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Michigan State University

HST 480: Comparative Borderlands (Fingal): 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 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.

Getting Started with Primary Sources

American History, 1493-1945

This unique collection documents American History from the earliest settlers to the mid-twentieth century. It is sourced from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the finest archives available for the study of American History.

America's Historical Imprints

Collected and catalogued by one of the world’s leading historical societies, the 25,000-plus short works in this new online resource represent an extensive, yet under-researched, record of American history, society, culture and contemporary life.

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

US Congressional Serial Set

Includes Congressional Record 1789-2001, Congressional Hearings 1824-2003, Congressional Serial Set, Committee Prints 1830-present, CRS Reports 1916-present, Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932, and U.S. Bills and Resolutions.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience.

Represents the single largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. The distinctive collection features hundreds of Hispanic American newspapers, including many long scattered and forgotten titles published in the 19th century

This resource includes digitized manuscript collections and rare books from the American Jewish Historical Society

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection

Featuring more than 130 fully searchable newspapers in 10 languages from 25 states—including many rare 19th-century titles—this online collection provides extensive coverage of many of the most influential ethnic groups in U.S. history.With an emphasis on Americans of Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Welsh descent

Search and browse American newspapers published across three centuries. Includes thousands of titles from all 50 states. Chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the recent past

Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers

This database is composed of approximately 500 U.S. newspapers, published between 1800 and 1900. It includes titles from throughout the United States, including many published in what were, at the time, only territories

ProQuest American Periodicals

This database contains periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals

American Memory (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.

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

Try searching the library catalog by SUBJECT with these:

Mexican-- American Border Region-- History

Borderlands-- United States-- History

Borderlands-- Canada-- History

Northern Boundary of the United States-- History

  •          Migration Now – set of 37 political art pieces on immigration




On Muslim immigration to Michigan see: In the chapter "Migration History in the Americas" (p 64-74) by  DR Gabaccia (major immigration historian) she talks about movements of people within the Americas/intra-American movements, in very broad terms but could be helpful, and her references could be helpful. I had come across this organization, which she references: She also cites these book, which looks promising: 


1) look in books about history and sociology of Arab/Lebanese Americans and Arab/Lebanese Canadians and see where they get their statistics from
2) check statistical databases with US census, UN population and migration data, and Canadian equivalent
3) determine what time period student is interested in
4) primary sources could include Arab newspapers in Ethnic Newswatch
5) consult with Arab American National Museum in Dearborn
6) on campus we have some faculty who might have leads on this, e.g. Rosina Hasoun who wrote Arab Americans in Michigan
On adoption:  Proquest Congressional is useful. Depending on what you're looking for, the State Department could be used as well for additional information and statistics ( and ). Another way to find more resources is to just do a google search with the limiter to Database-wise there's not a lot in the gov docs realm that covers this since we just rely on free government information.
On Prohibition: Look at American Periodicals Series (in the "General" part of this guide). Also: Proquest Congressional has stuff on prohibition. Also check out the FBI Vault for FBI records related to this ( As for Canada, I'd recommend the Library and Archives of Canada ( A catalog keyword search of prohibition Canada came up with some pretty helpful titles (though I'm assuming you're interested in Canada during U.S. prohibition and Canada had their own prohibition right before the U.S., so that's something to watch out for.
On sex workers at the borders: Not too sure about this one. NCJRS might have more reports and interviews. I found this one so you might want to search more at Probably most useful are Hispanic American Newspapers (also in this guide under "Newspapers." Also, might have reports and things of that nature on sex trafficking but it might be a bit of a stretch. 
For border poetry and/or activism in poetry: See the Modern Language Association International Bibliography or LION, both in E-resources. Also Literature Criticism Online for, mostly, secondary resources.
For Trail of Tears: See Proquest Congressional (listed several times above, and elsewhere in this guide), also American Periodicals Series (above), as well as The American West database. Lots of resources in the catalog, too, as well as in America History & Life for secondary resources (also on "General" page of this guide).
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Getting started with reference sources

Michigan State University