HIST 112 United States History Since 1865


  • Ancestry Library Edition Ancestry works only from campus. It is a great resource for family history, but there are also many primary research documents beneath the personal names.
  • America: History and Life Useful for secondary research, not all data is included in the Argos search.
  • JSTOR Contains many history journals going back a long way and includes some primary sources.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective This is an index only to magazines from 1892 to around 1980. Use the "Get It' link to see if we have it in full text. Some titles are available through Google Books Magazines collection as well.
Other useful databases:

Primary Sources on the Internet

Archives everywhere have been digitizing their treasures and putting them on the internet. There are many platforms and many little servers with amazing collections. There is no comprehensive list.

Beyond newspapers and books, there are many documents out there in the wild, with varying levels of description. Sometimes Google is your friend. Sometimes not.

Find Books and Ebooks Using Subjects

Books and ebooks are found using the library catalog. Subject searches use terms assigned by librarians. They are formally structured and can be very powerful tools for locating books in the library.

Some sample subject searches:

United States--History. (this is very broad and leads to all of the sub-divisions for US history)
Labor movement--United States--History.
Labor unions--United States--History.
Prohibition--United States.
Women--Suffrage--United States.
Women social reformers--United States--Biography.
Working class--United States--History.
Indians of North America--Government relations--1869-1934.

Primary Sources in Books in the Library

Primary sources can be published in books. Use the main search in Argos and include search terms personal narratives, sources, diaries, memoirs, papers, speeches, documents, or letters.

Personal narratives is a term assigned by librarians and is used for first person accounts.
Diaries and memoirs are terms used by writers and editors to describe their document. These are also normally in the first person.
Letters and correspondence are published correspondence and occasionally include both outgoing and incoming letters. Can also be collected works.
Papers include correspondence, speeches and other previously unpublished items by the author.
Speeches were written to be spoken and have often been published.
Sources is another term assigned by librarians and often includes all of the types of documents listed above as well as government records.

Other possible terms are autobiography, hearings, or works by a particular historical figure.

Some sample subject searches:

African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century--Sources.
African Americans--Civil rights--History--Sources.
Rustin, Bayard
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
Presidents--United States--Correspondence.
Indians of North America--History--Sources.
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.

Sample keyword searches:

labor memoir united states
19th century united states history personal narratives
hearings Congress labor (other topics that would work: unrest, Vietnam, pollution, war -- or your subject)

Primary sources in E-books

Some published primary sources are available as E-books. Check here if the library catalog has a source located in LAC.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Use encyclopedias and dictionaries for locating background information. Normally entries range from a few sentences to a few pages and often contain useful bibliographies. They are a good place to check when you encounter something new and need basic information.

Oxford encyclopedia of American social history
Oxford Encyclopedia of American cultural and intellectual history
Oxford Encyclopedia of American business, labor, and economic history
 The Civil War era and Reconstruction : an encyclopedia of social, political, cultural, and economic history
Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights REF E185.61 .E54 2003
American National Biography
Facts on File World News Digest
Complete Encyclopedia of African American History
Encyclopedia of African American Business History
Encyclopedia of Strikes in American history

Contact Us

picture of Bridget Bower
College Archivist
(607) 274-3096

Search Argos

Sample search - Denali the mountain

Alaska Purchase 1867
Primary documents from the Library of Congress

Books from Hathi Trust:

Early exploration of the Alaska Range: An exploration to Mount McKinley, America's highest mountain

First ascent, 1914: The ascent of Denali (Mount McKinley): a narrative of the first complete ascent of the highest peak in North America.

Newspaper accounts: search Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers to see coverage of the ascent of the mountain.

Check out the National Archives catalog for images and information about the park and the mountain. Since the mountain and the park have different names, search both.

Did Alaska's statehood change the role of Mount McKinley and Denali State/National Park? Check out the Eisenhower Presidential Library.

What about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline? The Denali Earthquake of 2002 was a problem.

The Denali National Park Facebook page is full of historic resources about the Park, the mountain and Alaska.

Renaming the mountain in 2015. From the New York Times Science Desk: Geography: A new name and height for McKinley.