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History Research Resources
Databases | Reference Books | Videos | Online Resources | Course Finding Aids

Subject Specific | General

Subject Specific

Access Newspaper Archive (on campus only)
Access NewspaperARCHIVE contains tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s.

The site consists of two bibliographic databases covering Africana periodical literature (Africana Periodical Literature Bibliographic Database) and African Women's literature (African Women Bibliographic Database). You will also find a comprehensive bibliography on women travelers and explorers to Africa (Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa Bibliographic Database).

Ancestry Plus (on campus only)
Genealogy research database that provides access to more than 1 billion names in more than 3,000 databases. Ancestry Plus also includes Passenger & Immigration Lists Index-a reference guide to published lists of 500,000 passengers who arrived in America in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Archive Grid (on campus only)
Archive Grid provides online access to nearly a million descriptions of archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies and archives worldwide. Researchers can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
Digital facsimile of Foreign Relations of the United States beginning with the administration of Abraham Lincoln. Provides official documentary history of major foreign policy decisions in an incomplete run from 1863-1958, with missing volumes being added as they can be acquired and processed.

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
The official repository of domestic geographic names data, the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government, and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.

Includes U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 thru 1930; over 24,000+ family and local history books; PERSI (database covering more than 2.1 million genealogy and local history articles); Revolutionary War Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application files, Freednman's Bank files, and U.S. Serial Set files.

Historic American Newspapers
Provides access to U.S. historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922.

Historic Documents
Published annually since 1972, each volume includes approximately one hundred documents covering the most significant events of the year.

Provides access to scholarly journals in many social science disciplines. Coverage begins with volume 1 for each title. Depending on the publisher, the most recent three - five years may not be available via JSTOR.

Making of America
Digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.

New York Times Historical
The Historical New York Times (1851-2006) with Index (1851-1993) provides search capability using subject terms and topics for focused and targeted results in combination with searchable full text, full page, and article-level images from the Historical New York Times (1851-2006).

NYPL Digital Gallery (New York Public Library)
Provides free and open access to over 685,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

Pennsylvania Civil War Era Collection
A collection of newspapers from the civil war era dated from February 23,1831 to February 14,1877.

Perseus Digital Library
Digital library covering the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world through 19th century American history.

Sanborn Maps Online - SD
Online database of Sanborn fire insurance maps for the state of South Dakota. Included maps date from 1884 to 1960.

(log-in required)

Wyoming Newspaper Project
A collection of newspapers printed in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922.


Academic Search Premier (EBSCOHost)(searching tips)
Academic Search Premier includes general interest and scholarly articles in a variety of areas including the social sciences.

EBSCO MegaFILE(searching tips)
EBSCO MegaFILE is a multi-disciplinary database providing full text for over 19,100 total publications and indexing & abstracting for nearly 24,000 publications. Thie database is comprised of EBSCO's Academic Search Premier,, Business Source Premier and Regional Business News databases.

Newsbank (on campus only)
Access to local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers. Paid advertisementss and newswire articles are excluded. This database includes the Aberdeen American News, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the New York Times.

ProQuest (searching tips)
ProQuest includes general interest and scholarly articles in a variety of areas including the social sciences.

SIRS Researcher
SIRS Researcher is a general reference database geared more towards grades 6-12. Curriculum pathfinders are a part of this database.

Reference Books

American Civil War Reference Library -- 2000
Offers comprehensive and wide ranging research options on American Civil War history.

Ancient Europe, 8000 BC to 1000 AD: An Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World -- 2004
Examines the diverse peoples of early European civilization.

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History -- 2005
A five- volume encyclopedia of world history, covering 250,000 years of human history.

Cold War Reference Library -- 2004
Covers the Cold War period between the Western powers and the Communist bloc--from the end of World War II through 1989.

Colonial America Reference Library -- 2000
Provides comprehensive information on the Colonial American period.

Dictionary of American History -- 3rd ed., 2003
Covers wide range of topics in American history, from the well studied and familiar to the obscure.

Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict -- 2005
Covers the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the birth of Zionism at the end of the 19th century.

Encyclopedia Iranica
A comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Encyclopedia of Terrorism -- 2003
Provides detailed discussions of the who, what, where, when, and why of terrorism, including definitions of key terms, famous cases, biographies, laws, and law enforcement techniques.

Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa -- 2nd ed., 2004
Covers the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa, with major sections on Colonialism and Imperialism, the World Wars, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the United Nations involvement in the region.

Holocaust Encyclopedia
Produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Middle East Conflict Reference Library -- 2006
A comprehensive and objective overview of the people, events and documents that are key to understanding the region.

Military History Encyclopedia on the Web
This online encyclopedia of military history features nearly 3,500 entries, along with more than 1,300 pictures and 370 maps.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas -- 2005
Survey of the history of Western thought and culture.

New Encyclopedia of Africa -- 2nd, ed., 2008
Addresses the entire history of African cultures from the pharaohs and the ancient civilizations of the south through the colonial era to the emergence of 53 independent countries, some of them newly emergent in world commerce and others deep in conflict.

Revolutionary and Dissident Movements of the World -- 4th ed., 2004
Covers the whole range of illegal political activity worldwide, ranging from terrorist and secessionist organizations to dissident groups operating clandestinely in authoritarian states.

World Factbook --
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States -- 7th ed., 2007
Details current geographical, social, and political data, historical narrative, and statistical information on the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Caribbean and Pacific dependencies of the U.S.


  • America: the Story of Us (2010) -- DVD 412
  • American Black Journal -- American Black Journal, originally titled Colored People's Time, went on the air in 1968. Detroit Publis Television and Michigan State University have digitized 36 years of ABJ shows, creating an important archive of African American history.
  • Films On Demand (Select "History" or "Archival Films & Newsreels" or "Geography" under Subjects)
  • Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies -- a collection of over 4,400 videotaped interviews with witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust.
  • Open Vault: Social Sciences -- "Provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by public television and radio station WGBH for individual and classroom learning."
  • The Reckoning (2009) -- DVD 365
  • U.S. National Archives YouTube Channel
  • World War II: a Military and Social History (2007) -- DVD 371-373

Online Resources
General | American | Digital Collections | World | Images and Maps


American History

Digital Collections
American Civil War | Other Digital Collections

American Civil War Digital Collections

  • American Civil War Collection -- This digital collection from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is an assemblage of handwritten letters, songsheets, and military orders. Spanning the entire period of the American Civil War (1861-1865), these items gathered together provide a unique and insightful glimpse into the era.
  • Civil War & Slavery -- The Civil War & Slavery materials from Grand Valley State University contain diaries of a surgeon, an artillery officer, and a fruit farmer; correspondence between government officials and a Whig political appointee; slavery documents, and other Civil War era personal and political correspondence.
  • Civil War Archive - University of Mississippi -- The University of Mississippi Civil War Archive provides a sampling of the Archives & Special Collections extensive Civil War primary source holdings.
  • The Civil War Collection at Penn State -- highlights Penn State's freely available digital collections relating to the Civil War era.
  • Civil War Diaries and Letters (University of Iowa) -- This digital collection contains the diaries and other related items of soldiers, many from Iowa, who fought in the American Civil War (1861-1865). Their accounts offer valuable insight on their day-to-day activities, battle experiences, and feelings regarding the war and their time as soldiers. Several of the diaries include full or partial transcriptions.
  • Civil War Era Collection (Gettysburg College) -- This digital repository offers a sampling of a broader collection that includes political cartoons, letters, photographs, maps, and artifacts relating to the Civil War Era.
  • Civil War Letters Collection (University of Washington) -- A selection of original Civil War correspondence between soldiers from the battlefields and their family members and friends on the homefront. These letters describe firsthand accounts of battle, reflections on the nature of war and its profound effect on those involved.
  • Civil War Letters of the Christie Family -- Letters written by three brothers from Minnesota during the Civil War in digitized format, from the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Civil War: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints (Southern Methodist University) -- provides a sample of the photographs, images, albums, and more, relating to the Civil War held by SMU's DeGolyer Library. These items depict both the Confederate and Union sides of the war.
  • Gilmer Civil War Maps Collection (UNC) -- The Gilmer maps are an extensive group of Civil War maps, including both manuscript maps and printed maps with manuscript annotations and engineers' drawings of military construction, housed in the Manuscripts Department of The Wilson Library.
  • United States Civil War Collection (Western Michigan University) -- The collection consists of 8 diaries and 29 letters written in the mid 1860s by men with connections to Michigan and the Midwest, regimental or residence, and represent diverse military experiences, ranging from a musician to a prisoner of war situation.

Other Digital Collections

  • CONTENTdm collection of collections -- CONTENTdm supports rich and diverse collections for over 1,000 organizations worldwide. This site provides the ability to search or browse a sampling of the thousands of collections created by the CONTENTdm community.
  • American Centuries: Views from New England -- Digital collection of approximately 2000 objects and transcribed document pages from Memorial Hall Museum and Library.
  • Army Heritage Collections Online -- Provides access to materials drawn from the archival collections of the United States Army Military History Institute.
  • Boston African Americana Project -- Digitized materials relating to African Americans fall broadly within the categories of slavery, the abolition movement, free blacks, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, rural life, urban life, social life, advertising, and depictions of men, women, and children, and consist of broadsides, caricatures, illustrations, manuscripts, pamphlets, political cartoons, portraits, and views.
  • Bracero History Archive -- "Collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964."
  • Calisphere -- Digital collection of more than 150,000 digitized items revealing the history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
  • A Chronology of US Historical Documents -- From the University of Oklahoma, this site has primary source documents organized by time period, including speeches, treaties, charters, and personal papers.
  • Civil Rights Digital Library -- Promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale.
  • The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) -- A core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: A Political Perspective After 40 Years (The National Security Archive) -- An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project -- The site's goal is to preserve and make accessible primary source materials on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.
  • Digital Library of South Dakota -- DLSD is a collaboration of the libraries of six Board of Regents colleges and universities in the state of South Dakota, plus Dakota Wesleyan University.
  • Digital Scriptorium -- The Digital Scriptorium is a growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. It bridges the gap between a diverse user community and the limited resources of libraries by means of sample imaging and extensive rather than intensive cataloguing.
  • Digitized Afghanistan Materials in English from the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection -- Selected documents on Afghan history from the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection, housed in the University of Nebraska at Omaha Library.
  • Dred Scott Case Collection -- Documents the Scotts' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant records of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
  • Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History -- provides access to typescripts of interviews (1967 -1972) conducted with hundreds of Indians in Oklahoma regarding the histories and cultures of their respective nations and tribes.
  • The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) -- A collection of electronic texts and links to texts originally written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820.
  • Expeditions and Discoveries -- provides selective access to Harvard's multidisciplinary records of pace-setting expeditions around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 -- a web-based collection of selected historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the US from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression.
  • LOUISiana Digital Library -- an online library of Louisiana institutions that provides over 144,000 digital materials.
  • Kansas Memory -- created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet.
  • The King Center Archive -- digitized works and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Nebraska Memories-- a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet.
  • Papers of the War Department, 1784 to 1800 -- An innovative digital editorial project making some 55,000 documents of the early War Department, many long thought irretrievable but now reconstructed through a painstaking, multi-year research effort, available online to scholars, students, and the general public.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Papers -- The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress.
  • The Torture Archive -- Compiled by The National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Torture Archive provides the public with access to thousands of documents highlighting the abuse and torture of detainees in facilities such as Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib Prison.
  • United States Military Academy Library's Digital Collections --Documentation of the history of West Point, the U.S. Military Academy, and Academy alumni in its Special Collections and Archives.
  • University of Washington Digital Collections -- This site showcases some of the online multimedia collections built under auspices of the University of Washington Libraries' Digital Initiatives Program.
  • The Vietnam Center and Archive -- Authoritative primary source archive from Texas Tech University.
  • Vivarium -- The home of digitized manuscripts, art, rare books, photographs, and other resources from two Benedictine monastic and educational communities in central Minnesota..
  • Women Working, 1800 - 1930 -- focuses on women's role in the United States economy and provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard University's library and museum collections.
  • The Writings of George Washington -- Full text from University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center.

World History

Images and Maps

Course Finding Aids

Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W. University Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
Copyright © DWU
Phone: 605-995-2618
Fax: 605-995-2893
E:mail: library@dwu.edu
Page Maintained by: K. Kenkel
Last updated: 2/7/13