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Looking for information on how our country developed to what it is today? Here you will find library resources from when the Mayflower landed to the most recent events in American History.
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Provides integrated access to over 1,000 primary documents, more than 30,000 reference articles, and over 65 full-text journals covering themes, events, individuals, and periods in U.S. history from pre-Colonial times to the present.

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The Civil War

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Opening Clashes Begin
Over one hundred fifty years have passed since the
start of the American Civil War, and this titanic conflict continues to matter. The forces unleashed by that war were immensely destructive because of the significant issues involved: the existence of the Union, the end of slavery, and the very future of the nation. The war remains our most contentious, and our bloodiest, with over six hundred thousand killed in the course of the four-year struggle. You will read the details and analysis of the opening clashes of the War Between the States in 1861, including Fort Sumter, Virginia and Bull Run, the Fight for Missouri, Belmont, and Port Royal. Author Jennifer Murray examines the successes and challenges of both the Union and the Confederate forces during the early days of the Civil War. Notable battles discussed include: Fort Sumter, South Carolina; Bull Run, Virginia; Wilson's Creek, Missouri; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and Port Royal, South Carolina. This brochure includes six maps and three tables.

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Vicksburg Campaign: November 1862-July 1863
Call Number: Always Available eBook
The campaign for the control of Vicksburg was one of the most important contests in determining the outcome of the Civil War. As President Abraham Lincoln observed, “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” The struggle for Vicksburg lasted more than a year, and when it was over, the outcome of the Civil War appeared more certain.

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Chancellorsville Campaign: January-May 1863
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 2013
The battle of Chancellorsville, fought in the spring of 1863 in Virginia’s Piedmont region, pitted a powerful Union Army under its newly appointed commander, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, against a significantly smaller but well-led Confederate force under General Robert E. Lee. In the end, it was Lee and his chief subordinate, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who achieved what many histo­rians have called the South’s greatest victory during the American Civil War.

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Gettysburg Campaign : June-July 1863
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 2013
The Battle of Gettysburg has attained a special aura. Boston journalist Charles Carleton Coffin dubbed it “the high water mark” of the rebellion, while others described it as the “turning point of the war.” But it was President Lincoln who most eloquently expressed Gettysburg’s significance. On 19 November 1863, Lincoln deliv­ered “a few appropriate remarks” at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery that became known as the Gettysburg Address: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Original Source Material

  • American Revolution Digital Archive
    This digital archive documents the revolution and war that created the United States of America, from the earliest protests in 1765 through the peace treaty of 1783.
  • Civil War Digital Archive
    Almost 500 documents about the Civil War. An overview of military, diplomatic, cultural, and legal history. Also special material about the South, African Americans, healthcare and medicine, technology and more.
  • Digital Public Library of America
    It’s not very often you get to build a new library. Together, that’s what we will begin to do today (April 18, 2013). Starting with over two million items, each with its own special story and significance, the Digital Public Library of America will now begin to assemble the riches of our country’s libraries, archives, and museums, and connect them with the public.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States
    Historical Statistics of the United States makes access to five sorts of US Statistics easy! Find Population, Work and Welfare, Economic Structure and Performance, Economic Sectors, and Governance and International Relations easy!
  • New York Times / Los Angeles Time
    Search the New York Times back to 1851 or the Los Angeles Times back to 1881 to discover information about events described as they were happening.
  • Newspaper ARCHIVE
    Newspaper ARCHIVE features hundreds of years of local historical newspaper content. Every part of each page is searchable from articles to advertisements.
  • Slavery in America Digital Archive
    This digital archive documents key aspects of the history of slavery in America from its origins in Africa to its abolition, including materials on the slave trade, plantation life, emancipation, pro-slavery and anti-slavery arguments

For Grades K-8

  • America the Beautiful
    Find information about each state including history, geography, economy, culture, government and profiles of major figures in history. Includes images of state flags, bird and seal. Also find out about American presidents, Native American tribes. Search by timeline!
  • Individual Titles for each U.S. States
    Use this link to find an entire book about each U.S. State.
  • Junior Reference Collection
    Find information about people, places, maps, country flags, images, authors and books. Also provides a timeline search.
  • Kids Infobits
    Find information about animals, plants, people, geography, sports and many more subjects just for kids.
  • States Edition - CultureGrams
    Everything you need for your state report.
  • World Book for Kids
    With content from the award winning World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia, the site offers simpler navigation, thousands of colorful illustrations, diagrams, and maps, and dozens of activities tied to national curriculum standards.

Women in Wars

  • Women in the Civil War
    The place of women in wartime societies has long been an overlooked area of historical inquiry. The lack of women on the battlefield has often been mistaken as an absence from all avenues of the war effort. Learn how women served in the Civil War and what roles they played. Includes a lesson plan to use the topic in a class.

The Civil War - Resources

  • Civil War
    The Modern War. In comparison to other nineteenth-century conflicts, the American Civil War was a modern war. This is not surprising for, as historian James McPherson states, “every war is more modern than the previous one.” Before 1861, wars, especially in Europe, were won by outmaneuvering enemy forces. Casualties were not excessive and efforts were made to respect private property and civilians. During the Civil War, however, enemy forces attacked each other in frontal assaults in which the victors suffered just as much as the losers. For the first time in American history, armies of more than one hundred thousand...Read More
  • Civil War Digital Archive
    Almost 500 documents about the Civil War. An overview of military, diplomatic, cultural, and legal history. Also special material about the South, African Americans, healthcare and medicine, technology and more.
  • War Between the States
    One of the most divisive and important events in American history, the Civil War pitted countrymen against countrymen in the new and developing republic of the United States of America. Among the many issues at stake were the role of central government, state's rights, slavery, and the fate of the Union itself, which had borne our fledgling nation through the American Revolutionary war and the War of 1812.

American History

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American Revolution Reference Library - UXL Staff (Contribution by)
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 2000-02-28
This 4-vol. set supplies the in-depth information about the American Revolution that students and researchers need for class assignments and reports.

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Dictionary of American History - Stanley I. Kutler
Call Number: Always Available eBook
Publication Date: 2002-12-11
The first comprehensive revision of this classic reference source, originally published in 1940, features updated and revised entries from previous editions, as well as more than 800 new entries covering recent events and topics not covered previously. This authoritative work serves students, scholars, and general readers interested in a wide range of topics in American history, from the well studied and familiar to the obscure.

Always Available eBooks

  • American Decades - 1900-1999
    Covers 20th-century events and social history beginning in 1900 and ending in 1999. Includes historically important events, issues, definitions of difficult concepts or terms, and other interesting trivia and sideline stories.
  • American Decades - 2000-2009
    Covers everything from monumental events and groundbreaking individuals to the fascinating details of Americans' daily lives as the nation entered the 21st century.
  • American Government (ABC-Clio)
    Have questions about how the government works? Find out more here! What is our government based on? How do the different branches work? What are your rights? And, what do you need to know to make the most of your government?
  • American History Library (GVRL)
    Covers the events and people in American History includes biographies, cultural histories, ethnic histories and primary source materials.
  • American History Through Literature
    These eBooks explore American History through Literature.


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