History Resources

American Studies Crossroads Project


Founded in 1990, the Crossroads Project has “provided a comprehensive and integrated platform for pedagogical, scholarly, and institutional information for the international American Studies Community.”  A project of the American Studies Association, it is sponsored by Georgetown University in collaboration with Washington State University and is, in part, funded by the U.S. Deptartment of Education FIPSE Program. In its own words, it is “dedicated to international networking and curriculum innovation, especially related to the integration of new technologies as well as electronic literacy and other aspects of faculty development. The Crossroads Web site is a space for collaboration and innovation in American Studies.” The site contains articles, sample syllabi, discussion boards and much more.

History News Network


Sponsored by George Mason University, the History News Network is a Web site offering new book reviews, blogs, discussions, videos of historians’ talks and lectures, links to new history-related articles in the general press, and teaching-related essays. (One can also subscribe, for free, for daily HNN updates).


Additional American History and Culture Web Links

American Memory


“American Memory,” states its sponsor, the Library of Congress, “provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.” It offers a treasure trove of wonderful historical resources.

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago


UIC is home to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, dedicated to the memory and history of the famous Settlement House founded on Halsted Street in the late 19th century. The Web site offers lesson plans and information on immigrants in Chicago’s history. The Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963 is a project of the museum which offers original interpretive essays, photographs, teacher resources, and more.

The Chicago History Museum


A venerable cultural institution in Chicago, sponsors a Web site featuring the wonderful on-line Encyclopedia of Chicago History and numerous on-line exhibits on Chicago’s history.

The Labor Trail Map Project


In the project’s own words, “The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today.” In addition to the interactive historical map, the site provides videos, audio recordings, photographs and links.    

The Labor History Links


This Web page was created at Northern Illinois University for the Labor and Working-Class History Association. This site, it reports, “is the most comprehensive bibliography of information, documents and links of U.S. labor history sites on the Internet.”


American History, Race and Slavery


The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition


This center, which operates out of Yale University and is directed by an award-winning historian of the Civil War, David Blight, is, in its own words, “dedicated to the investigation and dissemination of knowledge concerning all aspects of chattel slavery and its destruction.” The Center co-sponsors links on various subjects and contains links to talks/lectures by important scholars.

You can subscribe to the Gilder Lehrman Center newsletter by clicking on the following:  http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/glc_listserv

I recommend that you look at the Gilder Lehrman Center Online Documents Web page. The “document collection contains over 200 individual items, including speeches, letters, cartoons and graphics, interviews, and articles” and are “organized by author, date, subject, and document type.”

The Center also sponsors the project entitled, Citizens All: African Americans in Connecticut, 1700-1850, which explores the “African American journey to citizenship and uncover paths that lead to current global issues and hometown stories of yesteryear.” The site contains brief histories of the African American experience in the northern state of Connecticut, accompanied by numerous primary documents for teacher & student use.

On the Gilder Lehrman Center “Classroom Page” the following online features are available which are designed to introduce teachers and students to specific topics and documentary materials related to slavery and abolition:

Online videos of Gilder Lehrman Center events (including, for example, talks by poet Elizabeth Alexander and historians Edmund Morgan, Annette Gordon-Reed and Drew Faust) can be accessed at http://www.yale.edu/glc/events/videos.htm. These include:

Slavery and the Literary Imagination (April 1, 2009)

The 2009 David Brion Davis Lectures
Elizabeth Alexander, Yale University; E.L. Doctorow, New York University; Caryl Phillips, Yale University; and Natasha Trethewey, Emory University present a panel discussion on their poetry and literature. (2 hours, 9 minutes)

This Republic of Suffering: A Book Talk and Discussion with the Author (October 29, 2008)

Drew Faust, President and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University
Drew Gilpin Faust, historian and President of Harvard University, and David W. Blight, Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center, have a conversation about Faust's recent book, The Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, which looks at the impact of the Civil War's enormous death toll on the lives of 19th-century Americans.

A Conversation with Edmund Morgan & Annette Gordon-Reed (September 30, 2009)

Edmund Morgan, Sterling Prof Emeritus History, Yale University
Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Prof of Law, NY Law School. Acclaimed historians Annette Gordon-Reed and Edmund Morgan discuss Morgan's new book of essays, American Heroes, and reflect upon his extensive career. (Two Parts)

John Brown, Slavery, and the Legacies of Revolutionary Violence in our Own Time (October 29-31, 2009)


Finally, the Center’s page on other “Online Resources” is outstanding. See, for instance, the following:

The African-American Mosaic Exhibition (Library of Congress)
This online exhibit marks the publication of The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. It is a sample of the kinds of materials and themes covered by that publication and the Library's collections. The exhibit covers four areas —Colonization, Abolition, Migrations and the WPA— of the many covered by the Mosaic.

The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This project of the American Memory showcases more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films and recordings from the African American collections of the Library of Congress.

African-American Pamphlets Collection (Library of Congress)
The African-American Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1880 - 1920, contains 351 rare pamphlets offering insight into attitudes and ideas of African-Americans between Reconstruction and the First World War. The Web site also includes a timeline, bibliography and The Progress of a People, a special presentation of the African-American Pamphlet Collections.

Africans in America
Based on the PBS series, this website documents America's journey through slavery in four parts. For each era, you'll find a historical Narrative, a Resource Bank of images, documents, stories, biographies and commentaries and a Teacher's Guide for using the content of the Web site and television series in U.S. history courses.

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy
A database on the approximately 100,000 slaves who were brought to Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries, including African slave names, genders, ages, occupations, illnesses, family relationships, ethnicity, places of origin, prices paid by slave owners and slave testimonials and emancipations. Created by Dr. Gwendolyn Hall, a professor emerita of history at Rutgers University.

After Slavery: Race, Labor and Politics in the Post-Emancipation Carolinas
The After Slavery Project is an international research collaboration directed from Queen's University Belfast, generously funded by the (UK) Arts and Humanities Research Council and benefiting from key institutional support from the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.

American Abolitionism
Developed by faculty members and graduate students at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, this project offers a number of resources for those interested in studying the American Abolitionist Movement.

The Amistad Page
The Gilder Lehrman Center's guide to online resources concerning the Amistad case.

Antropologia de la esclavitud: Los negroafricanos y sus descendientes en España (1492-1866)
A Web site on the history of Black African Slavery in Spain, in English and Spanish, created by the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Granada.

"Been Here So Long": Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives
A New Deal Network feature, including seventeen selected interviews, classroom activities, online resources and an introductory essay which considers the ex-slave interviews of the Federal Writers' Project and the construction of folk identity in Depression-era America.

Beneath the Underground Railroad: the Flight to Freedom
The Underground Railroad, as traditionally understood, was a loose organization of abolitionists, anti-slavery societies and vigilance committees based in the Northern states that provided aid to escaped slaves once they had escaped the Southern slave states. The Underground Railroad, however, was only able to offer very limited support to fleeing slaves while they were still in the South. While still in the South, fleeing slaves had to operate beneath the Underground Railroad, and rely on their own sources of aid and information to escape, with only the hope of further assistance once in the free states. This story of slave flight, and how the geography, laws and communities of Maryland as a slave state aided or hindered escape, is the story Beneath the Underground: the Flight to Freedom seeks to reclaim.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project
Born in Slavery contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.


Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and the love of American history through the creation and support of seminars and enrichment for teachers; publications and traveling exhibitions for the general public and for schools; lectures by historians; electronic media projects for scholars and the public; history-centered high schools and Saturday academies for New York City students; research centers at universities and other institutions; and fellowships for scholars to work in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and other archives of American History.

International Centre for the History of Slavery
The International Centre for the History of Slavery (ICHOS), established in 1998 by the University of Nottingham Department of Classics, aims to provide a framework to support the study of slavery and similar institutions in a range of societies including Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Early Modern and Modern New World.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center educates the public about the historic struggle to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people. The Freedom Center teaches lessons of courage and cooperation from Underground Railroad history to promote collaborative learning, dialogue, and action in order to inspire today's freedom movements.

National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program
The National Park Service is implementing a national Underground Railroad program to coordinate preservation and education efforts nationwide and integrate local historical places, museums and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional and national stories. The Network will also serve to facilitate communication and networking between researchers and interested parties and aid in the development of statewide organizations for preserving and researching Underground Railroad sites.

"The Slave Route" Project
At the proposal of Haiti and some African countries, the General Conference of UNESCO approved at its 27th Session in 1993 the implementation of the "The Slave Route" Project (Resolution 27 C/3.13). The project was officially launched during the First Session of the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route in September 1994 in Ouidah (Benin), one of the former pivots of the Slave trade in the Gulf of Guinea. The official documents of Ouidah were brought out in book form by UNESCO Publishing in 1998 under the title "From Chains to Bonds: the Slave Trade Revisited".

Slavery & Abolition
Slavery & Abolition, edited by Gad Heuman, is the only journal devoted in its entirety to a discussion of the demographic, socio-economic, historical and psychological aspects of human bondage from the ancient period to the present. It is also concerned with the dismantling of the slave systems and with the legacy of slavery. Details about the journal may be found at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/0144039x.asp.

Slavery and Slavery-Like Practices, Human Rights Library, University of Minnesota
This section of the Human Rights Library at the University of Minnesota contains international documents on the subject of slavery and the slave trade.

Underground Railroad: Special Resource Study
This National Park Service study includes a general overview of the Underground Railroad, with a brief discussion of slavery and abolitionism, escape routes used by slaves, and alternatives for commemoration and interpretation of the significance of the phenomenon.

United States Colored Troops Institute
The United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research at Hartwick College is an educational institute whose mission is to promote and encourage original historical and genealogical research about the 200,000 colored men and their 7,000 white officers who comprised the US Colored Troops during the American Civil War.

The Valley of the Shadow
The Valley of the Shadow is an electronic archive of two communities in the American Civil War—Augusta County, Va. and Franklin Co., Pa. The Valley Web site includes searchable newspapers, population census data, agricultural census data, manufacturing census data, slaveowner census data, and tax records. The Valley Web site also contains letters and diaries, images, maps, church records and military rosters.