Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /usr/local/www/sp/control/includes/classes/sp_DBConnector.php on line 26
Brooks Library Research Guides: History Day Resources
Blackboard iconBlackboard

Novel iconGroupwise Email

Library Home · Cattrax Online Catalog · Digital Collections

Brooks Library Research Guides: History Day Resources

« Back To Guides Selection

History Day Theme (2011): Debate & Diplomacy
All Items by Source

Atlases & Maps

Kingdoms of Europe: an Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ruling Monarchs from Ancient Times to the Present
Print Location: Ref D107 G85 1981
Useful for identifying the historical significance of individual monarchs and ruling families.
Mapping History Resource contains images

A project at the University of Oregon, Mapping History contains modern maps illustrating historical topics in American, European, Latin and African history.  Requires Shockwave Player 11.0--a free installation from Adobe.

New Historical Atlas of Religion in America
Print Location: Ref G1201.E4 N4 2001

From Oxford University Press, a hefty volume containing maps, graphs, charts, and text on religion in the US, with some coverage of Canada.

We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement Resource contains images Some full text available

This site offers a virtual tour of forty-one houses, schools, churches, and buildings associated with the civil rights movement. Sites can be located by name, state, or geographical location. Brief text places each building in historical context. From the U.S. National Park Service.

Biographical Information

African American National Biography
Print Location: E185.96 .A4466 2008
Biographical information of African Americans recognized as making important contributions to the nation's history. Eight volumes, alphabetically arranged by last name. You must be in the library to use this resource. Please ask at the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor for help is using and locating this item.
From Suffrage to the Senate: An Encyclopedia of American Women in Politics
Print Location: Ref HQ1236.5 .U6 S32 1999
Biographical essays and entries on important court cases. Also includes a chronology, an appendix on primary source documents and another on statistics.
Great Lives from History: Rennaissance to 1900
Print Location: Ref CT104 .G68 1989 Some full text available
This five volume work examines the lives of 450 individuals whose contributions greatly influenced the world's cultures that flourished from the Renaissance through 1900. An annotated bibliography accompanies each entry. You can use this resource when you are in the CWU Library. Ask at the 1st Floor Reference Desk for help in locating and searching through this series.
Women in World History : a Biographical Encyclopedia [1999- ]; 17 vol.
Print Location: Ref HQ1115 .W6 1999
Exhaustive look at the accomplishments of individual women that heretofore have gone undocumented in male-centered histories. The encyclopedia has 90 genealogical charts, which become useful as a way to keep track of individual women through name changes after marriage. The collection of entries ranges internationally, from 3100 B.C.E. through the 1990s.
Great Lives from History: Twentieth Century
Print Location: Ref CT120 .G69 1990 Some full text available

Biographies of individuals across the world who have shaped events from 1900-1990s. You may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library.  Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance in locating and using this series.

POTUS: Presidents of the United States

This website provides background information, election results, names of cabinet members, notable events, and points of interest about each of the presidents. It also includes links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government
Print Location: Third Floor, JK9 .H57 1998

A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government is a profile of the history of the executive branch of the Federal government and its departments, agencies, and committees.  It generally excludes the Judiciary and U.S. Congress, but does include some agencies whose authority may span the three branches of government.

The arrangement is alphabetical and contains numerous references.  There is discussion of each organization's mission and structure, as well as its history.  In addition to entries for specific federal administrative agencies, there are entries for several broader topics.  The bibliographies that conclude each entry are fairly extensive, including numerous government publications.  An appendix containing the text of documents important to the history of public administration is included, as well as an index.  The social, cultural, and intellectual movements that have influenced the way the United States is governed are also examined.

More Encyclopedias of the U.S. Government are available here, here, and here.

Dictionary of Historic Documents
Print Location: Ref D9 .D525 2003
This is a dictionary of historic documents, not a full text publication of the documents. That said, it's a great resource for identifying historic acts and laws, written speeches, religious proclamations, treaties, journals (but not diaries), etc., and a smattering of books. Mainly Western in scope, entries range from ancient history to modern times. There is a timetable of the documents, an index where you could search by author, and a list of entries grouped by category.
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
Print Location: Ref B802 .E53 2003
This set looks at the Enlightenment, the intellectual movement in Europe (1670s to early 1800s), in which accepted authorities and norms were questioned and replaced by rational thought. The encyclopedia is useful to students of philosophy in that it places thinkers and concepts attributed to the time period (or to the later understanding of the time period) within a historical, political and social context.
Women and the Law: Leaders, Cases and Documents
Print Location: Ref KF478 .K84 2003
This book analyzes the legal precedents involving women's constitutional, educational, familial, reproductive, safety and workplace rights, provides biographies and essays on "key historical concepts and pioneers" such as feminism and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and contains the full text of important documents tracing the historic development of women and U.S. law.
Women in U.S. History: A Resource Guide
Print Location: Ref HQ1410.H364 2000
This is a guide to historical sources about women in the United States, with biographies, primary documents, web sites, and audiovisual formats indexed by both author/title and by subject. Each chapter is broken down chronologically or by subject, with entries divided by book or non-book materials.

Cambridge History of Latin America
Print Location: Third Floor: F1410 C1834 1984
Numerous, highly-reputed authors in the fields of anthropology and history wrote the chapters within this ten volume set. It has a number of maps and a descriptive listing of currencies. It spans the varied history of Latin America (including Haiti) from late 15th Century to the 1980s. International Relations (Vol. 10) is particularly useful for this year's History Day theme.
Encyclopedia of World Environmental History
Print Location: GF10 .E63 2004 Some full text available
Looks at the history of environmentalism around the globe, beginning with ancient history up through modern times. The editors provide a list of general topics, including: Arts, Climate, Exploitation and Processes, Law and Regulation, Organizations, Places and Events, Religion, Socio-cultural Resources, and Technology and Science. You may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library. Ask at the Reference Desk, 1st Floor, for help in locating and using this encyclopedia.
Oxford Reference Online: History Encyclopedias Restricted Resource Some full text available
This is a great resource to get you started on a topic! You can use this database when you are in the CWU Library. CWU Library's subscription to the database Oxford Reference Online includes a suite of history -related dictionaries, guides and encyclopedias on various fields and periods of history. You can search the entire suite to find entries within all of the references, or you can search within just one history reference for scholarly articles that are overviews of a topic and usually contain a bibliography for further research.
Africana: the Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
Print Location: Reference, First Floor, DT14. A37435 2005
Outlines the political, social and cultural contributions of Africans and African Americans, with the goal of communicating a sense of the vast diversity in African people and environments. An index of the articles is provided, but the list does not have page numbers. Includes maps and images in color. You may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library.

Finding Books

Brooks Library Online Catalog - CATTRAX
Online catalog of all items held in the Brooks Library: books, government documents, maps, microforms and other items. The general collection is spread across the 3rd and 4th floors of the main campus library and shelved from A to Z by Library of Congress subject classification. Ask at the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor for help on searching for and locating items found in the library catalog. Books located in the stacks with call numbers beginning A-J are on the 3rd Floor, books with call numbers beginning with K-Z are on the 4th Floor.

Finding News Articles

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
A collection of the nation's newsapapers digitized by the Library of Congress, this site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. 

Historic Newspapers in Washington
The Secretary of State's website provides a searchable collection of historical, digitized newspapers from throughout Washington State.  You can search by subject area, a specific newspaper, personal names, historic events, or keyword.

Historic Newspapers in Washington
A fantastic resource for primary resources involving Great Britain and it's foreign relations.  This historic London newspaper has been in existence since 1785 and Brooks Library carries the full text of this newspaper in microfilm from it's very first year of publication.  Ask at the Government Publications Help Desk (3rd Floor) for assistance using the microfilm.  Be sure to use The Times Index to search by subject or person if you don't have a specific month / day / year in mind.

New York Times Some full text available
CWU library has a The New York Times newspaper available on microfilm spanning from 1857 to last year (maybe even some of the current year--check the CWU library catalog for specific, up-to-date information.) The New York Times website has an advanced search feature that allows you to do a keyword search of their archives (as far back as 1851), and some of the articles are available free of charge. However, most are not, so while you can search for articles online, you may wish to locate the full text of the article in CWU Library's microfilm copy, available on in the Microfilm Room, 3rd Floor, under Call # MM-214. Ask for help in searching or using the microfilm readers at the 3rd Floor Government Documents Help Desk.

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

America: History and Life Restricted Resource

Covers the history and culture of the United States and Canada from pre-history to the present. The database also includes "ClioNotes," which provide summaries, timelines and questions about eras and events in American history. 
NOTE: This is an index database, meaning that you will find only citation and abstract information, not the full text of the article.  Stop by the Reference Desk or call the desk at 509.963.1021 for help in locating the full text of the article.

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Contains the complete older issues of scholarly journals about historical topics. These journals have been digitized back to the first issue published. You can search this database when you are in the CWU Library.
Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Resource contains images Some full text available
A scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database with more than 5,300 full-text journals, and plenty of these are journals about history. You can use this database while you are in CWU Library. Ask at the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor for help with searching this database.
Historical Abstracts Restricted Resource
This is a citation and abstract database that provides a way to locate scholarly journal articles discussing historical topics. Covers the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding North America). Because this is a subscription database, you may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library. Please ask at the Reference Desk (1st Floor) for help in using this database and how to find the full text to articles it cites.

Government Information History, Arts and Culture Portal

Gateway to government sponsored websites / government information regarding the nation's history, arts and culture.

Images & Primary Resources

American Archives: Documents of the American Revolution, 1774-1776 Resource contains images Some full text available
This resource is a free, online version of Peter Force's American Archives, a compilation of documents from 1774 through 1776. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and housed at the Multimedia Digitization Lab at Northern Illinois University, the American Archives Digitization Project has digitized, indexed, and published that compilation. From this site, users can search the database, read documents, and download materials.   American Archives was originally published in two series between 1837 and 1853.  

American Memory Collection (Library of Congress) Resource contains images Some full text available

American Memory is the Library of Congress’s digital collection of American historical materials. Containing more than 9 million items, American Memory is organized into more than 100 thematic collections based on the original format, subject, or who first created, assembled, or donated them to the Library.

The original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Each online collection is accompanied by a set of explanatory features designed to make the materials easy to find, use, and understand. Collections may be browsed individually, searched individually (including full-text searching for many written items), or you may search across multiple collections, by region, and by date.

American Memory will continue to expand online historical content as an integral component of the Library of Congress’s commitment to its mission "to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations".

Annals of America
Print Location: Ref E173 A793
A twenty volume set that contains readings of primary documents on major events and ideologies forming the history of the United States. The set begins with a letter from Christopher Columbus (1493) and continues with historical entries up to 1986.
Charles Darwin: The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online Resource contains audio Some full text available

This site contains Charles Darwin's "complete publications and many of his handwritten manuscripts. There are over 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images." Searchable, or browse by publication to view text or digitized images (or both, in some cases) of the publications. Also includes a bibliography, a manuscript catalog, a biography, and audio files of his works. From the University of Cambridge (UK).

See Also:  The Darwin Digital Library of Evolution  (

University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections Resource contains images Some full text available

Materials from the University of Washington Libraries, University of Washington Faculty and Departments, and organizations that have participated in partner projects with the UW. Collections are primarily pictorial, although some have accompanying essays and text. Other media are presented, such as newspapers, reports, pamphlets, posters and maps. The emphasis of these collections is on rare and unique materials and it is a great resource for Pacific Northwest history topics.

LIFE Photo Archive Resource contains images

The LIFE magazine has placed their collection of photos and images--many of them never before seen--online and hosted by Google. Some of the images can go back as far as the 1750s.  A regular Google Image search will include these LIFE images, but to search the LIFE archive exclusively you can add "source:life" to any Google image search.  However, I recommend going directly to the LIFE webpages, where you can search images chronologically by decades, or topically by events, people, places, sports, and culture.

Making of America Resource contains images Some full text available

Primary source digitial collection of primary resources (including books and articles) and from before the Civil War through Reconstruction (approximately 1850-1877)  in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.  Created from the physical collections housed in both the University of Michigan and Cornell University.  The Cornell Making of America pages are available at:

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy Some full text available

Yale Law School hosts a wonderful primary source website, with materials in collections as far-reaching as 4000 b.c.e. to the 21st Century.  Included are the full text of laws, colony charters, acts, and declarations, presidential proclamations, treaties and formal negotiations affecting the United States judiciary system and governmental foreign policy in general. 

From this page, you can also access Project Diana: the Human Rights collection (which provides full text of major court decisions regarding human rights) and The International Military Tribunal for Germany--A Document Collection.  It contains materials from the Nuremburg Trials, including day by day transcript testimony of those tried for war crimes.

American Presidency Project

This website contains a searchable database of tens of thousands of documents from U.S. presidents from 1789 to the present. Includes inaugural addresses, press briefings, signing statements, and debates. Also features data on topics such as popularity and number of public appearances, election results back to 1828, and an archive of audio and video clips. A collaboration between John Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. See also: the Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century--a primary resource digital collection developed by the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education.

British History Online Resource contains images Some full text available

A digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust.

Expeditions & Discoveries
The fourth in a series of online collections from Harvard University, Expeditions and Discoveries delivers maps, photographs, and published materials, as well as field notes, letters, and a unique range of manuscript materials on selected expeditions between 1626 and 1953.  The collection features nine major expeditions as they are reflected in the holdings of Harvard’s libraries, museums, and archives. Other materials—both published and unpublished—provide vital, contextual information on exploration in the modern age. 

In addition, users can search or browse materials by discipline or region, explore holdings related to 22 notable people, and find vital, contextual information on modern-age explorations from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from South America to Africa and Australia, and more.

Foreign Relations of the United States Some full text available

The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. The series, which is produced by the State Department's Office of the Historian, began in 1861 and now comprises more than 350 individual volumes. The volumes published over the last two decades increasingly contain declassified records from all the foreign affairs agencies. Foreign Relations volumes contain documents from Presidential libraries, Departments of State and Defense, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, Agency for International Development, and other foreign affairs agencies as well as the private papers of individuals involved in formulating U.S. foreign policy.

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 Resource contains images
Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930, is a web-based collection of selected historical materials (books, pamphlets and photographs) from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the US from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression.

Vietnam Yesterday and Today: History of the War Websites Resource contains images Some full text available

Very extensive list of links to photographs, interviews, speeches, magazine and newspaper articles, and more.

Revelations From the Russian Archives Some full text available

This companion website to a 1992 Library of Congress exhibit contains documents made available by the Russian Archival Committee, covering "the entire range of Soviet history from the October Revolution of 1917 to the failed coup of August 1991." Exhibit topics include Joseph Stalin, the murder of Sergei Kirov, the secret police, Gulag labor camps, the Ukrainian famine, Chernobyl, perestroika ("Mikhail Gorbachev's program of economic, political, and social restructuring"), relations with the U.S. (including the Cold War), and more.

Television News of the Civil Rights Era 1950-1970 Resource contains images Some full text available

From the Virginia Center for Digital History Research. Includes film footage from the nightly news from two local television stations in Virginia. Included are clips of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, the governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as segments documenting school desegregation, public meetings, local debates over civil rights matters, and interviews with citizens.

Washington State University: Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections--Digital Collections Resource contains images Some full text available

Takes you to WSU MASC's digital collections homepage. There you will find an annotated listing of links to projects and digital collections now available online. Useful for finding primary sources such as maps, photographs, newspaper clippings and even early film on topics in Pacific Northwest history.

Western Waters Digital Library Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains audio

From the earliest European explorers to the time of modern engineers and hydrologists, the vast reserves of water within the Western United States have been the cause of both great excitement and concern. This compelling digital library brings together a wide range of documents (including legal transcripts, water project records, and personal papers) that document the Columbia, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande river basins. The project was completed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and twelve university libraries in eight western states. On the homepage, visitors can perform advanced searches, or elect to browse by the institution holding the original. Browsing is a good option; visitors can look over troves that include "Native American Water Rights in Arizona", "The Platte River Basin in Nebraska", and "Las Vegas: Water in the West". The tabs to limit format do not appear to be functional on the home page, but limits are available in the upper right corner of the results page. Text, images, audio, and EAD (finding aids for archives collections) are the available format limits. Advanced search is also available.

Women Working, 1800-1930 Resource contains images Some full text available

The collection now contains approximately 500,000 digitized pages and images of selected rare and historical books, institutional papers, personal papers, diaries, and photographs from Harvard's network of libraries, archives, and museums. The collection is completely free and available to anyone with access to the Internet.


Reader's Guide to American History
Print Location: Ref Z1236 .R43 1997 Some full text available
Review essays on topics in American history, with each essay containing a list of secondary sources for further research. You'll find mostly sources in political, social and economic history (i.e. no art, science and medicine, or pop culture heroes). You can use this resource when you are in the CWU Library.

Statistics & Measurements

International Historical Statistics: Europe, 1750-1993
Print Location: Ref HA1107 .M5 1998 Some full text available
Topics include: population, vital statistics, labor, industry, agriculture, external trade, transportation and communication, education, prices. Statistics derived from numerous primary sources. You may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library. Please ask at the Reference Desk, 1st Floor, for help.
International Historical Statistics: The Americas, 1750-1993
Print Location: Ref HA175 .M55 1998 Some full text available
Topics include: population, vital statistics, labor, industry, agriculture, external trade, transportation and communication, education, prices. Statistics derived from numerous primary sources. You can use this resource when you are in the CWU Library.
International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-1993
Print Location: Ref HA4675 .M552 1998 Some full text available
Topics include: population, vital statistics, labor, industry, agriculture, external trade, transportation and communication, education, prices. Statistics derived from numerous primary sources. You may use this resource when you are in the CWU Library. Please ask at the Reference Desk, 1st Floor, for help.

Web Sites

American Women's History: A Research Guide
Provides citations to print and Internet reference sources, as well as to selected large primary source collections. It's a good starting point to find resources on the historical context of all topics, not just topics involving women.
Darwin Digital Library of Evolution

The Darwin Digital Library of Evolution is based at the American Museum of Natural History Library. The goal of this undertaking is to make the full literature of evolution available online within a historically and topically coherent structure. The work of Charles Robert Darwin is our pivot, but our framework includes the 17th century to the present and encompasses the history of evolution as a scientific theory with deep roots and broad cultural consequences. DDLE is a pilot project drawing on resources of members of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Consortium1 contributions are included from the Natural History Museum (London) and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Europa: History of the European Union
Find out more about how the EU evolved from a community of six into a union of 27 countries.  Covers the shared history and cultures of these countries from 1945 to today.

Intute: History

"Web resources for the study of past events as concerned with human life, communities, values, and systems, including resources dealing with: English local history; British history; European history; and World history. Each resource has been evaluated and categorised by subject specialists based at UK universities.See also: Intute: Classics for resources that relate primarily to Mediterranean and near-Eastern civilization before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century(CE). Intute: Archaeology for resources concerning physical remains. Relevant Area studies/Languages sections for resources that relate specifically to particular geographical regions. VTS: Internet historians (online tutorial about using the Internet for history)."

Best of History Web Sites
"Best of History Web Sites" provides quick, convenient, and reliable access to online history-oriented resources across a wide range of categories.  The site has links to over 1200 history-related web sites that have been reviewed for quality, accuracy, and usefulness.  Also included are links to K-12 history lesson plans, teacher guides, activities, games, quizzes, and more.

Internet Public Library Arts & Humanities Resources

Interesting and sometimes educational websites are featured on this annotated, topical gateway of websites.  Each website is recommended and annotated by a librarian working for the Librarians Internet Index as a quality resource.  You can also quickly group resources by domain type, so it is easy to see which sites are commercial, from organizations, and from the government.

History of Jazz Resource contains images Resource contains audio
Developed by Scholastic, this is a gateway to numerous quality websites that describe the evolution of Jazz music. 

U.S. Army Center of Military History Some full text available

This website has a number of books and archive materials available in full text or extracts online. So if you need to research a historic military event and just can't make it inside the library, this is another resource to try. NOTE: The Center’s role is to preserve and make available the official history of the U.S.Army and the records within.

Ask A Librarian Chat

Loading ...

Key to Icons

Restricted Resource = Restricted resource
Some full text available = Some full text
openURL = OpenURL enabled

Resource contains images = Images
Resource contains video = Video files
Resource contains audio = Audio files