General U.S. History

American Memory, Library of Congress
This expansive archive of American history and culture features photographs, prints, motion pictures, manuscripts, maps, and sound recordings dating from roughly 1490. This site offers more than seven million digital items from more than 100 collections on subjects ranging from African-American political pamphlets to California folk music, from baseball to the Civil War. Visitors can keyword search the entire American Memory collection or the individual topical collections.
Making of America, University of Michigan
This “digital library” provides users with access to thousands of primary documents in American social history from the Antebellum period through Reconstruction. It offers more than 3 million pages of text from 10,000 volumes and 50,000 journal articles.
Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Libraries
This database presents nearly 1,400 primary documents about the American South in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, and it features much antebellum history material. “First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860–1920” offers approximately 140 diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives, and concentrates on women, blacks, workers, and American Indians. “North American Slave Narratives” furnishes roughly 250 texts. “The Church in the Southern Black Community, Beginnings to 1920,” traces “how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.” “The Southern Homefront, 1861–1865” documents “non-military aspects of Southern life during the Civil War.” And “The North Carolina Experience, Beginnings to 1940” provides approximately 575 histories, descriptive accounts, institutional reports, works of fiction, images, oral histories, and songs. Visitors can use the geographic index to browse the extensive list of materials from Virginia.
History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, CHNM, George Mason University
Designed for high school and college teachers of U.S. History survey courses, History Matters provides a range of resources, including: 1000 primary documents in text, image, and audio; an annotated guide to 700 of the best U.S. History websites; guides to using various kinds of online primary sources, such as oral history and maps; and moderated discussions about teaching.
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Gilder Lehrman Institute
This site provides multimedia resources and links for teaching American history. It offers a full U.S. history textbook and more than 1,500 searchable and briefly annotated links to American history-related sites, as well as a great number of early writings, speeches, and political documents. Of particular interest is an interactive timeline detailing geographic expansion and showing historical events in chronological relation to one another.
The Digital Classroom, National Archives and Records Administration
Activities, primary documents, lesson plans, links, and worksheets designed to help teachers use archival documents in the classroom are available on this site. It also has 20 thematically oriented teaching activities and 35 lessons and activities organized around constitutional issues.
Africans in America, PBS Online
This companion to the PBS series Africans in America traces the history of Africans in America in four chronological parts: “The Terrible Transformation” (1450–1750); “Revolution” (1750–1805); “Brotherly Love” (1791–1831); and “Judgment Day” (1831–1865). The site offers 200 primary documents, 75 images and maps, and brief descriptions by historians. Teacher guides offer ideas for questions, activities, and lessons for elementary and secondary students.
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience, New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Spanning centuries of experience, this website provides more than 16,500 pages of text, 8,300 images, and more than 60 maps organized around thirteen migration periods from the Transatlantic Slave Trade (1450s-1867), to the Great Migration (1916-1930), to the Haitian Immigration of the 20th century (1970-present). Materials in each category are divided into images, maps, texts, links to related sources, and education materials. This website presents African-American history as a self-motivated part of the American migratory tradition.
Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Government, Yale Law School
This website is a collection of more than 3,500 full-text documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy, and government. The documents are divided into five century categories: pre-18th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st. It includes treaties, presidential papers and addresses, and colonial charters, as well as state and federal constitutional and legal documents. The documents are grouped into 64 Major Collection categories as well, such as Thomas Jefferson’s papers, American diplomacy, and the Cold War.
A Century of Lawmaking For a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875, American Memory, Library of Congress
This searchable database makes available hundreds of original documents from the first decades of the United States Congress. It includes records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress. Materials are organized into four broad categories of documents: Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention; Journals of Congress; Statutes and Documents; and Debates of Congress. These categories include letters of Delegates to Congress; bills and resolutions; statutes; House and Senate Journals; and debate transcripts. This website also contains links to eight special presentations including, The Making of the U.S. Constitution; Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894; and The Impeachment Trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1868.
Jews in America: Our Story, Center for Jewish History
Users explore the history of American Jews within the larger history of the United States from the 17th century to the present through essays, images, video presentations, and interactive timelines. This site presents this history in eight sections divided by time period. Each section has short topical essays explaining the period, video and audio presentations, and an image gallery. Some sections have “featured artifacts” that provide more detailed information.
Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia, Jerry Goldman, Northwestern University
This website features audio files, abstracts, transcriptions of oral arguments, and written opinions on more than 3,300 Supreme Court cases. It includes more than 2,000 hours of audio of arguments in selected cases going back to 1955 and all cases since 1995. The site also includes links to all the written opinions of the Court since 1893, and audio of speeches by several justices. Oyez is of great value for those practicing law and studying its history.