American History to 1865

This American History guide which takes us to 1865 is an attempt to navigate students and researchers through the vast amount of research materials available in the field of American History.

American History Overview

American History is the composite of many stories. It is the story of conquests, wars and political experiments. It is the story of economic and social struggles and successes. Central to all of these stories is the story of a people. The first Americans who were driven from their land, the adventurers seeking to explore new territories, and the waves of immigrants who made their way to America in search of a better life, free from religious discrimination, poverty and political unrest. 


Virtual timelines provide an overview of American History and culture, highlighting important events and people. 

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Overview Sources

There are a multitude of reference works on American History. Dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks abound dealing with every aspect of the American experience. The following are overview sources where your research can begin.

American Council of Learned Societies. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner [1946-58]. 11 vols. plus supplements. Non-circulating E176 D563.

American Studies Association. Encyclopedia of American Studies. New York: Grolier Educational, 2001. 4 vols. Ref. E169.1 E625 2001.

Garraty, John D. (ed.). American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 24 vols. Ref. CT213 A68 1999.

Publication Note

This Research Guide was originally created by Professor Emeritus Sandra Roff, previously Archivist of Baruch College.

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Jessica Wagner Webster
Newman Library, 523

Documents of American History

There are key documents for every period in American history which bring to life the political, economic and social climate of the times.