Our list of libraries consist primarily of original historical documents, mostly, though not wholy, pertaining to American history and the study of American culture. Those of note will be so marked: " .


A Biography of America
This extremely attractive and well-organized site from Annenberg Media provides links to original documents off its period pages.
" A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates
This collection from the Library of Congress spans the years from 1774 to 1875. The site offers images of documents pertaining to debates, documents and journals recording the business of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are, as well, a series of "Special Presentations" including such things as Indian land cessions, diplomatic correspondence during the Revolution and the Journal of the Congress of the Confederacy. In short, if you're looking for something within the covered period, go there, you may find it.
Africans in America
From PBS, and like much of what PBS offers on line, often more tantalizing than satisfying. For historical documents, go to each era's "resource bank".
American History
Granted, there isn't much here, but what's there includes Richard Nixon's resignation speech and Ronald Reagan's evil empire speech. Quirky, you probably won't find what you're looking for (you're more likely to find what you didn't think you were looking for); but the list is short and fascinating.
American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement
Nine hundred years of explorers' and travellers' accounts from Eric the Red to the beginning of the 19th Century. From the Wisconsin Historical Society.
" American Memory Project: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
From the Library of Congress, multiple collections of original documents from American history arranged by subject. There are things you probably won't find elsewhere. An exceptionally valuable resource.
American Notes: Travels in America, 1750 - 1920
An excellent collection of first-hand accounts from the Library of Congress.
" American Political History Online
Richard Jensen's impressive collection of primary and secondary documents from the Colonial Era to the present.
American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches
Features the "Top 100", with selections on other topics including religion and the movies.
" American Studies at the University of Virginia
While we have scattered some of their pages here and about, we cannot but highly recommend the whole site. Aside from their map collections and directory, and their excellent list of hypertexts, we urge you to visit the popular culture directory in their yellow pages.
" American Philosophy
From John Shook at the University of Buffalo, an exellent compendium of American thought organized by period and subject, with links to full texts of historical documents and selected related outside links.
Archives of the West
Documents pertaining to the settlement of the American West to 1914, from PBS and WETA.
Asian-American History Timeline
A good starting outline from the U.S. Immigration Service.
Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy
A fair and interesting selection with short essays from the United States Information Agency of the Department of State.
Chronology on the History of Slavery: 1619 to the End
Far more than a chronological list, this extended, link-laden essay from Eddie Becker is a virtual tour of slavery in America.
" A Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents
From the Pre-Colonial Era to present.
" Constitutional Society
If it has anything to do with the Constitution, including the several centuries of documents leading up to it, the contemporary documents that produced it, as well as documents which have flowed from it and sought to interpret it, you will find them here.
Digital History
Aside from a moderately good list of primary documents, the site includes a number of interesting features intended for teachers and students, including an on-line history textbook.
Democracy in America
De Tocqueville's text with related resources. From the University of Virginia.
" Documenting the American South
Hundreds of original documents - both fiction and non-fiction - illuminating the history, politics and culture of the South. From the University of North Carolina
" Documents for the Study of American History
A wealth of documents arranged Chronologically from the 15th Century from the University of Kansas
Douglass Archives of American Public Address
Famous speeches from Winthrop to Bush.
" Electronic Texts for the Study of American Culture
From Anne Bradstreet to Walter Lippman, a collection of works characteristic of, or characterizing the America of their times. What it may lack in length, it more than makes up for in breadth.
" Founders Online
Over 119,000 searchable documents from the writings of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. From the National Archives.
" From Revolution to Reconstruction
The site includes not only documents (well beyond Reconstruction at this point), but biographies of Presidents and other important personages of America's past, as well as essays on specific aspects and periods of American history and historical developments. Starting as a web project for his students by George M. Welling of the University of Groningen, it has become much more.
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Gilder Lehrman only offers texts available from its collections, and while they are numerous and arranged thematically, the selection is rather quirky.
Great American Speeches: 80 Years of Political Oratory
PBS's take on the meaning of "great", from Booker T. Washington to Elie Wiesel.
History Document Index
A small collection of standard documents with a few interesting exceptions. From Dr. James M. Scarry of Cleveland State University.
" History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web
Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States
From George Mason University and the City University of New York, this site provides a wealth of resources to both teachers and students, including primary documents drawn from diaries, letters and accounts of the famous, not-so-famous and otherwise completely unknown. There is also a very useful section on how to make sense of historical documents, and examples of scholarly interpretations. Enable your cookies.
Images of American Political History
This site covers most of American history, and must be explored to be appreciated. From Dr. William J. Ball of the College of New Jersey.
" Jensen's Web Guides
Prof. Richard Jensen offers directories of primary and secondary works in a number of categories, including American political history (with links to the works and biographies of important leaders and thinkers), the Vietnam War, the Civil War, Thomas Jefferson and railroads.
National Archives and Records Administration
It may be unfair, but we've always thought this could be better. Still...
National Center for Public Policy Research Archive of Historical Documents
A short list of things you may not find elsewhere.
Naval Historical Center
Many things naval and historical from the Department of the Navy.
" National Humanities Center Toolbox Library
Selected representative texts arranged by period with accompanying commentary. Actually quite good. We can scarcely wait for future additions.
" NYPL Digital Gallery
480,000 images digitized from primary sources under seven categories: Arts & Literature, Cities and Buildings, Culture and Society, History and Geography, Industry and Technology, Nature and Science and Printing and Graphics. Fantastic browse, excellent resource.
Our Documents
100 milestone documents from the Natial Archives and Records Administration.
Peopling of North America: Population Movements and Migrations
No documents, but an excellent introductory tutorial on migration into the continent, from the first humans to the end of the 20th century.
Primary Documents in American History
Arranged by era from the Library of Congress.
U.S. Historical Documents Archive
Probably nothing you can't find somewhere else (even our collections is larger), but we'll bet on future additions.
U.S. Army Center of Military History
Secondary sources covering all periods of American military history.
" Vincent Ferraro's Home Page
This Mount Holyoke professor offers a home page concerntrating on U.S. foreign policy, paticularly valuable for an extensive collection of related documents listed both chronologically and by subject.
Words and Deeds in American History
A miscellany of ninety documents spanning the 15th to the 20th century from the Library of Congress. You'll find Jefferson's drawing of a macaroni machine, Einstein\'s draft report on theoretical physics and Jack Ruby's paranoid letter to his attorney. If that isn't worth a browse, we don't know what is.
World Wide Web Virtual Library: History, United States
A directory with more secondary than primary texts, but very extensive. Your best bet is to search under the chronological periods on the right.
World Wide Web Virtual Library: American Indians
Index of Native American History Resources on the Internet from Karen Strom.


" Avalon Project at Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
Documents from every period in history, extensive and well-organized.
Cornell Library Historical Monographs
Its probably just best to browse the collection. There really isn't a lot on America, but there are some gems.
Eighteenth Century Studies
Primarily European, but some American works, from Geoffrey Sauer
Eurodocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe
The site comes from Richard Hacken of Brigham Young University, and while there's nothing American on it, its selection of British documents - including those forming our own intellectual and legal foundation - is particularly good.
" Digital Book Index
Exceptionally large meta-index of titles from a wide range of internet sources. There is a search function, and browsing is made with a detailed and ficused subject index.
History Channel Speech Archives
Amazingly extensive collection of actual audio speeches from the beginning of sound to the present.
" Internet Modern History Sourcebook
Edited by Paul Halsall of Fordham University, the source books (there are three main sourcebooks, and nine subsidiaries) are arranged chronologically by period (e.g. Enlightenment) and region. The collections are wide-raging, deep and extensive.
Laws of Nature and of Nature's God
Not unbiased, but a few important texts.
" NYPL Digital Gallery
From the New York Public Library, 480,000 images digitized from primary sources under seven categories: Arts & Literature, Cities and Buildings, Culture and Society, History and Geography, Industry and Technology, Nature and Science and Printing and Graphics. Fantastic browse, excellent resource.

Pre-Colonial America

Discoverers' Web
This Dutch web site from Andre Engels provides maps, primary accounts and scholarly articles on the entire history of exploration. Those related to the exploration of North America are numerous and well-organized.
Early America's Digital Archive
While the site covers the period to 1820, much of it pertains to the pre-colonial and colonial eras.

Colonial America

" The American Colonists' Library
Interesting and broad spectrum of documents not only by, but more importantly widely-read and familiar to, both the the American colonists and the Founding Fathers. The list includes political, philosophical, religious and popular literature available at the time from the early Greek philosophers to the end of the 18th century.
Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History
Books, letters, wills and other documents pertaining to the time.
" Classics of American Colonial History
Prepared by Dinsmore Documentation, this is an excellent collection of texts on colonial history by leading historians covering a range of topics.
The Leslie Brock Center for the Study of Colonial Currency
Both primary and scondary scholarly resources, from the University of Virginia.
Plymouth Colony Archive Project
From early laws, to material existance to grave arrt, from Patricia Scott Deetz, Christopher Fennell and J. Eric Deetz, and the University of Virginia.
Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcript Project
A scholarly look at least, from Benjamin Ray and the University of Virginia.
Virtual Jamestown Project
Among other things, narratives, maps and legal records from Britain's first American colony.

18th Century and Revolutionary America

" A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates
This collection from the Library of Congress spans the years from 1774 to 1875. The site offers images of documents pertaining to debates, documents and journals recording the business of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are, as well, a series of "Special Presentations" including such things as Indian land cessions, diplomatic correspondence during the Revolution and the Journal of the Congress of the Confederacy. In short, if you're looking for something within the covered period, go there, you may find it.
Both primary sources and scholarly articles, plus an impressive list of links. From
" The Constitution Society
If it has to do with the Constitution, what it lacks in elegance (see below, the Founders' Constition), it more than makes up in sheer volume. Moreover, the site contains far more than just what pertains directly to the Constitution, but presents original writings on law, politics and economics from the ancient Greeks to modern times.
Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774 - 1789
Documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution from the Library of Congress
" The Founders' Constitution
From the University of Chicago comes an absolutely fantastic site devoted to the political, philosophical and literary precursors of the Constitution. This is the web as it should be.
Slaves and the Courts, 1740 - 1860
Primarily trial accounts from the Library of Congress.
Special Collections at the Library of Congress: 18th Century
Nineteen collections covering a diverse assortment of subjects, from laws to flutes.

19TH Century

Nineteenth Century Documents Project
A somewhat limited but interesting compilation by Lloyd Benson of Furman University "...with special emphasis on those sources that shed light on sectional conflict and transformations in regional identity."
Nineteenth Century Literary, Historical and Cultural Studies
A directory of extensive author and works links, along with links to general document sites, some broken.
Temple of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation
A wealth of original documents pertaining to the building of the Capitol and the city of Washington, from the Library of Congress.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
Complete from the University of Virginia.
African-American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818 - 1907
First-hand accounts of African-American from the Library of Congress.
African-American Women Writers of the 19th Century
A better than usual collection from the New York Public Library
From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822 - 1909
First-hand accounts of African-Americans from the Library of Congress.
Frederick Douglas Papers
Documents, from the Library of Congress, begin in 1841.
History through the articles of Harper's Weekly, 1857-1912
Nineteenth Century Documents Project
Most, but not all, having to do with the Civil War and the surrounding era.
Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
The collection is of Lincoln's correspondence in original images and transcription.
The Papers of Jefferson Davis
Not all are available, but the collection hits the highlights.
Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 to 1920
A fascinating collection of advertising and advertising literature from the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History at Duke University. Especially useful are the "Early Advertising Publications", including the charming Fishing for Suckers which proves that sex has always "sold".
Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties
Charles Kappler's impressive collection of legislation pertaining to Native Americans.
" WestWeb
An extensive directory of links pertaining to all aspects of the American West from Catherine Lavender of the City University of New York.
Secession Era Editorials Project
Northern and Southern newspaper editorials on select subjects of the era, including the Dred Scott decision, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry.
The Civil War Home Page
An excellent collection of documents critical to the war as well as a wealth of other features on its history.
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
Thousands of original letters and diaries, newpaper articles and speeches and church and census records from two communities, one northern and one southern, from Edward L. Ayers.
Shotgun's Home of the American Civil War
Actually low on documents, but very thorough otherwise with an impressive set of links.
" Causes of the Civil War
Extensive collection of documents related to the Civil War prepared by Jim Epperson
The Great Chicago Fire
Eyewitness and newspaper accounts as well as the official Board of Police and Fire Commissioners' Report from Northwestern University.
" Making of America
From Cornell and the University of Michigan, in their own words: ...a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

Documents of American History II
A selection of documents pertaining to the entire century from Dr. Milos Calda of Charles University in the Czech Republic.
History through the articles of Harper's Weekly, 1857-1912
Ad Access
Canadian and American print ads from 1911 to 1955 from the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History at Duke University.
The Triangle Factory Fire
History and documentation of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 from The Kheel Center, Catherwood Library, School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.
American Rhetoric: The Top 100 American Speeches
A good collection made better by actual audio where available. Its chief drawback is that, while many historically significant speeches are included, its primary focus is on the artform, not the content.
Contains letters, diaries and other primary documents, including literature, photographs and vintage media.
World War I Document Archive
Research on the documentary history of the war might well begin here. The availability of texts, both official and unofficial, is amazing. Content from Jane Plotke and Brigham Young University.
Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921 - 1929
A wide selection of multimedia resources from the Library of Congress.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project, 1936 - 1938
Documents and photographs from the Library of Congress.
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940
From the Library of Congress, this collection of interviews of ordinary Americans during the Depression is good, though somewhat uneven. While some interviewers pressed for a life story, other were apparently content with little more than a few vitals.
Hyperwar: A Hypertext History of the Second World War
While mostly a history of the war, the 'Political Papers, Policy Statements, Treaties' section holds many interesting original documents.
World War II Resources
An impressive list of original documents pertaining to the war from Larry W. Jewell.
Texts of letters home from WWI and WWII.
Historic Government Publications from WWII
An impressive list of original documents pertaining to the war from Southern Methodist University.
Instruments and Treaties: Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict
From the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library.
Atomic Bomb: Decision
A short list of documents pertaining to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki compiled by Gene Dannon.
" Fifty Years From Trinity
The Seattle Times'' excellent history of the making of the atomic bomb. For original documents, go to its Internet Links and choose "decision" which will take you to an extensive collection on the Leo Szilard home page.
Foreign Relations Series
A State Department site listing foreign relations documents from the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
" CNN Cold War Knowledge Bank: Documents
A very impressive collection of materials relating to the Cold War, its development and aftermath.
Cold War International History Project
Both primary and secondary materials from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Cold War Museum
This well-organized site first offers its own articles, but at the end of each is a link to more information which sometimes includes original texts.
Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb
Essays and primary materials (mostly photographs) from Peter Bacon Hales of the Art Department of the University of Chicago.
Documents Relating to the Vietnam War
Another extensive collection from Prof. Vincent Ferraro of Mt. Holyoke College.
CIA Electronic Reading Room: The Vietnam Collection
CIA documents on Vietnam from 1948 to 1975.
Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
Writings on a number of topics within the movement from Duke University.
NASA History Division
Original documents and drawings can be found under "reference".
Foreign Relations of the United States
From the Department of State, documents available on line ar from the Truman, Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
" The National Security Archive
From George Washington University, best collection of de-classified, FOIA documents on the web.