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A Guide to American History

This page brings together various information resources on the subject of American History.



A primary source is defined as "a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic, used in preparing a derivative work. Primary sources include original manuscripts, periodical articles reporting original research or thought, diaries, memoirs, letters, journals, photographs, drawings, posters, film footage, sheet music, songs, interviews, government documents, public records, eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, etc." (Joan M. Reitz, Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science What is or is not a primary source can perhaps be better understood by comparison with the definition of a secondary source: "any published or unpublished work that is one step removed from the original source, usually describing, summarizing, analyzing, evaluating, derived from, or based on primary source materials, for example, a review, critical analysis, second-person account, or biographical or historical study. Also refers to material other than primary sources used in the preparation of a written work" (Reitz,

Historic Documents - excerpts from documents on the important events of each year for the United States and the world. Each volume includes approximately 70 events with well over 100 documents from the previous year, from official or other influential reports and surveys, to speeches from leaders and opinion makers, to court cases, legislation, testimony, and much more. Full-source citations are provided. Readers have easy access to material through a detailed, thematic table of contents and a cumulative five-year index that directs them to related material in earlier volumes. 


Research Centers Directory - in print and online

Afghan-U.S. Relations

African Americana

American Indians / Native Americans / Indigenous People of North America


Chinese Civil War & U.S.-Chinese Relations

Civil War


Dominican-U.S. Relations

Early Republic

The Gilded Age

Hollywood & Censorship

Indonesia - U.S. Relations

Iraq - U.S. Relations

Israel / Palestine 


Jewish Americana

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th POTUS

Latin America - U.S. Relations


Liberia - U.S. Relations

Moroccan - U.S. Relations

Organized Crime

Political Parties

Richard M.Nixon, 37th POTUS

Right-Wing Movements

Russian-U.S. Relations & The Cold War

Saudi (& Arab Peninsula)- U.S. Relations

Savings & Loan Crisis

U.S. Supreme Court

Turkey - U.S. Relations

Unions / Organized Labor

Vietnamese-U.S. Relations & the Vietnam War

War of 1812

Westward Expansion


World War I

World War II & the Holocaust

Government Documents

govinfo - govinfo is a service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). Govinfo replaced its predecessor, GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys), in December 2018. By law (U.S.C. Title 44, Sections 1710 and 1711) GPO aims to provide a comprehensive index of every document issued or published by a department, bureau, or office not confidential in character. GPO administers this program and provides public access to this index through the online bibliographic records contained in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). The CGP is available at as a finding tool for Government publications, containing records with information about publications in many different file formats. When you search the CGP for a publication, you will find a record that tells you where you can find the publication, whether at a physical library or through a link to the full-text electronic version when available, including records for content available on govinfo and links to govinfo for access to these publications.