Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

U.S.A.: Empire of Liberty? Empire for Liberty?: Primary Sources

Key Primary Source Databases

Selected Schaffer-Owned Primary Source Databases

​A selected listing of primary source databases available via Schaffer Library. Here's a more complete listing.

Selected Schaffer-Owned Historical Newspaper Databases

Open Access Primary Source Databases

Library of Congress Digital Collections – especially:

Calisphere: over one million photographs, documents, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and more, digitized and contributed by Californian libraries, archives, and museums.

Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project @ Stanford University - "The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West."

Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection: 400+ Colorado newspaper titles, 1859 - 2019

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: 150,000+ maps from 1550 to the present, with a focus on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children's, and manuscript maps. 

History Colorado: archive of Colorado history materials

Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 

Making of America: University of Michigan – The "Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction...The book collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books with 19th century imprints."

National Archives - documents, photographs, letters, etc. published by the U.S. Government

Native American Nations (searchable)

Online Archive of California: access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions throughout California (beware: many not yet digitized)

Tennessee Virtual Archive: provides open access to thousands of photographs, documents, maps, postcards, film, audio and other records relating to the history and culture of Tennessee

U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates - search or browse Statutes and Documents, Debates of Congress, and Special Presentations

University of Oklahoma Western History Collections

University of Texas Perry-Castañeda Library Historical Map Collection

Primary Sources within Dictionary of American History vol. 9

Dictionary of American History
REF D174 .D522 2003 v.1-10

Volume 9 includes archival maps and primary sources including:

SEE References within Volume 9 of the Dictionary of American History for the following:

Message on Lewis & Clark Expedition   p. 187
Journals of Lewis & Clark Expedition   p. 191
Sleep Not Longer, O Choctaws and Chicksaws   p. 199
Glimpse of New Mexico  p.201
Life of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kai-kiak (Black Hawk) p. 210
Excerpt from the Oregon Trail (1846, by Francis Parkman)   p. 222
Excerpt from Memories of the North American Invasion (1850)  p. 224
Fort Laramie Treaty (1851)         p. 227
Excerpt from Across the Plains to California in 1852  p. 229
Excerpt from An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake (1852) p. 233
Constitution of the Committee of Vigilantes of San Francisco (1856)  p. 239
Excerpt from the Vigilantes of Montana (1860)  p. 240
American Party Platform (1856)  p. 242
Speech of Little Crow on the Eve of the Great Sioux Uprising (1862) p. 243
Excerpt from My Army Life (1856) p. 244
Excerpt from Roughing It (1872 by Mark Twain)  p. 248
Excerpt from Half a Century (1880) p. 255
Excerpt from A Century of Dishonor (1881) p. 257
Excerpt from Wovoka (1890)
Women in the Farmers' Alliance (1891) p. 260