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Solano College Library

Research Guide

History 17

Primary sources

These databases provide online access to PRIMARY sources. These sources are firsthand accounts or evidence from a particular moment in time. (Example: A letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963, to his wife.)

Sources in U.S. History - DIGITAL ARCHIVE
Gale: Sources in U.S. History - American Revolution Gale: Sources in U.S. History - Slavery in America Gale: Sources in U.S. History - Civil War

Secondary sources: Biographies, encyclopedias, Magazines, Newspapers, & Journal articles

These databases provide online access to SECONDARY sources, unless the article was published during the period of history which you are studying. These sources are secondhand interpretations of a particular moment in time. (Example: a newspaper article from August 28, 1963 reporting on that day's Martin Luther King Jr. Lincoln Memorial speech.)

Academic OneFile
History Research Databases
Limit Your Results
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Biography Resource Center

Internet Resources

Make sure you analyze websites you find online to determine their credibility. One great way is to apply the CRAAP test (from the librarians at CSU Chico): Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Library of Congress: American Memory

Library of Congress: Our Documents

Library of Congress: Creating the United States

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy [Ancient – 20th C.] (Yale)

Chronology of US Historical Documents (University of Oklahoma's College of Law)

Digital History (University of Houston)

Jonathon Edwards Center (Yale)
By googling a noteable figure's name plus the word "papers", you can find University archives that hold primary source documents on that person.

History Matters (George Mason University)

American History Online

Daughter's of the American Revolution: Forgotten Patriots
A (very) large PDF download outlining the participation of African Americans and American Indians in the American Revolution.

Slavery and Abolition Portal (Yale)

Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale)

Internet Modern History Sourcebook (Fordham University)


Find books, magazines, movies, etcetera in any Solano or Napa County library by searching SNAPweb, the library's online catalog: Classic Catalog Search | Visual Catalog Search

Try keyword searching (example: Great Awakening), or do a subject search for any of these subject headings:

  • American Revolution, 1775-1783
  • United States History Revolution, 1775-1783 Influence
  • Boston Tea Party, 1773
  • Tea Party movement
  • Tea Party patriots
  • Slavery America
  • Slavery United States History 18th century
  • African Americans History To 1863
  • Revolutionaries United States History 18th century
  • Indentured servants United States History
  • And on and on...

OR do a subject browse in SNAPweb on "united states history" and start clicking. If you get lost or stuck, please ask a librarian for help.

Don't forget that we share our book collection with all the libraries in Napa and Solano counties. If it's not on our shelves, just ask!

(Look for this link on the library homepage)

screenshot of SNAPweb's link on the homepage

Use 24/7 e-ref if the chat librarian is out.