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United States History: Primary Sources

Select library and Internet resources for researching United States History.

Primary Print Sources in CCP Library

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Virtual Sources for Locating Primary Source Material

AMDOCS: documents for the study of American history  

American Presidency Project - The American Presidency Project (, was established in 1999 as a collaboration between John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Our archives contain 103,872 documents related to the study of the Presidency. 

Avalon Project  -  The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government

First-Person Narratives of the American South This site documents the American South from the viewpoint of Southerners. It focuses on the diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives of relatively inaccessible populations: women, African Americans, enlisted men, laborers, and Native Americans. Part of the "Documenting American South" project from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. []

History Matters Serves as a gateway to web resources and offers other useful materials for teaching U.S. history. []                                                                              

Library of Congress American Memory - "American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience."

NARA: U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)is the U. S. governmental agency charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents.  

U.S. Historical Documents : A Chronology of US Historical Documents -

A Hypertext on American History
This site contains over 100 historical documents relating to United States history, from the 1400s to the present. It includes letters, charters, essays, speeches, journal entries, inaugural addresses, autobiographies, biographies, and more. An outline of American history provides context for the primary source materials.

The Library of Congress
Legislative information, historical exhibits, primary source materials, resources for educators, research tools, and more are available from the Library of Congress.

New Deal Network
This site contains hundreds of primary sources related to the Depression era and the New Deal, including letters, photographs, posters, political cartoons, government documents, speeches, and more. You can also find background information on New Deal programs.

Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution offers access to primary sources and other resources on a wide variety of topics, including military and political history.

The University of Oklahoma Law Center: A Chronology of US Historical Documents
This site offers an extensive directory of historical documents from pre-colonial days to the present. Many presidential inaugural addresses are included, as are some songs, poems, letters, and more.

The Valley of the Shadow
Learn about the impact of the Civil War on two counties, Pennsylvania's Franklin County and Virginia's Augusta County, through the primary source images, documents, letters, newspapers, and maps at this site.

Subject Guide

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