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Brooks Library Research Guides: History, Native Americans
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Brooks Library Research Guides: History, Native Americans

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To find books about Native American history, try one of the following subjects in the Cattrax catalog. Please note that these subjects are only a few of the many that could prove useful in your research.

Indians of North America
Indians of North America -- History
Algonquian Indians
Athapascan Indians
Caddoan Indians
Indians of Mexico
Indians of North America Canada
Ojibwa Indians
Piegan Indians
Reservation Indians
Shoshoni Indians
Government documents and legislation
The following are collections of government documents, treaties, and legislation that are available online or at Brooks Library. To find more government documents, please check with the Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms department at Brooks Library (3rd floor).

American State Papers
The American State Papers, comprising a total of thirty-eight physical volumes, contain the legislative and executive documents of Congress during the period 1789 to 1838. The American State Papers provide a valuable source of information on Native American history prior to the establishment of the Office of Indian Affairs in 1824. See, in particular, the sections on Military Affairs and Indian Affairs.

Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1860-1924
The Commissioner's annual reports address a wide range of topics relevant to any study of Native Americans. For instance, reports may include statistical data on tribal population, supplies for the Indian Office and reports of special Indian commissions.
Location: Brooks Library, Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms (3rd floor)

Handbook of the North American Indians
An encyclopedia summarizing knowledge about all native peoples north of Mesoamerica, including cultures, languages, history, prehistory, and human biology. This handbook is a standard reference work for anthropologists, historians, students, and the general reader.
Location: Brooks Library, 3rd floor, E77.H25

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties
Provided by Oklahoma State University Library, this site links to Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties--a seven-volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes, 1778-1970.

Native American Constitution and Law Digitization Project
This site offers access to the constitutions, codes, and legal documents held by tribes in the United States. The digitization project was handled in collaboration among the University of Oklahoma Law Center, the National Indian Law Library (NILL), and Native American tribes.

Treaties between the United States and Native Americans
Treaties range from 1778 to 1868. Provided by Yale University.

U.S. Serial Set
The U.S. Serial Set offers House and Senate Documents and House and Senate Reports from 1817 to 1917. See, in particular, Indian Land Cessions, 1784-1894.
Journal articles
To find journal articles on Native American history, try a search in one of the databases from this list, or use the box below to search EBSCO databases.

Research databases
Limit Your Results
Newspapers and magazines
To find local, national, and international newspapers, check with the Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms department at Brooks Library. Check here for a list of available titles. Many of these newspapers will discuss issues of importance to Native American history.

The following are a few newspapers, magazines, or newsletters available online. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

The Indian Sentinel, 1902-1962
The Indian Sentinel featured articles about Native Americans across the United States and their evangelization by the Catholic Church. Most editions offered first-hand accounts by missionaries in the field. Also included were articles, essays, and letters by Native Americans, many of whom were students in Catholic schools.

Indian Country Today, 2008-2011
Since 1981, Indian Country Today has published original journalistic content on American Indian issues. Available online.

Odawa Trails, 2004 to present
Newsletter of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, a federally recognized tribe in Michigan.

Ojibwe Akiing = Ojibway Turf, 2002-2006
News of the Ojibwa Indians of the Great Lakes Region.

Tribal Observer, January 2007 to present

Newspaper of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe in Michigan. Published semi-monthly, the Tribal Observer covers current issues, events, and other news of the tribe.

Digital resources: General
After Columbus: Four-hundred Years of Native American Portraiture
This digital collection draws on an exhibition presented by the New York Public Library in 1994. The exhibit offers a view of the history of Native American portraiture, including work by Simon van de Passe (1595-1647), George Catlin (1796-1872), Karl Bodmer (1809-1893), Edward S. Curtis (1868-1954), Karl E. Moon (1878-1948), Frank A. Rinehart (1862-1928), and Frederic Allen Williams (1898-1958).

Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian
Issued in a limited edition from 1907 to 1930, The North American Indian contains over 2,000 photogravure plates by photographer Edward Curtis, illustrating the traditions of some eighty Indian tribes. The twenty volumes, each with an accompanying portfolio, are organized by tribes and cultural areas encompassing the Great Plains, Great Basin, Plateau Region, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Featured here are all of the published photogravure images including over 1,500 illustrations bound in the text volumes, along with over 700 portfolio plates.

North American Ethnographic Collection
The American Museum of Natural History offers this database of over 47,000 artifacts from indigenous groups in the Arctic, the Plains, the Eastern Woodlands, the Plateau, the Southwest, the Southeast, and California. Much of this material was collected by ethnologists of the late 1800s and early 1900s during their often extensive fieldwork.

Digital resources: Midwestern tribes
AIM and Wounded Knee Documents
This site presents newsletters, treaties, flyers, and chronologies relating to the history of Wounded Knee and the American Indian Movement (AIM). Documents were provided by Michigan State University Library. 

Ayer Ojibwa Collection

This collection, created by Jeannette O. and Harry D. Ayer, contains many examples of traditional Ojibwa objects such as bandolier bags, moccasins, belts and bands. Objects are searchable by keyword and topic.

The Black Hawk War of 1832
Created by Dr. James Lewis as part of the Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project, this site presents searchable primary source materials describing the Black Hawk War of 1832. It includes the Autobiography of Black Hawk, American soldiers' first-hand accounts and reminiscences, maps and other images, and treaties and other government documents.

Camping with the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher
This site presents two journals kept by Alice Fletcher during a six-week venture into Plains Indian territory in 1881. For convenience, the diary has been divided into daily entries.

Dakota Conflict Trials of 1862
Douglas O. Linder, of the School of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has created this website, which features photos, maps, and excerpts of first-person accounts relating to the Sioux uprising and trials of 1862.

George Catlin and His Indian Gallery
George Catlin (1796-1872) journeyed west five times in the 1830s to paint the Plains Indians and their way of life. This gallery includes some of his work.

Great Plains People
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West makes available this digital library comprising hundreds of photos and documents on the tribes of the Great Plains.

Lakota Winter Counts

The Lakota once marked the passage of time by drawing pictures of memorable events on calendars known as winter counts. This exhibit by Smithsonian Institute features a searchable database of winter counts as well as a documentary about Lakota history and video interviews with Lakota people.

Missions to Native North Americans

Provided by Harvard University Library, this collection documents the work of the Dakota Mission, which worked to Christianize the eastern Sioux beginning in 1835. The collection covers 1844-1859 and 1882, with annual reports, school reports, correspondence from missionaries, items in the Dakota language (including the Constitution of Minnesota), and other materials that document missionary efforts to teach English to members of the tribe.

Omaha Indian Heritage
This site aims to provide an online catalog of Omaha artifacts and photographic images drawn from sources around the world. Partners in the project include the University of Nebraska State Museum, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, and the Nebraska State Historical Society, in consultation with the Omaha tribe. Also included on the website are essays by ethnographers and scholars of Omaha history and culture, including works from the late nineteenth century.

Omaha Indian Music

This exhibit, by the Library of Congress, presents sound recordings that document Omaha culture. Included in the collection are wax cylinder recordings made in the 1890s, songs and spoken-word segments recorded in the 1980s, and photos of celebrations during the 1980s.

Plains Indian Ledger Art
This site from UC San Diego makes available Plains drawing created during the 1860-1900 period. Twenty-seven ledgers are currently available for viewing.

Digital resources: Northeastern tribes
Manuscripts Relating to Samson Occom and Eleazar Wheelock's Early Indian Students, 1740s-1790s
This collection by Dartmouth College Library documents the work of Samson Occom, a member of the Mohegan nation, who worked to found a Christian Indian community in the Oneida territory at the end of the eighteenth century. The collection comprises letters, diaries, sermons, prose, and annotated books that touch on topics like the Great Awakening, attitudes toward Indians in the 18th century, missionary work among the Indians, the education of Indians, and Mohegan language and culture.

The Native American Collection (New York)
This collection by the New York State Archives, State Library, and State Museum, documents the evolving Native American experience within the physical, economic, social, and cultural environments of New York during the past 400 years. Materials include documents, artifacts, photographs, and publications.

Digital resources: Northwestern tribes
American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection
This site, by the University of Washington, provides access to original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, as well as essays written by anthropologists, historians, and teachers about particular tribes and cross-cultural topics.

C. Hart Merriam Collection of Native American Photographs
This collection comprises images taken by C. Hart Merriam (1855-1942) as he documented the languages of California Indian tribes.

Chief Washakie Foundation
This foundation makes available documents, exhibits, photographs, and oral histories pertaining to the history and cultural traditions of the Shoshone and Arapaho of central Wyoming.

Dorothy Morehead Hill Collection: California Native American Legacy and Tradition
This collection, provided by California State University, documents the cultural history of California's northern tribes. Materials were collected by Dorothy Hill (1922-1998). They include photographs, video, audio, and field notes.

First Nation Collection
Provided by Southern Oregon University, this collection comprises documents, books, and articles relating to the indigenous peoples of southwestern Oregon and northern California. Some of the nations represented include the Coos, Hupa, Karuk, Klamath, Modoc, Takelma, Shasta, Siuslaw, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua, Yahooskin, and Yurok nations.

Frank Fuller Avery Photographs
The collection consists of 800 images taken by Frank Fuller Avery while assigned to the Colville Indian Agency, 1901-1916.

In the Beginning Was the Word: The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures

The Library of Congress worked collaboratively with Russian linguist Vyacheslav Ivanov to assemble this collection of photographs and documents taken from the Alaskan Russian Church Archives. The exhibit documents exchanges between priests of the Russian Orthodox Church and native Alaskans from 1794 to about 1915.

Native Peoples of Northern Great Plains
This database includes photographs, paintings, ledger drawings, documents, serigraphs, and stereographs created between 1874 and the 1940s, documenting the culture of tribes on the northern Great Plains.

Margaret M. Wheat Collection
This collection contains material gathered by Margaret Wheat, who worked from the 1940s to 1960s to interview and photograph Paiutes of northern Nevada.

Native American Documents Project
This collection, by California State University, includes the narrative reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1871, 1872, and 1874-1876. It also includes a map of western reservations, allotment data, bibliographies and interpretive histories on California tribes.

Olympic Peninsula Community Museum Project
This website offers text, photographs, video, and audio that document the culture and history of the Olympic Peninsula, a secluded area comprising 13,000 residents from diverse cultural backgrounds, including Native American and Latino.

Richard Throssel Papers
This collection includes 2,481 photographs, glass plate negatives and lantern slides created by Richard Throssel while on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations from 1902-1933. Photographs show daily life, villages, ranching, and scenery in southern Montana and northern Wyoming.

Digital resources: Southeastern tribes
Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
This collection contains approximately 2,000 documents and images relating to the Native American population of the southeastern United States. Materials come from the collections of the University of Georgia Libraries, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Library, the Frank H. McClung Museum, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the LaFayette-Walker County Library. Documents include letters, legal proceedings, military orders, financial papers, and archaeological images.

Trail of Tears National Historic Park
See this site from the National Park Service for more information about the Cherokees' Trail of Tears.
Digital resources: Southwestern tribes
Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History
This site provides access to interviews (1967 -1972) conducted with hundreds of Indians in Oklahoma regarding the histories and cultures of their respective nations and tribes. Related are accounts of Indian ceremonies, customs, social conditions, philosophies, and standards of living.

Mission to Arizona, 1916-1940

This exhibit, by Arizona State University, documents the work of Augustine Schwarz, O.F.M., a Franciscan who worked with the Pima people of central Arizona, the Papagos (Tohono O’odham) of the south, and the Apache of northern Arizona. The collection, comprising Schwarz' photographs, documents mission work in the southwestern United States between 1916 and 1940.

Traders: Voices from the Trading Post

Offered by Northern Arizona University, this site provides access to oral interviews with members of the United Indian Traders Association (UITA), a non-profit organization formed In 1931 to promote improved business practices among Indian traders, arts and crafts dealers.
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