Project presents images and database information for advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. There are five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved at Duke University.

American Memory Project. Library of Congress

A wealth of primary resources from the Library of Congress. For a list of all their digital collections click here

American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920

The web site "comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920. Also included is the thirty-two-volume set of manuscript sources entitled Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, published between 1904 and 1907 after diligent compilation by the distinguished historian and secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society Reuben Gold Thwaites."

American Journeys -- Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement: A Digital Library and Learning Center

American Journeys contains eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later. American Journeys is a collaborative project of the Wisconsin Historical Society and National History Day.

American Rhetoric

Index to a growing database of full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a declaration or two. Also illustrates various rhetorical devices with sound clips from speeches and movies.

Avalon Project at the Yale Law School

This web site presents the full text of historical documents relevant to the fields of law, economics, politics, diplomacy and government.

A Chronology of US Historical Documents

A strong collection of full text documents provided by the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

H-Net Humanities and Social Science Online

Provides an extensive list of email discussion groups, book reviews, job postings, and announcements based at Michigan State University.

In the First Person : Index to Letters, Diaries, Oral Histories, and other Personal Narratives (Alexander Street Press)

In the First Person is a index of more than 3,350 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world. It lets you keyword search letters, diaries, oral histories, memoirs, and autobiographies by more than 15,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to some 3,500 audio and video files and 30,000 bibliographic records.

Presidential Timeline

"The Presidential Timeline provides a single point of access to an ever-growing selection of digitized assets from the collections of the twelve Presidential Libraries of the National Archives. Among these assets are documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video relating to the events of the presidents’ lives. "

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States contains material that was compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. It includes volumes covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.

Yahoo--United States History Archives

Early History to 1789


Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789

A collection of 274 documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive
Witchcraft in Salem Village now Danvers, Massachusetts

"This site introduces the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and is designed to provide accurate general information about these events, as well as information on other aspects of the history of Danvers (formerly Salem Village)."  Along with maps of Salem Village, you can read a small selection of rare books and view hundreds of archival documents.

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources: 1745-1799

The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia Library has digitized the original writings of George Washington. One may browse through the various works or search by key word or phrase, or recipient. Limiting by date range is also possible. 

Slavery, Civil War and reconstruction


American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology

Slave narratives gathered by WPA writers and journalists from 1936-38.

The American South

Includes Documenting the American South: The Southern Experience in 19thc America which presents primary source materials documenting the cultural history of the American South from the viewpoint of Southerners. It offers diaries, autobiographies, travel accounts, titles on slavery and regional literature drawn from the splendid Southern holdings of the UNC-Chapel Hill Academic Affairs Library.

Amistad Mutiny

The history of the Amistad as reflected in the collections of the Library of Congress.

Dred Scot Case

Created by Washington University in St. Louis, this site offers digital images and transcriptions (HTML or Word) of 85 original documents from the Dred and Harriet Scott cases tried in St. Louis courts between 1846 and 1852. In addition to the documents, the site also provides a brief chronology and links for further information.

Freedmen and Southern Society Project

This site was established "to capture the essence of the 1861-67 social revolution in the United States by depicting the drama of emancipation in the words of the participants: liberated slaves and defeated slaveholders, soldiers and civilians, common folk and the elite, Northerners and Southerners in the era of the American Civil War.

Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware

This is a history of the free African American community as told through the family history of most African Americans who were free in the Southeast during the colonial period. The database contains about 1,700 pages of family histories based on all colonial court order and minute books on microfilm at the state archives of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Delaware (over 850 volumes), 1790-1810 census records, tax lists, wills, deeds, free Negro registers, marriage bonds, parish registers, Revolutionary War pension files, etc.

Making of America

This digital library is a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and Cornell University. It contains primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstructionand is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The Cornell Making of America pages are available at:

Secession Era Editorials Project

Three events (Nebraska, Dred Scott, and Harper's Ferry) were chosen for this project for their universal prominence in historical writing. A fourth incident, the attack on Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina representative Preston Brooks, is also included.

Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture : a Multimedia Archive

This award winning site is directed by Stephen Railton, Dept. of English, University of Virginia. It contains the text of Uncle Tom's Cabin as well as critical background materials to understanding that text, responses (including African American and pro-Slavery) to that text, and various adaptations in children's literature, songs, poems, theatre, and film.

The Underground railroad : Guide to Resources at Colgate

Links to many websites on the same topic as well as lists of good primary print sources.

Valley of the Shadow: two communities in the American Civil War

This is the gateway into the story of the Civil War as seen by the people of two communities in the Great Valley of the United States: Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia. This project weaves together the histories of these two places, separated by a few hundred miles and the Mason-Dixon Line. Produced at the University of Virginia.

20th Century History



Civil Rights Movement Veterans Website

This website is of, by, and for Veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library & Digital Archive
JARDA : Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive

The experience of Japanese Americans in internment camps during the war is richly documented in the holdings of a number of California repositories... all members of the California Digital Library's (CDL) Online Archive of California (OAC).

Historic Government Documents of World War II

Covers all facets of the war, from military campaigns abroad to activities along the home front. The collection's individual pieces reflect the pervasiveness of the war effort, and the transformative effects of the conflict on all aspects of American society

New York State

New York State Archives

The mission of the New York State Archives to ensure that all the diverse communities, peoples, and events in New York history are fully documented and that documentary evidence is easily accessible for research and learning. This website serves as a pathway directing users to historical records and resources around the state. Arranged topically, each page provides listings of projects, links to finding aids, digitized images, on-line exhibits and publications, and links to other resources. Under documented topics include: African Americans, Latinos, Mental Health, Environmental Affairs. Special Areas of Interest include: genealogy, military, transportation, and community history. Their digital collections, including audio and video, can be found here.

New York Heritage Digital Collections

This is a gateway to hundreds of digital collections about New York State's people, places, and institutions. brings together freely accessible digital collections from libraries, museums and archives from all over the state. See New York State's rich and unique history told through images, artifacts and documents

New York State Library Digitized Collections

The Digital Collections of the New York State Library include a large array of 18th and 19th century historical materials from many subject areas, including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Native American materials, New York State laws and natural history.

New Netherland Project Home Page

"The New Netherland Project was established under the sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York. Its primary objective is to complete the transcription, translation, and publication of all Dutch documents in New York repositories relating to the seventeenth - century colony of New Netherland."

New York City History (a Colgate Library guide to specific resources)
Upstate New York and the Women's Rights Movement

Here are selected images from a 1995 exhibition in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Rochester Library. The exhibition commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the passage of the nineteenth amendment, which gave women the vote in 1920.

Word on Women: A Directory of Historical Records Collections Documenting Women in History in Upstate New York.

This resource guide contains entries from 157 archives, libraries, historical societies, schools and other repositories holding historical records pertaining to women. Each entry contains a brief description of the individual repository's holdings specific to women, contact information and other information of interest to researchers. This directory covers collections about women that are held in 62 counties in nine New York State regions.




Avalon Project at the Yale Law School

This web site presents the full text of historical documents relevant to the fields of law, economics, politics, diplomacy and government.




NOAA Central Library: National Oceanographic Data Center

There are many documents here showing changes in the climate over time. hurricane reports, Rerports for the Chief of the Weather Bureau from 1891-1953, U.S. Daily weather maps from 1871-2002 and documents about changes to the fisheries of the United States from the early 1800s to the early 1900s.



Word on Women: A Directory of Historical RecordsDocumenting Women in History in Upstate NY

Page Created & Maintained by: Emily Hutton-Hughes | Last Updated: December 14, 2010 | © 2009