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Michigan State University

HST 304 (H): The American Civil War (Summerhill): Getting Started

Getting started with print and ebook collections

Requesting materials from other libraries:

  • Uborrow. For everything except articles. Searches the catalogs of 13 major Midwestern research libraries.
  • Illiad For articles, books,videos, dissertations, etc.
  • WorldCat (OCLC) For everything except articles. WorldCat contains more than 1 billion records describing items owned by over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Each record indicates library holdings and contains a "Request this item in ILLiad" link.

Getting Started with Primary Sources

ProQuest Civil War Era

ProQuest Civil War Era focuses on the entire era, from Manifest Destiny through the end of the Civil War. Content includes nearly 2,000 pamphlets and complete runs of eight newspaper titles, covering 1840-1865.

The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries

This database knits together more than 400 sources of diaries, letters, and memoirs to provide fast access to thousands of views on almost every aspect of the war, including what was happening at home. The writings of politicians, generals, slaves, landowners, farmers, seaman, wives, and even spies are included.

Civil War Collections at Michgan State University

University Archives & Historical Collections staff have transcribed and digitized its collections relating to the Civil War. These materials—including hundreds of pages of correspondence, diaries, musters, reminiscences, and photographs—are available online for public use.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926

This database takes the works currently captured from Joseph Sabin’s Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America from Its Discovery to the Present Time and makes them available online

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs: Civil War

Explore the faces, places and events of the U.S. Civil War through photographs, prints and drawings. The Prints & Photographs Division holds thousands of images relating to the Civil War, found in many different collections. This category allows research across those collections.


HarpWeek provides indexing and full text of Harper's Weekly, an important journal documenting American society and culture during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

Provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more

Library of Congress Civil War Maps, 1861-1865

Brings together materials from three premier collections: the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia. Among the reconnaissance, sketch, and theater-of-war maps are the detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for Generals Lee and Jackson, General Sherman's Southern military campaigns, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts.

Library of Congress Hotchkiss Map Collection

The Hotchkiss Map Collection contains cartographic items made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss made detailed battle maps primarily of the Shenandoah Valley, some of which were used by the Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson for their combat planning and strategy.


American Slavery Collection, 1820 - 1922

This digital edition of the American Antiquarian Society’s extraordinary holdings of slavery and abolition materials delivers more than 3,500 works published over the course of more than 100 years.

Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice, 1490-2007

Documents key aspects of the history of slavery worldwide over six centuries. Topics covered include the African Coast, the Middle Passage, the varieties of slave experience, religion, revolts, abolition, and legislation. The collection also includes case studies from America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Cuba.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909

This Library of Congress collection 396 pamphlets from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, published from 1822 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics.


Getting started with secondary sources (articles)

America History and Life

Provides access to articles, book reviews, and dissertations in American and Canadian history.


Searchable database of the full text of journals in multiple fields.

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