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U.S. History

This guide provides useful print and online resources to help people doing research in the History of the United States of America, defined broadly.

Native American & Indigenous Peoples

Recommended Databases

"Trail of Tears", Elizabeth Jane, 1932


American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection - This site provides an extensive digital collection of original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, complemented by essays written by anthropologists, historians, and teachers about both particular tribes and cross-cultural topics

Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center - The Carlisle Indian Industrial School is a major site of memory for many Native peoples, as well as a source of study for students and scholars around the globe. This website represents an effort to aid the research process by bringing together, in digital format, a variety of resources that are physically preserved in various locations around the country.

Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains Digital Collection - includes photographs, paintings, ledger drawings, documents, serigraphs, and stereographs from 1874 through the 1940's.

Indigenous Digital Archive (IDA) - explore, annotate and learn from over 500,000 archival documents about Santa Fe Indian School and others, all kinds of boarding school records, yearbooks, and letters.

IDA Treaties Explorer -. The US National Archives holds 374 Ratified Indian Treaties. Here you can view them for the first time with key historic works that provide context to the agreements made and the histories of our shared lands. The treaties are still relevant today as tribal leaders and lawyers continue to use them to assert their rights in court

The Invasion of America - An interactive site that maps every Native American treaty and executive order between 1776 and 1886, as originally compiled by Charles Royce in 1899. The map contains links to the original treaty text, when available.

Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition - The site features the full text—almost five thousand pages—of the journals. Also included are a gallery of images, important supplemental texts, and audio files of selected passages plus Native American perspectives.

Native American Ethnobotany A Database from the University of Michigan - a database of plants used as drugs, foods, dyes, fibers, and more, by native Peoples of North America.

Native Communities Program - descibes holdings of records related to interactions between Native American and Alaska Native communities and the federal government. See the Native Communities research guides for specific regional or tribal resources

Natives of Montana Archival Project - Includes over 65,000 pages from 126 boxes of Bureau of Indian Affairs records (Record Group 75) held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Scanned from the Central Classified Files (CCF), 1907-1939, this collection includes letters, reports, photographs, petitions, leases, bonds, wills, and other legal documents.

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs - explore online exhibitions and digital resources provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs

New Mexico Digital Collections - New Mexico Digital Collections is the central search portal for digital collections about New Mexico. A service of the University of New Mexico Libraries, they provide access to digitized photographs, manuscripts, posters, oral histories, videos, maps, and books from libraries, museums, and cultural centers across the state.

Plateau Peoples' Web Portal - a collaboration between the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes Of The Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and Native Programs at Washington State University. This Portal is a gateway to Plateau peoples' cultural materials held in multiple repositories which have been chosen and curated by tribal representatives


Resources Related to American Indian and Alaska Native Communities at the National Archives - historical documents and other materials housed at the National Archives throughout the country include information relating to American Indians from the 18th through the 21st century.

Rocky Mountain Online Archive The Rocky Mountain Online Archive (RMOA) is a source of information about archival collections in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Participating institutions are expanding access to their collections by contributing to RMOA. Finding aids to collections located in all three states are available on this site to help scholars, researchers and educators discover source materials relevant to their studies.

The Bob Fitch Photography Archive: New Mexico Navajo Protest, 1974 - The phrase "Indian rolling" -- assault or murder of Native Americans by non-natives -- came into use in the spring of 1974 when three Navajos were beaten and killed by white teenagers in the town of Farmington, New Mexico. The perpetrators were sent to reform school for the crime. Organized and led by American Indian Movement (AIM) members, protests by tribal members were intense but nonviolent. Demonstrations became more confrontational when march permits were revoked or refused. In May 1974 Bob Fitch investigated and documented the murders and protests, having learned about them from Santa Fe investigative journalist Don Devereaux. Farmington is located in the southwest "four corners" region, near the conjunction of four states -- Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Most of the region belongs to the Hopi, Ute, Zuni & Navajo nations. Border town racism and violent incidents continue today.

Utah American Indian Digital Archive - The Utah American Indian Digital Archive (UAIDA) is a gateway to the best resources regarding Utah’s Native American tribes. Including articles, books, government documents, tribal documents, oral histories, photographs, and maps pertaining to each of Utah’s tribes—the Northwestern Shoshones, Goshutes, Paiutes, Utah Navajos, Northern Utes, and White Mesa Utes—the archive captures the complicated history of Utah’s tribes from multiple perspectives and is the first website of its kind to incorporate such broad information regarding the native peoples of the state.

American Indian Records in the National Archives - Among the billions of historical records housed at the National Archives throughout the country, researchers can find information relating to American Indians from as early as 1774 through the mid 1990s. The National Archives preserves and makes available the documents created by Federal agencies in the course of their daily business.

Cornell University Library Rare and Manuscript Collections: American Indian History and Culture - The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections features significant original materials on the history of native peoples of the Western hemisphere. Thousands of rare books document Indian life-ways, and manuscript materials provide documentation of the work of anthropologists, collectors, and ethnologists.

The Ella Deloria Archive at the Dakota Indian Foundation - A searchable database of documents pertaining to the Dakota Indians. This Archive was created by the American Indian Studies Research Institute (AISRI) for the Dakota Indian Foundation

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: The John Peabody Harrington Collection - The J. P. Harrington Collection of linguistic and cultural materials is one of the most remarkable holdings of the National Anthropological Archives (NAA). The collection includes documentation on over 130 languages, many of which are now highly endangered or no longer actively spoken. For many of these languages it is the best historic record; for some, it is the only surviving record. Linguists and communities interested in language revitalization consider the collection a treasure. The J. P. Harrington Collection also includes close to one million pages of notes filling over 1,000 archival boxes, plus over 200 sound recordings, some 3,500 photographs, and thousands of botanical and other natural specimens. The NAA materials are complemented by nearly 600 artifacts that also are part of the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology collection.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Native Americans - Archives Dept. - This guide provides information on using the Archives Department for research on local Native American history. It outlines the strengths of collections, recommends sources, and offers tips on effective searching

Featured Newspapers

Cherokee Phoenix - first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language. Digital access, 1828-1834, 1992-2016

Navajo Times - created by the Navajo Tribal Council in 1959; in 1982 it was the first daily newspaper owned and published by a Native American Indian Nation. Mission is to inform the Navajo people of events, news and issues of importance to them. Digital access, 1995-2013


Thank you to Berkeley Library's Native American History Guide

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