United States History

Subject Guides

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Includes Dictionary of American History, and American Decades.

Includes Oxford Companion to United States History.

Encyclopedia of American Social History. (Ref 973.03 C318) 3 vols. New York: Scribner, 1993.

Encyclopedia of American Historical Documents.  (Ref 973.03 R724) 3 vols. New York: Facts on File, 2004.

Primary Sources

A collection of primary documents from colonial times to the end of World War II.  Search by general subject to view them quickly, or browse through the collection to see what is in there.  From Adam Matthew's Gilder Lehrman Institution of American History.


Discover articles and books from many of our databases.

Historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.

Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History - Scholarly essays on a variety of topics-- browse to get ideas.

Primary Sources

Primary sources for American history includes newspaper articles, diary entries, letters, and much more.   

American Presidency - A Website from UC Santa Barbara with an online archive of presidential papers (searchable), plus documents relating to the presidency itself.

American Memory Project of the Library of Congress provides primary textual and graphical sources relating to American history and culture. Searchable.

Documents for the Study of American History - Bibliography of primary documents available on the Internet. Most of the documents fall between Colonial times and the end of the 1800's. Look chronologically for the document you need. From the University of Kansas.

Immigration to the United States 1789-1930 ;- From the Open Collections Program at Harvard University, this online exhibit features diaries, letters, maps, books, pamphlets, and photographs, primarily from the 19th century, focused on the influx of immigrants to America.

National Archives and Records - Explore the exhibits for propaganda posters from World War II, and the "People at War". View photographs of Chicago's African American community, and historical documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation. Searchable.

Pacifica Radio Archives - an online source for interviews and other audio, providing excellent primary sources for a variety of events worldwide.


Discover articles and books from many of our databases.


Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History. (Ref 973.03 C490) Armonk: New York: Sharpe Reference, 2006.

Colonial North American Project at Harvard University - Over 150,000 scanned documents as of 2015.

Raid on Deerfield - An online exhibit sponsored by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association exploring the 1704 Deerfield raid in northeastern America.

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic - ..."many of the colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions..." Essays on various aspects of the history of religion in the US, from the 17th century to the New Republic. Exhibition of the Library of Congress.

Witchcraft in Salem Village - From the University of Virginia, a collection of electronic texts, such as court documents, concerning the Salem Witch Trials. Includes some contemporary essays.

American Colonist's Library: Primary Source Documents - Find the full text of literature and documents that would have been read, studied, and influenced the colonists.

Archiving Early America presents text and images of historical documents, maps and newspapers from the Keigwin-Mathews Collection of Early America.

Virtual Jamestown - A "work in progress," this site is dedicated to bringing to life the "Virginia experiment" in what was to be the United States. Included are maps, labor contracts, public records, first hand accounts and letters, newspapers, and a reference center.

Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man provides very good biographical information and graphical views of Franklin, his contemporaries and the environment he lived and worked in.


Discover articles and books from many of our databases.

Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution. (2nd floor 973.314 Sa13) Port Washington, NY: Kennikat, 1966.

Adams Papers Online - Letters, diaries, from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1764-1789 - Over 250 documents are here. Includes the George Washington Papers, Jonathan Elliot's debates, and much more.

George Washington Papers - Selected documents and articles on the Father of Our Country. Some are dispatches written during the war by the future president.

Liberty Online ;- Explores the philosophical background of the Revolution, as well as documents, speeches, and the thoughts behind the leaders at the time. Also includes essays from more recent times.

Papers of James Madison - E-texts of correspondence and papers of President James Madison. Sponsored by the University of Virginia.

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800 - Browsable by year, author, and recipient, as well as searchable. Some images difficult to read due to fading. This is a reassembling of documents long believed to have been lost to fire in 1800. Reassembled and maintained by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Spy Letters of the American Revolution - Texts of letters from the wrong side of the American revolution. Includes a timeline, and context of the letters. From the Clements Library.

Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. (2nd floor 973.41 W277w) 39 vols. Washington: USGPO, 1944.

"The Decisive Day is Come": The Battle of Bunker Hill - A comprehensive history of this battle. From the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Encyclopedia of California's Catholic Heritage.
(Ref 282.794 W388e) Mission Hills, CA: St. Francis Historical Society, 2000.

Historical Atlas of California. (Ref 911.794 B388) Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1974.

California Missions Foundation offers background information and photos of the 21 missions, including virtual tours and other video guides.  Browse the mission histories in the California Mission ebooks.  Contact a librarian if you require a login and password to get in.  

Encyclopedia of the American West. (Ref 978.003 P541) 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1996

Museum of the City of San Francisco - A museum specializing in Bay Area history. Includes some excellent online exhibits related to historical times in San Francisco, such as, the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, History of the San Francisco Fire Department, the firestorm in Oakland, and the Gold Rush. Includes copies of historical documents, essays, and commentary.

New Encyclopedia of the American West. (Ref 978.003 L161n) New Haven: Yale, 1998.

Panama-California Exposition - Held in San Diego in 1915.

San Diego History - Overview of the history of San Diego from the time of the missions to the present. Searchable. From the San Diego Historical Society.

San Francisco History - Features a searchable subject index on the history of the city, as well as histories of the Napa Valley and the University of California at Berkeley.

Women in the Gold Rush - Sponsored by the author of They Saw The Elephant.

Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535-1846. (2nd floor, 979.402 B391) Santa Clara: CA: Santa Clara University, 2001.

California as I Saw It - "First person narratives of California's early years, 1849-1900." Texts and illustrations of 190 works. From the Library of Congress.

California Digital Newspapers - "A freely accessible repository of digitized California newspapers from 1846 to the present."

California Views: The Pat Hathaway Collection presents graphical images of Central California, including historical images of Cannery Row, Carmel, and Monterey.

California's Untold Stories: Gold Rush! - From the Oakland Museum.

Calisphere - A collection of primary texts and materials, organized by date and subject, from the University of California.

Early California Population Project - Public access to all information contained in California's mission registered, including baptisms, marriages, and some burials. Covers the years 1769 to 1850-- a valuable look at Alta California and mission history.

Historic Photograph Collection - CSU Chico offers links to several special collections that relate to Northern California.

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives - Texts and images including War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese

American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945

John Muir Journals and Photographs and Drawings - A digital collection from the University of the Pacific.

Oakland Museum of California - Oakland Museum's digitization of photographs, documents, artifacts, and paintings.

Online Archive of California..."brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions..." including images, documents, letters, oral histories, and specific guides to research. Searchable. From the California Digital Library.

San Francisco, 1897-1916 contains almost 30 run-time .AVI movies produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company between 1897 and 1916. Included are shorts of various scenes of the city before and after the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, rescue and evacuation efforts, and films of the city hosting the Panama-Pacific Exposition.

USC Digital Collections "provides access to over 100,000 photographs, maps, manuscripts, records, texts and sound recordings owned by USC and collaborating institutions." Primarily focused on California and the West coast.

Web De Anza - "An interactive study environment on Spanish Exploration and colonization of 'Alta California' 1774-1776". Diaries of Juan Bautista de Anza, and other explorers. Searchable. From the University of Oregon.


A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (also called Rampolla)
(8th edition)
Reference: 1st floor 907.2 R148a

Chicago Manual of Style Online. Also available in print in the reference room (Ref 808.02 Un3e)

Chicago Manual of Style (Notes-Bibliography) - A guide from the SMC Library

Quick Guide to Chicago Style from the Chicago manual publishers.


Writing Assistance

Having trouble putting it all together? The SMC Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (or, "The Writing Center") offers peer-to-peer advising sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can call or stop by to make an appointment, or can also drop in and do a session immediately, if an adviser is available. See their website for more information, or stop bythe first floor of DeLaSalle, or call us: 925.631.4684