Old Dominion University Libraries

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Find Articles Using Databases

Find Books and Dissertations

Internet Resources

Multimedia Materials

Primary Source Materials

Reference Resources

Statistics and Data

Related Pages

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Selected Resources for: American History

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(Display only the highlighted/core resources).

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  • Find Articles Using Databases

        Academic or Scholarly

      Academic Search Complete Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
    Provides a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary database with full-text, peer-reviewed journals, as well as indexing and abstracts for monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, and searchable cited references for nearly 1,000 journals.
      America: History & Life Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        1964 - present
    Covers the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With indexing for journals from 1964 to the present, this database is the most important bibliographic reference tool for students and scholars of U.S. and Canadian history.
      Arts & Humanities Citation Index - Web of Science Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        1975 - present
    Indexes major journals in the arts and humanities disciplines. Search for articles by topic, author, source title, or author address. Includes Cited Reference Search that finds articles that have cited specific works by an author.
      Historical Abstracts Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        1955 - present
    Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. This database provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955.
      Humanities International Complete Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        Coverage varies
    Provides full text of hundreds of journals, books and other published sources from around the world. This database includes all data from Humanities International Index plus unique full text content, much of which is not found in other databases.
      JSTOR Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        Coverage varies by journal
    Provides a scholarly journal archive for full text journals through the following collections: Arts & Sciences, Biological Sciences, Health & General Sciences, Language & Literature, Life Sciences. The JSTOR Arts and Sciences I-IV, X Collections are funded through the generous support of the Friends of the Library. New Feature--JStor now offers access to Early Journal Content(pre-1870 and pre-1923-present).
      Project Muse Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
    Provides full text of articles and books in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, with full searching capabilities. Project Muse is provided by Johns Hopkins University Press. Use the Search Guide to improve your results.

    Find Books and Dissertations


      American Studies : an annotated bibliography
    Location: E169.1.A436 (3 volumes)
    Reference/1st floor
      Harvard Guide to American History
    One of the standard reference tools for U.S. History research. Consult a newer source for materials published after 1970.
    Location: E178.F77 1974 (2 volumes)
    Reference/1st Floor
      United States History : a selective guide to information sources
    Location: E178.B57 1994
    Reference/1st floor


      Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
    The CGP is the index for federal publications from 1976 to the present. It includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general keyword.
      Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications: 1895-1976 Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
    Provides a digital version of the US Government Printing Office's authorized government bibliography from 1895 to June 1976. This comprehensive index describes over 1.2 million items and makes it much easier to locate historical government documents in all subject areas.
      ODU Library Catalog
    The Library of Congress classifications for American History are E and F (History: America). The breakdown is as follows:
    E 11-29 America (General) E 300-453 Revolution to the Civil War
    E 51-99 Indians of North America E 456-655 Civil War
    E 151- United States (General) E 661-738 Late nineteenth century
    E 184-185.98 Population E 740- Twentieth century
    E 186-288 Colonial history/Revolution F 1-975 United States local history
    Browsing in any of these areas may lead to the discovery of valuable material in addition to the specific items listed in this guide. History dissertations written by ODU students are available on the 3rd floor of Perry Library at call number LD4331.H47.
      WorldCat Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
    Contains records of any type of material cataloged by OCLC member libraries. Includes manuscripts written as early as the 11th century.

        Dissertations and Theses

      Dissertations & Theses Full Text Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        1861 - present
    Contains many full-text doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Also indexes dissertations and theses back to 1861. A subset of this database is Dissertations & Theses @ ODU, which allows you to access the citations and abstracts of all ODU student dissertations and theses, as well as the full text in PDF format, when available.

    Internet Resources

        Agency or Organization Web Sites

      National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
    Contains 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration from thousands of public laws, Supreme Court decisions, inaugural speeches, treaties, constitutional amendments and other documents that have influenced the course of U.S. history from 1776 to 1965. Consult Research Tools and Ways to Search Online for more information on how to locate archival materials.

        Digital Collections

      Colonial Williamsburg Digital Library
    Provides access to a unique set of resources devoted to early American history and Virginia's eighteenth-century capital. Searches and views digitized versions of rare books and manuscripts from a selection of reports on the buildings and people of 18th-century Williamsburg and the complete run of the Virgina Gazette to 1780.
      Virtual Jamestown
    Provides maps, first hand accounts and letters, court and public records, newspapers and many other digital resources that explore the legacies of the Jamestown settlement and "the Virginia experiment."


      Digital Library on American Slavery
    The Digital Library offers a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color. Designed as a tool for scholars, historians, teachers, students, genealogists, and interested citizens, the site provides access to information gathered and analyzed over an eighteen-year period from petitions to southern legislatures and country courts filed between 1775 and 1867 in the fifteen slaveholding states in the United States and the District of Columbia.
      Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007 Authentication Required 
    Provides a portal for slavery and abolition studies, bringing together documents and collections covering an extensive time period 1490-2007, from libraries and archives across the Atlantic world. Close attention is being given to the varieties of slavery, the legacy of slavery, the social justice perspective and the continued existence of slavery today.
      State Digital Resources: Memory Projects, Online Encyclopedias, Historical & Cultural Materials Collections
    A compilation of state and regional digital projects and collaborations.

    Multimedia Materials


      AP Images Authentication Required 
    Contains current photos and a selection of historical pictures from the large image, print and negative library of the Associated Press. Now includes AP graphics files. [Does not include the audio and text files]. Allows a maximum of 5 users at one time.


      American Song Authentication Required 
    Provides a definitive source of American roots music and pre-1960 American popular music, including country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, American Indian, blues, gospel, and shape note singing. It includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys, as well as the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests and more.

    Primary Source Materials

        Government Documents - Federal

      A Century of American Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents
    Contains laws, inaugural speeches, treaties, constitutional amendments, and other documents that have influenced the course of United States history from 1776 to 1965. Compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration.
      American State Papers Authentication Required 
        1789 - 1838
    Provides primary source material on many aspects of early American history from 1789 to 1838. Contains numbered publications, largely Congressional but also containing Executive Department materials. Unlike the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, the publications in the American State Papers are not divided into reports and documents and do not include House and Senate journals.
      National Security Archive Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        Coverage varies by collection
    Provides a comprehensive collection of primary documents, including the most important declassified documents regarding critical U.S. policy decisions. There are complete collections, each offering specialized insights.
      ProQuest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional) Authentication Required 
        Coverage varies by collection
    Contains full text for U.S. Congressional publications, bills, legislative histories, laws, etc. The ODU Library has purchased the following retrospective collections, Committee Prints (1830-present), Congressional Research Service Reports (1916-present), and Congressional Hearings (1824-2003). Includes a detailed guide to creating citations for documents found in LexisNexis Congressional.
      U.S. Congressional Serial Set Authentication Required 
        1817 - 1966
    Contains the digital version of the bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the Reports, Documents, and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, providing primary source material on all aspects of American history. Additional years are digitized monthly, and upon completion in 2009 will cover 1817-1980.

        Historical Materials

      Accessible Archives Authentication Required 
        Coverage varies by database.
    Includes the following fulltext databases: Godey's Lady's Book, The Pennsylvania Gazette, The Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective, African American Newspapers, The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue: Chester County and The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County.
      African American Periodicals, 1825-1995 Authentication Required New resource 
    Explore African American history, culture and daily life in the 19th and 20th centuries.
      AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History
    Provides a full text electronic library of primary resources for the study of American History.
      America's Historical Newspapers Authentication Required 
        1690 - 1922
    Contains eight series of Early American Newspapers (Series I, 1690-1876; Series II, 1758-1900; Series III, 1829-1922; Series 4, 1756-1922; Series 5, 1777-1922; Series 6, 1741-1922; Series 7, 1773-1922, Series 8, 1844-1922), and African American Newspapers, 1827-1998.
      American Memory
    Provides full text documents, books, images, audio files, and other resources on American history from the Library of Congress.
      American Periodicals Series Authentication Required EndNote Enabled 
        1740 - 1940
    Includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groundbreaking journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's. etc.
      ArchiveGrid Authentication Required 
        Coverage varies
    Search for historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.
      Black Abolitionist Papers Authentication Required New resource 
        1830 - 1865
    Searches a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. The content includes letters, speeches, editorials, articles, sermons, and essays from libraries and archives in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. Over 15,000 items written by nearly 300 Black men and women are available for searching.
      Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers New resource 
        Currently 1880-1922
    This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
      Colonial State Papers Authentication Required 
        16th - 18th Century
    Provides access to thousands of papers concerning English activities in the American, Canadian, and West Indian colonies between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries from two collections: Privy Council and related bodies: America and West Indies and The Calendar of State Papers, Colonial: North America and the West Indies 1574-1739.
      Documenting the American South
    Provides internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.
      Early American Newspapers Authentication Required 
        1690 - 1922
    Contains U.S. historical newspapers, including titles from all 50 present states. The five series form the database titled 'America's Historical Newspapers': Series 1, 1690-1876; Series 2, 1758-1900; Series 3, 1829-1922; Series 4, 1756-1922; and Series 5, 1777-1922.
      HarpWeek: The Civil War Era and Reconstruction Authentication Required 
        1857 - 1877
    Provides full-image reproduction of Harper's Weekly and a very elaborate index to the magazine. Includes illustrations, cartoons, news, literature, editorials, and ads.
      History Collections on Microform
        Coverage varies
    Provides a list of the historical collections housed in the Library's Microforms Department on the second floor. Includes the specific titles and call numbers in each collection.
      Making of America
    Contains 109 monographs (267 volumes) and 22 journals (955 volumes) documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, with imprints primarily between 1840 - 1900. Provided by Cornell University Library.
      Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers Authentication Required 
        19th Century
    Provides digital facsimile images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.
      ODU Special Collections
    The Special Collections department houses the University archives, manuscripts, books, and other printed material related to Virginia and Tidewater History.
      Sabin Americana, 1500 - 1926 Authentication Required 
        1500 - 1926
    Contains books, pamphlets, serials and other documents about the Americas that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. Based on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection is a cornerstone in the study of the western hemisphere.

        Tidewater Regional Resources

      Tidewater Regional Resources New resource 
    Regional primary and secondary sources including yearbooks, city directories, newspapers and government periodicals published in Tidewater/Hampton Roads Virginia. Some resources also relate to other parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Resources date from colonial times to modern day but are primarily from the 20th and 21st centuries. Microfilm, print and electronic resources are included.

    Reference Resources

        Almanacs and Encyclopedias

      American Decades
    Location: E169.12 .A419 1994 v.1-9
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History Authentication Required 
    A five-volume set and supplement covering all aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day.
      Encyclopedia of American History / Gary B. Nash, general editor.
    Location: E174 .E53 2003 v.1-11
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
    Location: E184.A1 E584 2008 v.1-3
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of the American Civil War : a political, social, and military history
    Location: E468 .H47 2000 v. 1-5
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of the American Revolution
    Location: E208.B635 1991
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era / edited by John D. Buenker and Joseph Buenker
    Location: E661 .E53 2005 v.1-3
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of the Great Depression Authentication Required 
      Encyclopedia of the Korean War : a political, social, and military history
    Location: DS918 .E53 2002
    Reference/1st floor
      Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War : a political, social, and military history
    Location: DS557.7 .E53 1998 v.1-3
    Reference/1st Floor
      Encyclopedia of Women in American History
    v. 1. Colonization, revolution, and the new nation, 1585-1820
    v. 2. Civil War, western expansion, and industrialization, 1820-1900
    v. 3. Suffrage, world war, and modern times, 1900-present
    Location: HQ1410 .E53 2001 v.1-3
      Encyclopedia Virginia
    Encyclopedia Virginia is a publicly accessible online publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. It aggregates information on Virginia history, business, politics, and geography, the arts, religion, culture, and folklife. As the Encyclopedia grows, it will also explore areas of science, medicine, education, and technology.
      Oxford Companion to United States History Authentication Required 
    Location: E174 .O94 2001
    Reference/1st floor
      World War I : encyclopedia
    Location: D510 .E53 2005 v.1-5
    Reference/1st floor

        Biographical Sources

      American National Biography / general editors, John A. Garraty, Mark C. Carnes
    Location: CT213 .A68 1999
    Reference/1st Floor
      Biography in Context Authentication Required New resource 
    Provides nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography, bringing users face to face with historical figures and today’s most studied newsmakers via videos, audios and images. Includes multidisciplinary content on notable figures and the societal forces that have shaped their lives through the Lives & Perspectives Collection.
      Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography / edited by John S. Bowman
    Location: CT213 .C36 1995
    Reference/1st Floor

        Dictionaries and Thesauri

      Dictionary of American History
    Location: E174.D52 1976 vol. 1-7
    Reference/1st floor

        Handbooks and Manuals

      MLA Formatting and Style Guide
    Covers the basics of formatting a paper and citing references. Provided by Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
      Turabian Style
    Highlights elements of citing references using the principles of Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 5th ed., and the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. Provided by the University of Wisconsin Writing Center.

    Statistics and Data

        Statistical Resources

      Historical Census Browser
    Presents data that describes the population and economy of U.S. states and counties from 1790 to 1960. From the University of Virginia.
      Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition Online Authentication Required 
        Colonial times - present
    Provides access to over 37,000 data series from the revised and expanded Historical Statistics of the United States, covering topics ranging from migration and health to crime and the Confederate States of America. The fully searchable and downloadable electronic edition permits users to graph individual tables and create customized tables and spreadsheets.

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