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History Research Guide: US History

Research help and resources for local, state, national or international history.

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Newspapers are the most commonly accessible primary sources, directly reporting on events of the day.

Teaching American History

Primary resources from the website

Get Started with Reference Sources

Need a topic, but don't know where to start?  Need some background information to help you build better searches?  Start with some of these reference sources to browse and learn basic information about your topic. 

Online: Forget Wikipedia or random Google searches!  These sites are just as easy to search, but provide you with academic sources that you can include on your bibliography!

Print:  Need something a bit more specific to a certain era or movement?  We've got great reference books here in the library.  Here's a small example of what we've got.  Ask a librarian for help identifying a source that will apply to your area of research. 

Primary Sources

Primary sources can come in a wide variety of forms.  The key is limiting it to works that were created during the scope of the event under study.  Here's a range of what you could find:  books or pamphlets, newspapers or magazines, government documents, organizational records, diaries, letters, scrapbooks, paintings, photographs, maps, oral interviews, sound or video recordings, even websites or blogs.   

Hints -

When searching the library catalog, add keywords like "sources", "personal narratives", "maps" or "photographs" to your topical search to find primary sources here in the library. 

Following are some reputable sites to find primary source materials related to United States history:


17th & 18th Centuries:

19th Century:

20th Century:

Scholarly Articles

Subject Guide

Renée Fratantonio's picture
Renée Fratantonio
HA-106, Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Hammond Hall