College of Letters & Sciences
Old School House


Contact Information

Jennifer Thibodeaux
Department Chair & Professor 
Phone: 262-472-1116
Location: Laurentide Hall 5223
Ayn Hess
Academic Department Associate
Phone: 262-472-1103
Location: Laurentide Hall 5221

Resources for Research: United States History

Recommended by History Department faculty, UW-Whitewater

Library of Congress, American Memory Collection
Enormous collection of primary sources - visual, oral, text.
*See LOC Memory collection list.*

History Matters
Extensive collection of primary documents, links to digital collections, discussions on using  primary documents to understand the past and website reviews.

AMDOCS: Documents for the Study of American History
Hundreds of documents related to North American/U.S. history from 1000AD to 2000AD; particularly good source for speeches, government policies, legislation, texts of U.S. and International treaties, historical maps

The National Security Archives
The National Security Archives is a crucial source for declassified US government documents dealing with US foreign relations in Latin America, in particular the Cold War period and drug interdiction policies.

House of Representatives, Educational Links
Site includes links to early Congressional Documents and Debates, the founding documents, the Federalist Papers, members of Congress, women in Congress, on-line exhibits on the Capitol

Presidential Speeches Archive
Includes links to major presidential speeches from George Washington through George W. Bush

Minnesota Population Center
Hosts a searchable national census database spanning 1850 to 2004 plus a new project dedicated to collecting and distributing census data from around the world.

Women and Social Movements in the United States
Organized by Document Projects focused on a specific historical question related to women in U.S. history.  Each project opens with an introductory historical essay and is linked to numerous carefully selected primary documents directly relevant to the document project question.  Designed for upper level high school or university students; good source of information for teachers and selected documents can be used to support grade 4-12 lessons.  Some parts of this site are available free to the public; others are accessible only through subscription.

Recommended by History Department faculty, UW-Whitewater

American Journeys
Wisconsin Historical Society: American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later.

Making of America
Digital library of primary sources in American social history, antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection currently contains approximately 9,500 books and 50,000 journal articles printed in the 9th century

Harvard Collection on Women Working, 1800-1930
Extensive collection on working women and business women in the United States.  Site "provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard University's library and museum collections. The collection features approximately 500,000 digitized pages and images"

HarpWeek-Explore History
Searchable website includes the full run of Harper's Weekly, a national magazine published from 1857-1912.  Great source for social, economic and political events of late 19th through early 20th century, particularly political cartoons; appealed to middle class, middle-of-the-road politics to ensure as wide a readership as possible.  Limited parts of site available free; others by subscription only

Valley of the Shadow
This University of Virginia, award-winning website compares two adjoining counties along the Mason-Dixon line from the eve of the Civil War through much of Reconstruction (1859 to 1870). The site provides an amazing range of primary source materials from Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia: census manuscripts, local newspapers, diaries and letters, church records, maps, tax receipts, and much, much more. Teaching plans for nine K-12 projects are included.

The Dramas of Haymarket, 1886
"Organized in the form of a drama, a tragedy in five Acts with a Prologue and an Epilogue. The seven major parts of the site-the Prologue, the five Acts, and the Epilogue-are arranged chronologically" with wide array of primary documents from the Chicago Historical Society collection and historical analysis.

The United States and its Territories, 1870-1925:  The Age of Imperialism
This site contains material drawn from the University of Michigan Library's Southeast Asia collection.  It comprises the full text of monographs and government documents published in the United States, Spain, and the Philippines between 1870 and 1925. The primary focus of the material is the Spanish-American war and subsequent American governance (approximately 1898-1910). The text collection is complemented by digitized images.

Child Labor in America, 1908-1912: The Photographs of Lewis Hine [History Place]

The Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920
over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.

American Advertisements, 1911-1955
Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines

Medicine and Madison Avenue, 1911-1958 
Great for social/cultural history; includes instructor and student guides

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Take a virtual tour of restored rooms with family histories of real tenants, links to lesson plans, songs, bibliographies and other resources on immigration history.  Exceptionally high quality.

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement

The Triangle Factory File, 1911
On-line exhibition presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Fire

Red Scare, 1918-1921
Image database of posters, photos, cartoons; searchable by sub-topic

Migrant Farm Families, Dorothea Lange Photos and Captions [The History Place]

Cesar Chavez Farmworker Movement Documentary Project
"Primary source accounts include: essays, music, online discussion, art, photos, video, cartoons, glossary, etc. The publication of the Website marks the 40th Anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike"

The Sixties Project
Hosts a wide range of primary documents (text and image) related to the student movements, civil rights, black power, counterculture,  and the anti-war movement

Turning Points in Wisconsin History 
Hundreds of eyewitness accounts, pictures, and museum objects. Dozens of essays, lesson plans and reference tools

Toolbox Library of the National Humanities Center's Teacher Professional Development Program
Extremely well-conceived collections of primary source documents (toolboxes) and information on lesson plan development at the school district level on the following topics:

  • Living the Revolution: America, 1789-1820
  • The Triumph of Nationalism/The House Dividing: America, 1815-1850
  • The Making of African American Identity. . . 1865-1917
  • The Gilded and the Gritty: America, 1870-1912