Primary Sources: American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971

A newly acquired ProQuest History Vault module, American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971, includes collections from the U.S. National Archives, the Chicago History Museum, and selected first-hand accounts on Indian Wars and westward migration. While a significant amount of 19th century material is included, this resource also provides access to records from the first half of the 20th century.  For more detail about each of the collections listed below, see the ProQuest guide.

  • American Indians and the U.S. Army: Department of Columbia, 1876-April 1878
  • American Indians and the U.S. Army: Department of New Mexico, 1853-1866
  • American Indians and the U.S. Army: Department of Oregon, 1858-1860
  • American Indians and the U.S. Army: Department of the Northwest, 1862-1865
  • American Indians and the U.S. Army: Records of the Yellowstone Expedition, and U.S. Army District of Yellowstone and Yellowstone Command, 1872-1881
  • American West: Overland Journeys, 1841-1880
  • Apache Campaign of 1886: Records of the U.S. Army Continental Commands, Department of Arizona
  • Chicago History Museum Collections on American Indians and the American West
  • Indian Removal to the West, 1832-1840: Files of the Office of the Commissary General of Subsistence
  • Indian Wars of the West and Frontier Army Life, 1862-1898: Official Histories and Personal Narratives
  • Lake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indian
  • Letters Received by the Attorney General, 1809-1870: Western Law and Order
  • Letters Received by the Attorney General, 1871-1884: Western Law and Order
  • Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes, Part 1, Section 1: Navajo, Five Civilized Tribes, Pueblo, Cheyenne and Arapaho, and Ute, 1914-1956
  • Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes, Part 1, Section 2: Chippewa, Klamath, and Sioux (Standing Rock, Rosebud, Pine Ridge, and Cheyenne River), 1911-1956
  • Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes, Part 2, Section 1: Navajo, Five Civilized Tribes, Ute, Pueblo, and Cheyenne and Arapaho, 1957-1971
  • Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes, Part 2, Section 2: Sioux (Standing Rock, Rosebud, Pine Ridge, and Cheyenne River), Chippewa, and Klamath, 1957-1971
  • Native Americans and the New Deal: The Office Files of John Collier, 1933-1945
  • Native Americans Reference Collection: Documents Collected by the Office of Indian Affairs, Part 1: 1840-1900
  • Native Americans Reference Collection: Documents Collected by the Office of Indian Affairs, Part 2: 1901-1948
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series A: Indian Delegations to Washington
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series B: Indian Customs and Social Relations
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series C: Indian Health and Medical Affairs, Part 1: Reports on Medical and Nursing Activities
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series C: Indian Health and Medical Affairs, Part 2: Diseases
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series D: Education, Part 1: General Organization, Regulations, and Types of Schools
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series D: Education, Part 2: Correspondence and Reports on Reservation Day and Boarding Schools, Section A: Albuquerque through Pima
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Central Classified Files, 1907-1939, Series D: Education, Part 2: Correspondence and Reports on Reservation Day and Boarding Schools, Section B: Pine Ridge through Zuni
  • Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Law and Order Section: Alcohol and Peyote Use by American Indians, 1908-1933
  • Records of the Indian Division, Office of the Secretary of the Interior: Special Files, 1848-1907
  • Records of the U.S. Army Continental Commands: Department of the West, 1853-1861
  • Records of the U.S. Army Continental Commands: Division of West Mississippi, 1864-1865
  • Reports of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
  • Survey of Conditions of the Indians in the United States
  • Survey of Indian Reservations
  • U.S. Army in the Era of Indian Removal: Case Files of Military Courts and Commissions
  • U.S. Army in the Era of Indian Removal: Papers of Quartermaster General Thomas S. Jesup, 1818-1852

Primary Sources: Records Relating to the Slave Trade at the Liverpool Record Office

This British Online Archives collection includes private merchants’ papers preserved at the Liverpool Record Office relating to the transatlantic slave trade. During the eighteenth century when these documents were compiled, Liverpool was the leading slave trade port in the world. “The material includes correspondence with ship captains and Caribbean agents about the acquisition of Africans and their sales; statistics on the Liverpool slave trade; sales accounts of the lots of Africans disembarked in the Americas, often with the names of purchasers and prices; information on dealings with diverse African groups along the coast of West Africa; and details of payments for slave sales. The account books of ships’ voyages includ material on the outfitting of vessels and the cargoes of goods exported to Africa.”

 The vast majority of these documents are handwritten and have not been transcribed. The metadata describing the documents can be searched, but not the documents themselves. Only individual pages can be downloaded and/or printed.


Primary Sources: Broadsides & Ephemera Collection from Duke University

Duke University’s Broadsides and Ephemera Collection “contains broadsides, pamphlets, form letters, posters, newspapers, tickets, and other short printed items dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century (with the majority dating from the nineteenth century). Truly an interdisciplinary collection, the Broadsides and Ephemera Collection includes materials related to political campaigns, politics, theater, dance, popular entertainments, immigration and emigration, advertising, travel, expositions, military recruitment and campaigns, as well as issues related to race, class, gender, and religion.”

 The majority of the collection (over 4,000 items) is material published in the United States; the international collection includes about 1,400 pieces published primarily in Europe.


Primary Sources: ProQuest History Vault: Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975

Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975 contains documents generated and collected by the media, the military, the CIA, the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council, Presidents, and selected Cabinet members. The resource is focused on the Vietnam War, but the collections in the module address all of the most important foreign policy issues facing the United States between 1960 and 1975.

The documents can be browsed and searched (Advanced Search is recommended). ProQuest’s brochure includes a list of all the collections.


Primary Sources: American Popular Entertainment

The American Popular Entertainment collection from the University of Illinois contains digital facsimiles of historic newspapers and trade journals published for the entertainment industry in the US between 1853 and 1929. These works include trade perspectives, features, and travel information on vaudeville, music performance, burlesque, and other popular forms of entertainment of the period.

The collection currently includes:

New York Clipper 7 May 1853 – 12 July 1924 (3605 issues)
Player 8 December 1911 – 21 November 1913 (102 issues)
Vaudeville News 16 April 1920 – 8 June 1929 (286 issues)


Primary Sources: Law and Society Since the Civil War

One last resource recently required through by the Law Library is ProQuest History Vault: Law and Society Since the Civil War

This module consists of 11 collections from the Harvard Law School Library. These are the papers of Albert Levitt, Felix Frankfurter, Livingston Hall, Louis D. Brandeis, Richard H. Field, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Roscoe Pound, the Sacco-Vanzetti Case, Sheldon Glueck, William H. Hastie, and Zechariah Chafee. Taken together, Frankfurter’s and Brandeis’s papers provide a behind-the-scenes view of the Supreme Court between 1919 and 1961. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Papers include Holmes’s correspondence from 1861 through 1935. Holmes was a prolific and brilliant correspondent and his letters have been acknowledged as an extraordinary record of a wide-ranging and imaginative intellect. The Sacco-Vanzetti case papers offer researchers an inside view of the legal strategy in this controversial case.


Primary Sources: Women’s Studies Manuscript Collections

Another recent purchase of the Law Library was ProQuest History Vault: Women’s Studies Manuscript Collections

This valuable collection of materials from the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College tells the story of the fight for voting rights for women at the national, regional, and local levels. The papers of key national leaders like Julia Ward Howe, Anna Howard Shaw, and Matilda Gage are included. Equally important are the papers of lesser known state and local leaders like Catharine Waugh McCulloch of Illinois, Olympia Brown of Wisconsin, and Nellie Nugent Somerville of Mississippi. In addition to the Voting Rights papers, this module also includes records on women involved in national politics, like Mary Dewson and Jeannette B. Rankin.


Primary Sources: Freely available digitized newspapers

A librarian at Bowling Green State University has created some truly excellent portals to digitized historical newspapers freely available on the web.

Historical U.S. Newspapers Online
The home page includes links to sites that provide access to newspapers from multiple states, the remaining links are organized by state.

Historical Canadian Newspapers Online
The home page includes links to National and multi-province papers, the rest are organized by province.

Historical Newspapers Online
The guide provides links to digitized newspapers from countries around the world.


Primary Sources: Historical U.S. Newspapers Online

This guide to Historical U.S. Newspapers Online, created by a librarian at Bowling Green University, attempts to provide links to every publicly accessible digitized historical newspaper in the United States. It is organized by state, and then city — click on a letter to go to the state. There are also links to some resources, like Chronicling America, that allow you to search across many newspapers at once.


Trial: Proquest Executive

The Law Library has set up a trial of ProQuest Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932, accessible through the ProQuest Congressional database.

Features include:

  • Entire collection of 7.5+ million pages, equal to approximately 2,757 linear feet in shelf space savings
  • All locatable executive branch publications listed in the 1909
  • Checklists that were not included in the ProQuest Serial Set PLUS a collection of 1910-1932 executive branch documents selected for research value
  • Fully searchable full-text PDFs, with annotations or abstracts
  • Controlled vocabulary subject indexing, indexed names, and authoritative bibliographic information
  • Agency report and SuDoc numbers and MARC records
  • Topics spanning business and industry, foreign trade, immigration and population, health, causes of death, religious affiliations, military operations, weather conditions, and more
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