General U.S. History to Reconstruction

Making of America, University of Michigan

This site is a “digital library” of 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. Includes 10 major 19th-century journals—like Appleton’s, Ladies Repository, and DeBow’s—as well as novels and tracts important for understanding the development of American education, sociology, history, religion, and science.

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.

Avalon Project at Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History, and Government, William C. Gray and Lisa A. Spar, Yale Law School

This website is a collection of over 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. 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. The site is ideal for researching American diplomacy, constitutional, political, and legal history.

Jews in America: Our Story, Center for Jewish History

This website explores the history of American Jews within the larger history of the United States from the seventeenth century to the present through essays, images, video presentations, and interactive timelines. It presents this history in eight sections divided by time period. Each section has short topical essays explaining the period, video and audio presentations, and a gallery of 590 images. Some sections have “featured artifacts” that provide more detailed information.