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Databases A to Z

Subject: American Studies databases

Librarians' pick

  1. 1st  Project Muse   

American Studies research guide

American Studies titles

  • Academic Search Premier   

    Multidisciplinary indexing/full-text database that covers scholarly journal articles back to 1975. On the EBSCOhost platform.

  • African American Newspapers, 1827-1998   

    African-American full-text archive that reproduces full runs of newspapers from 35 states. A subset of America's Historic Newspapers on the Readex platform.

  • Afro-Americana Imprints   

    Full-text database of Afro-Americana imprints, 1535-1922, from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

  • AM Explorer: Americana   

    Covers American history, literature and culture. Resources include manuscript and typescript letters, diaries, notebooks, journals, newspapers, plus incredible art works, illustrations, photographs, video and 360-degree objects.

  • America: History & Life   

    History indexing database that covers American and Canadian journal articles back to 1910. On the EBSCOhost platform. Access limited to 6 simultaneous users.

  • American Archive of Public Broadcasting    UW login not required

    The Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston have embarked on a project to preserve for posterity the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 60 years: The American Archive of Public Broadcasting. The Library and WGBH are overseeing the digitization of approximately 40,000 hours of programs selected by more than 100 public broadcasting stations throughout the nation, dating from the 1940s to the 21st century. This collection includes local news and public affairs programs, local history productions that document the heritage of local communities, and programs dealing with education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, dance, poetry, religion, and even filmmaking on a local level.

  • American Civil War Research Database   

    Searchable American Civil War database that includes information on millions of soldiers and thousands of battles. On the Alexander Street Press platform.

  • American Consumer Culture   

    Searchable database containing “Market Research and American Business” and “Trade Catalogues and the American Home.” On the Adam Matthew platform.

  • American History in Video   

    History streaming media database that includes primary sources (newsreels and archival footage and educational videos from PBS, History Channel and other sources. On the Alexander Street Press platform.

  • American History, 1493-1945   

    This unique collection of documents brings to life American History from the times of the earliest settlers until the end of World War II. It is sourced from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the finest archives available for the study of American history. Its quantity and quality offers a wonderful overview of American history alongside some deep research strands. It is divided into two modules: Module 1, Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859, and Module 2, Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945. The collections feature over 60,000 primary source documents, including correspondence, diaries, government documents, business records, books, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, photographs, artwork and maps. Secondary resources include chronology, essays, video lectures and interactive features.

  • American Indian Experience   

    The American Indian Experience: The American Mosaic illuminates the historical and contemporary practices and tribulations of more than 150 Native American tribes from all regions of North America. Featuring articles and essays from Native American authors and contributors, it gives voice to the American Indian experience with respect to colonial conflict, trade economies, decisive wars, parsing of Native American land enabled by American policy, assimilation, and native claims to land, among other topics.

  • American Memory    UW login not required

    History full-text archive that reproduces print, spoken words, sound recordings, photos, films, prints, maps and sheet music from the Library of Congress collections. On the free American Memory platform. NOTE: Most of the original American Memory collections have been migrated to the Library of Congress Digital Collections site.

  • American Pamphlets, Series 1, 1820-1922   

    Key to the study of race, ethnicity, and gender in the 19th and early 20th centuries, these pamphlets span 100 years of American life, from the Jacksonian Era through the dawn of the Jazz Age. Researchers will find outstanding coverage of contentious topics related to politics and government, religion and religious movements, art and entertainment, business and economics, health and medicine, education, immigrants and ethnic groups, American Indians, slavery and the Civil War, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, women, and science and technology. Content includes speeches, orations, debates, sermons, treatises, tracts, narratives, poems, songs, memoirs, announcements, legal notices, and more.

  • American Underworld: The Flash Press   

    19th Century newspaper collection of crime, scandal, and blackmail papers. The Flash Press covered the seamier aspects of urban life in the mid-19th century. Topics covered include prostitution, gambling, urban gangs, illicit sporting activities, and sensational crimes. To many of their readers, the Flash Press also conveyed an implicit threat of blackmail, which often led to very ephemeral print runs. Unlike the “low-life” characters that they covered, the Flash Press journalists were often members of the cities’ wealthy class, and many of them were accomplished writers. Both their articles and their literary efforts are noteworthy examples of 19th-century American satire and humor.

  • American West   

    Historic full-text archive that reproduces selected manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed materials from the Everett D. Graff collection at the Newberry Library. On the Newberry Library platform.

  • Archive of Americana   

    Archive of Americana enables students and scholars to explore virtually every aspect of United States history, culture, and daily life across three centuries. Providing online access to newspapers, books, broadsides, ephemera, government publications and more, the Archive of Americana puts tens of millions of pages of primary documents at researchers' fingertips.

  • Archives Unbound   

    Group of digital collections of historical documents covering a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to twentieth-century political history. On a Gale platform.

  • Black Studies in Video   

    Black Studies in Video features award-winning documentaries, newsreels, interviews, and archival footage surveying the evolution of Black culture in the United States. In partnership with California Newsreel, the database provides unique access to their African American Classics collection, and includes films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations.

  • Civil War Primary Source Documents   

    Includes letters, diaries, administrative recores, photographs, and illustrations from the New-York Historical Society's Civil War collection.

  • Colonial America   

    Colonial America will make available all 1,450 volumes of the CO 5 series from The National Archives, UK, covering the period 1606 to 1822. CO 5 consists of the original correspondence between the British government and the governments of the American colonies. Modules will consist of: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries; Towards Revolution; The American Revolution; Legislation and Politics in the Colonies; and Growth, Trade and Development. On the Adam Matthew platform.

  • Dictionary of American Regional English   

    The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is different from other dictionaries in that it does not include words that are commonly used throughout the United States, but rather focuses on the regional aspects of our language, documenting words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another. The digital edition features audio, interactive maps, and insights into the DARE Survey.

  • Digital National Security Archive   

    History archival database that includes declassified documents on U.S. national security from 1945 to the 21st century. On the Chadwyck-Healey platform.

  • Digital Schomburg    UW login not required

    Information, interpretation, and scholarship on the global black experience. Includes exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio and video streams, and selected external links for research in the history and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora. On the New York Public Library platform.

  • Early American Fiction 1789-1850   

    American literature full-text database that includes fiction from 1789 to 1875. Part of the Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections.

  • Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800   

    Multidisciplinary full-text database, based on Charles Evan's American Bibliography, that reproduces all books, pamphlets and broadsides published the American colonies and the United States between 1639 and 1800. On the Readex platform.

  • Early Encounters in North America   

    Historic full-text archive that reproduces narratives, diaries, journals, letters, drawings and published accounts about relationships of North American people from 1534 to 1850. On the Alexander Street Press platform.

  • Early English Books Online   

    Multidisciplinary full-text database that provides every book published in English between 1475 and 1700. On the ProQuest platform.

  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)   

    Multidisciplinary full-text database that provides books, pamphlets, essays and broadsides from England and English-speaking lands based on the English Short Title Catalogue. On the Gale platform.

  • Food Studies Online   

    Food Studies Online provides researchers rich archival content, visual ephemera, monographs, and videos that explore how food shapes the world around us. Food studies is a relatively new field of study, but its importance is felt in many major disciplines. It has social, historical, economic, cultural, religious, and political implications that reach far beyond what is consumed at the dinner table.

  • Gale Primary Sources   

    A database provided by Gale that combines several of Gale's primary source databases such as Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Indigenous Peoples: North America, and several others.

  • Gilded Age   

    The Gilded Age brings together primary documents and scholarly commentary into a searchable collection. When complete, the collection will contain over 50,000 pages of fully searchable text and associated audio and video material. These materials are frequently rare and hard-to-find, and include songs, letters, photographs, cartoons, government documents, and ephemera. In addition, the collection features numerous critical documentary essays that provide scholarly commentary and annotations to selected primary sources. Spanning from 1865 to 1902, The Gilded Age provides insight into the key issues that shaped America in the late nineteenth century, including race and ethnicity, immigration, labor, women's rights, American Indians, political corruption, and monetary policy.

  • HeritageQuest Online   

    Genealogy indexing/full-text database that covers census, books, family histories, magazines, government documents, military records and other historic records. On the ProQuest platform.

  • History Reference Center   

    History indexing/full-text database that covers history encyclopedias, other reference sources and journals. It is intended for secondary schools and undergraduate research. On the EBSCOhost platform.

  • History Vault   

    Searchable database of primary source materials. Has different modules including American Indians and the American West, American Politics and Society from Kennedy to Watergate, American Politics in the Early Cold War, Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century, Confederate Military Manuscripts and Records, Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Law and Society since the Civil War, Margaret Sanger Papers, NAACP Papers, New Deal and World War II, Office of Strategic Services (OSS)-State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, Pinkerton's National Detective Agency Records, Progressive Era, Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War, Records of the Children's Bureau, Slavery and the Law, Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries, Southern Life and African American History, Struggle for Women's Rights, Students for a Democratic Society, U.S. Diplomatic Post Records, U.S. Military Intelligence Reports, Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, Women at Work during World War II, Women’s Studies Manuscript Collections, Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century, World War I: British Foreign Office Political Correspondence, World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era, World War II: U.S. Documents on Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Axis War Crimes, and Refugees. On the ProQuest platform.

  • Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines   

    Searchable Civil War database that includes electronic access to HarpWeek's collection of 40+ original 19th century newspapers and magazines. On the Alexander Street Press platform.

  • Images of America: A History of American Life in Images and Texts   

    Images of America: A History of American Life in Images in Texts is a unique new resource cultivated from Arcadia Publishing's award-winning series of local history books. At completion, it will include over 1 million historical images and texts, celebrating the places and faces that give America its spirit and life. All of the images and texts have been indexed to provide an unprecedented level of access into the contents, enabling users to explore the depth of a town's history or to compare the histories of various towns, cultures, ethnic groups, architectural features, and more.

  • J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America   

    Database containing the J. Walter Thompson Company Archive which documents the history, operation, policies and accomplishments of one of the world's largest and oldest advertising firms. On the Adam Matthew platform.

  • Jewish Life in America c1654-1954   

    American history full-text archive that reproduces manuscripts and records on Jewish life from 1654 to 1954. On the Adam Matthew platform.

  • JSTOR (Journal Storage Archive)   

    Multidisciplinary eJournal platform that provides complete back runs of journals in the following licensed collections: Arts & Sciences I-IV and VII, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Current Scholarship and Early Journal Content. On the JSTOR platform.

  • Latino Cultures in the US    UW login not required

    The platform brings more than 2,500 Latino cultural artifacts online and—through immersive storytelling, 360-degree virtual tours, ultra-high-resolution imagery, and visual field trips—offers first-hand knowledge about the Latino experience in America.

  • Leisure, Travel & Mass Culture: The History of Tourism   

    This resource presents a multi-national journey through well-known, little-known, and far-flung destinations unlocked for the average traveller between 1850 and the 1980s. Guidebooks and brochures, periodicals, travel agency correspondence, photographs, and personal travel journals provide unique insight into the expansion, accessibility, and affordability of tourism for the masses and the evolution of some of the most successful travel agencies in the world.

  • Liberty Magazine, 1924-1950   

    Liberty: A Weekly for Everybody was founded in 1924 and focused on the most sensational and popular issues. During the following 26 years the magazine charted the moods, attitudes, lifestyles, fads, and fortunes of middle America through its three most significant decades.

  • Library of Congress Digital Collections    UW login not required

    Gateway to over 300 digital collections maintained by the Library Of Congress including documents, photographs, motion pictures, sheet music, sound recordings, and more.

  • Literature Criticism Online   

    Literature full-text database that provides critical essays from a number of other Gale literary databases (most listed separately). On the Gale Artemis platform.

  • Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990   

    This important collection of papers spans the majority of the twentieth century, from 1912 to 1990. Law and humanities libraries serving scholars and students in twentieth-century American social history and politics will find this archive of special interest because of its focus on civil rights, civil liberties, race, gender, and issues relating to the U.S. Supreme Court. For most of the twentieth century the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was the principal defender of the rights that citizens can assert against government. Its primary aims have been the defense of the freedoms of speech and press, the separation of church and state, the free exercise of religion, due process of law, equal protection of the law, and the privacy rights of all citizens.

  • Making of the Modern World I, II, & III   

    The Making of the Modern World provides digital facsimile images of unique primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth.

  • Manuscript Women's Letters and Diaries   

    Manuscript Women’s Letters and Diaries from the American Antiquarian Society 1750-1950 brings together 105,000 pages of the personal writings of women of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, displayed as high-quality images of the original manuscripts, extensively indexed and online for the first time. The collection is drawn entirely from the holdings of the American Antiquarian Society. Thousands of letters and diary entries from less well known women vividly document even the smallest details of their lives and shed light on the roles women played within their families, their communities, and the social and political movements of their times. In many cases, we also include the replies, from both men and women, placing the letters in their full context. Additionally, materials such as the letters and diaries of three generations of women within the same family illuminate the lives of the authors, their family history, and the evolution of one group's culture.

  • March of Time   

    The March of Time From 1935-1967 is a groundbreaking American short-film series now available as online streaming video. Most covered poltical, economic, and military events or current affairs.

  • Meet the Press   

    Meet the Press from Alexander Street makes over 1,500 hours of footage—the full surviving broadcast run to date—available online in one cross-searchable interface. Meet the Press specializes in interviews with national leaders on issues of politics, economics, foreign policy, and other public affairs, along with panel discussions that provide opinions and analysis.

  • National Security Archive   

    History indexing/full-text database that includes declassified documents on U.S. national security from 1945 to the 21st century. On the Chadwyck-Healey platform.

  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories   

    North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories includes 2,162 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of information, providing a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada between 1800 and 1950. Composed of contemporaneous letters and diaries, oral histories, interviews, and other personal narratives, the series provides a rich source for scholars in a wide range of disciplines. In selected cases, users will be able to hear the actual audio voices of the immigrants.

  • Oxford African American Studies Center   

    African American reference database that provides a number of full-text encyclopedias, primary documents, images, maps, etc. 5 user limit. On the Oxford platform.

  • Pop Culture Studies (Gale OneFile)   

    Pop culture is all around us and influences our lives every day. For any social sciences, history, art, or liberal arts researcher, the Popular Culture Collection provides useful information from over two million articles found in over 100 subject-appropriate, full-text periodicals that are updated daily.

  • Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900   

    This unique collection showcases the development of 'popular' medicine in America during the nineteenth century, through an extensive range of material that was aimed at the general public rather than medical professionals. Explore an array of printed sources, including rare books, pamphlets, trade cards, and visually-rich advertising ephemera.

  • ProCitizen   

    This course will help you prepare for the Civics, Reading, and Writing portions of the Naturalization Test. Through a series of 100 informative videos, plus practice exercises and quizzes, you will learn everything you need to know to successfully pass the test.

  • Project Muse   

    Multidisciplinary ejournal and ebook platform that provides full-text of library-licensed journals and ebooks. On its own platform.

  • Race Relations in America   

    Archive of speeches, reports, surveys, and analyses produced by the Race Relations Department and its annual Institute at Fisk University from 1943-1970.

  • Revolutionary War Collection   

    Full-text collection of original military records, photos, stories and historical primary texts of interest to historians and genealogists.

  • Revolutionary War Era Orderly Books Collection   

    Developed in conjunction with the New York Historical Society, this resource contains handwritten volumes documenting military orders, movements and engagements by brigade, regiment, company and other specific military units between 1748 and 1817. The content provides detailed accounts of troops’ daily lives, documenting everything from court martial cases to the price of necessities charged by locals.

  • Sabin Americana   

    ased on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and more.

  • Sixties, The: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives   

    Interdisciplinary full-text archives that reproduces diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, government documents, memorabilia and scholarly commentary on the American sixties. On the Alexander Street Press platform.

  • Smithsonian Collections Online   

    Smithsonian Collections Online contain two magazines: Smithsonian (April 1970 to present), and: Air & Space Smithsonian (April/May 1986 to present). Other collections are: World's Fairs and Expositions: Visions of Tomorrow (1834-1940), and: Trade Literature and the Merchandizing of Industry (1820-1926).

  • Smithsonian Global Sound   

    Database of world music recordings, produced in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

  • Twentieth Century Advice Literature: North American Guides on Race, Gender, Sex, and the Family   

    Twentieth Century Advice Literature: North American Guides on Race, Gender, Sex, and the Family allows students and researchers to immerse themselves in the values and behaviors of Americans of the past. The collection provides a window into American social history by bringing together the instructional, prescriptive, behavioral, and etiquette literature that defined standards of personal conduct for millions of Americans and reflected the prevailing social mores across the twentieth century. The collection contains fully searchable handbooks, manuals, textbooks, etiquette guides, self-help books, instructional pamphlets, and how-to books that illustrate both how Americans actually behaved and how they felt they ought to behave. The collection currently includes 152,489 pages.

  • Victorian Popular Culture   

    Historic full-text archive that reproduces British and American works. Modules include: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic; Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks; Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment; and Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema. On the Adam Matthew platform.

  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000   

    Women and Social Movements in the United States is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding about U.S. women’s history generally and at the same time make those insights accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The collection currently includes 123 document projects and archives with 5,100 documents and more than 170,000 pages of additional full-text documents, written by 2,700 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.

  • Women's Studies Manuscript Collections   

    The Schlesinger Library's Woman's Suffrage Collection contains documents from the libraries extensive holdings on women's rights. On the ProQuest History Vault platform.

  • World War II   

    Full-text collection of original military records, photos, stories and historical primary texts of interest to historians and genealogists.


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