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U.S. History and American Studies   Tags: american history, amst, hist, u.s. history, united states history, us history, usa history  

A guide for conducting U.S. History and American Studies research at the Yale University Library.
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2014 URL: http://guides.library.yale.edu/ushistory Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Primary Source Databases

  • US and British Periodicals
    A comprehensive listing of all the periodical databases owned by Yale covering the US and UK.
  • Twentieth Century US
    A list of full-text primary source databases for 20th century U.S. history, including newspapers, magazines, and government documents.
  • Nineteenth Century US
    A list of full-text primary source databases for 19th century U.S. history, including newspapers, magazines, and government documents.
  • Colonial American and Early American History
    A list of full-text databases of Colonial U.S. history sources, including books, newspapers, and government documents.

Primary Source Collections

Important Indexes

Important Databases for U.S. History

  • America History and Life
    The key source for searching scholarly literature in U.S. history. Unlike JSTOR, America History and Life is current and includes books and dissertations. Tip: Search book titles to find book reviews.
  • Yale Finding Aid Database
    The Yale Finding Aid Database searches the full text of finding aids for archival materials at Yale University. Finding aids are guides that provide information about the creation, historical context, arrangement, and content of collections as well as the information necessary for users to identify and request items relevant to their research.
  • American National Biography
    A seminal reference source which includes reliable biographical information on a number of individuals. One of the key strengths of this database is that its entries often contain bibliographies that point to key secondary works and primary source collections.
  • American Foreign Relations Since 1600
    A seminal reference book that provides annotated overviews of secondary and primary source resources on all periods and places of U.S. foreign relations.
  • Archives Unbound
    A large collection of digitized archival collections on a number of subjects (LBGT studies, Cold War History, African American History) from various archives of note, including the U.S. National Archives, the British Library, and several private collections.

Key Newspaper & Periodical Databases for U.S. History

  • Access Newspaper Archive
    A collection of digital newspapers from smaller towns. Dates and places vary widely, making search results hit or miss.
  • America's Historical Newspapers
    Large collection of digital newspapers from the 18th through 20th centuries. This includes every digital newspaper collection from Readex.
  • Historical Newspapers Complete
    One of our premier databases, Historical Newspapers Complete contains large runs of major U.S. newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Tip: choose "more search options" to limit searches to specific newspaper sections.
  • Yale Daily News Digital Archive
    An incomplete, but fairly substantial, digital archive of the Yale Daily News, going back to its inaugural issue in 1878.
  • Old Fulton History Newspaper Database
    This database is maintained by a private individual, who scans microfilm of New York State newspapers from 1795-2007. While the interface might lack sophistication, it's 23.5 million plus pages of scanned material makes this a rich resource. The search features leaves much to be desired, but the help tab offers tips to navigate this home-grown system.
  • Library PressDisplay
    Three month backlog of 2,200 newspapers from 97 countries in 54 languages. This is an excellent source to get the most up-to-date news.
  • NewspaperCat
    A catalog of digital historical newspapers, this resource facilitates the discovery of online digitized historical newspaper content from newspapers published in the United States and the Caribbean. It currently links to over 1,500 full-text newspaper titles.
  • Lantern: Media History Digital Library
    The Media History Digital Library (MHDL) digitizes collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The corpus of this source is large as the copyright of many media industry, fan, and technical publications were not renewed, and those pre-1964 works are now in the public domain. Contains over 800,000 pages of material.
  • Opinion Archives
    Searches opinion pieces and editorials from across the political spectrum. Full text available from The Nation, Commentary, NACLA, and The New Republic. Also indexes American Spectator, Commonweal, Harper's Magazine, The National Review, and The New York Review of Books.
  • California Digital Newspaper Collection
    This collection contains over 61,000 issues comprising almost 550,000 pages from 39 historical California newspapers published from 1846-1922, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California.
  • Northern New York Historical Newspapers
    The online collection currently consists of more than 2,312,000 pages from 65 newspapers. Includes material from Essex, Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego counties. The papers have a variety of coverage dates, ranging from the mid-19th century to 2008.
  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
    This freely available resource from the Library of Congress contains 6.5 million pages of material from 32 states from 1836-1922. Many of these newspapers are smaller, local periodicals. This resource is continuously added to.

Key Primary Source Databases for U.S. History

  • Rotunda: American Founding Era
    The complete published collections of major Founding Fathers in a single, fully searchable database. Contains the papers of George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Dolley Madison.
  • Ancestry Library Edition
    This database contains a large collection of primary sources, including original images of U.S. census records, slave schedules, and immigration passenger lists from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston for the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • ProQuest Congressional
    One of the best sources for U.S. government documents. Contains the Congressional Record and numerous hearings, reports and other documents from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Tip: limit searches to individual Congresses to narrow searches. Also, choose advanced search to select different parts of the database, such as the large map collection (Serial Set Maps). Also includes Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932, which includes all of the 200,000+ executive branch titles listed in the 1909 Checklist that were not included in the U.S. Serial Set, as well as an additional well-chosen 200,000 titles from 1910-1932.
  • American Periodical Series
    This database includes digitized images of the pages of many American magazines and journals published from 1740 to 1900. 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.
  • American Pamphlets, Series 1, 1820-1922: From the New-York Historical Society
    Drawn from the pamphlet collection of the New-York Historical Society, this database will eventually provide access to more than 25,000 short printed works from the Jacksonian Era to the Jazz Age. New material is added at the end of every month until December 2014, so please check back.
  • American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 1
    Drawn from the periodical collections of the American Antiquarian Society, this database contains 500 titles dating from 1691 through 1820. Almost every 17th- and 18th-century American title is represented in addition to the majority of works published before 1821.
  • Sabin Americana
    Based on Joseph Sabin's famed bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana – A Dictionary of Books Relating to America From its Discovery to the Present Time, Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 is an online collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, from the time of their discovery to the early 1900s. Sabin Americana, 1500–1926 is rich in original accounts of discovery and exploration, pioneering and westward expansion, the U.S. Civil War and other military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition, religious history and more.
  • Portal to 71 State History Digital Collections
    List of current web resources that provide digital access to a broad array of primary source materials at the state level, but does not include local or municipal websites. Most of the materials available through these websites are digitized versions of analog items.

Book Reviews

  • Book Review Digest Plus
    Contains a citation to every book review that appears in any of over 5,000+ indexed journals. Over 270,000 full-text reviews from more than 1,400 American, British, and Canadian periodicals included.
  • Book Review Online Index Plus
    A comprehensive guide to book reviews that includes more than 5 million review citations from thousands of publications, with linking to more than 630,000 full-text book reviews.
  • History: Reviews of New Books
    Approximately thirty to forty book reviews per quarterly issue cover all geographic areas and time periods, from ancient times to the present. Contains both feature reviews of two or more books, coming in at 3,000 words, and regular one-book reviews at 500-750 words.

My Favorite Databases

New Resources, 2013-2014

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