United States History

Guides and Handbooks

Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada.

Compiled by the American Association for State and Local History, this directory contains a comprehensive listing of historical organizations in the U.S. and Canada.
Mugar Ref. X E172 .D5

Guide to the Study of United States History Outside the U.S. 1945-1980.

Although dated, this unique five volume series contains essays contributed by foreign historians on U.S. history, describing the teaching and research carried out in their countries from the end of World War II until 1980.
Mugar Ref. X E175.8 .G85

Periodical Indexes and Abstracts

Description: "Definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Indexing for 1,700 journals from as far back as 1910."

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974.
This reference set is an outstanding source for retrospective book reviews. The first nine volumes are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the author of the book; the final volume is an alphabetical list of books by title, including cross-references to authors.
Mugar Ref. X AI3 .C652

Although it covers a broad range of subjects in the humanities, this index also includes many historical journals and complements the coverage in America: History and Life.

Includes the multidisciplinary databases Arts and Humanities Citation Index and Social Sciences Citation Index, both of which cover historical journals. You can search the databases by subject, author, journal and/or author address; in addition, you can search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

American Revolution, 1775-1783: An Encyclopedia.

This two volume encyclopedia contains over 800 entries describing major and minor battles and providing biographical sketches of American Revolutionary War figures. Each entry includes bibliographic references.
Mugar Ref. X E208 .A433

Dictionary of American History.

This series covers the social, political, economic and industrial history of the United States. Entries are arranged alphabetically and vary in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages. Each entry is signed with the full name of the contributor.
Mugar Ref. X E174 .D52 1976

Encyclopedia of the Confederacy.

This reference set includes descriptions of important battles of the Civil War, biographical sketches of political leaders and thematic essays on the social and cultural history of the South during the Civil War.
Mugar Ref. X E487 .E55 1993

Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies.

The essays cover various aspects and themes of colonial life in the U.S. Each entry includes a bibliography and the volume concludes with a chronology.
Mugar Ref. X E45 .E53

Reader’s Companion to American History.

Covers the main themes and personalities of American history. Alphabetically arranged, entries range from one paragraph to several pages.
Mugar Ref. XE174 .R43

Selected Primary Documents

Annals of America.

Considered the most comprehensive set of primary documents on U.S. history prior to 1960, this multi-volume set includes over 2,000 documents arranged in chronological order from 1493 to 1960.
Mugar Ref. X E173 .F68

Documents of American History.

Contains the full-text of significant documents from 1492 through Congressional hearings on the Iran-Contra affair in 1987.
Mugar Ref. X E173 .D59

Pamphlets in American History.

A microform collection containing pamphlets dealing with general biography, Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War biography and women.
Index – Mugar Micro Ref X Z1236 .P27
Collections – Current Periodicals Room


American Chronicle: Six Decades in American Life, 1920-1980.

Provides a synoptic view of American life by year, highlighting significant social and cultural history, e.g., popular books, theater productions, musical groups and hit songs.
Mugar Ref. X E169.1 .G665 1987

Chronology of American History.

Although this work is largely a chronology of the United States, it also contains essays by well-known historians, offering an overview of American history.
Mugar Ref. X E174.5 .A45 1983

Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates.

Arranged in columns featuring a variety of subject areas, including governmental affairs, business, science, philosophy, religion, arts and entertainment, this volume provides a chronological listing of major events in American history, culture and life.
Mugar Ref. X E174.5 .C3

Encyclopedia of American History.

Consisting mostly of chronologies, this volume also includes biographical sketches of notable Americans and lists of the major officeholders in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government.
Mugar Ref. XE174.5 .E52

Atlases and Maps

Atlas of American History.

This volume complements the Dictionary of American History. There is no text but the maps are clear and detailed.
Mugar Ref. X G1201 .S1 A8

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States.

Although published in 1932, this atlas is regarded as a standard work. Particularly useful for historical information not included in more recent publications.
Mugar Ref. X E179.5 .F32a

Historical Atlas of the United States.

Profusely illustrated with reproductions of paintings, charts, photographs and maps. The atlas also features time lines. A subject index covers text and illustrations.
Mugar Ref. X G1201 .S1 N3 1988

Biographical Sources

Description: Biographical dictionary of notable American men and women from all eras of American history who are no longer alive. Includes illustrations and hypertext links to other web resources.
Dictionary of American Biography.

Published under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies, this multi-volume reference set (known as DAB) is considered the most authoritative American biographical source.
Storage E176 .D56 (Fill out online request form in catalog)

National Cyclopedia of American Biography.

Although not as scholarly as the DAB, this multi-volume source is useful for information on lesser known figures in U.S. history. Since the volumes are not arranged alphabetically, the Index volume is essential.
Storage E176 .E91 (Fill out online request form in catalog)
The index is shelved in Mugar Ref. XE176 .E91

Notable American Women.

This multi-volume reference set includes biographical sketches of many women, most of whom are not included in the Dictionary of American Biography or American National Biography.
Mugar Ref. X CT3260 .N57

Internet Sources

American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library.

Compiled from the Library of Congress special collections, this site consists of primary source and archival materials relating to U.S. history and culture, including manuscripts, books, pamphlet collections, prints, photographs, motion pictures and sound recordings.

Documents for the Study of American History.

This site contains a bibliography of primary documents available on the World Wide Web. Considered one of the best sources for American historical documents online.

U.S. Civil War Center.

Created in 1993 at Louisiana State University, this site contains primary source material, historical documents, specialized bibliographies, photographs and much more.

United States Historical Census Browser.

Located on the University of Virginia library site, this data describes the people and the economy of each state and county from 1790 to 1970.