University Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688-0002

Library Resources for HY 441old image of colonial town

These sources may help you find good information for this class. This page is by no means comprehensive; rather, it is intended to serve as a starting point for your research. For further assistance, please contact the Reference Desk.

USA Libraries' Catalog:

The SOUTHcat catalog contains records for books, e‐books, journals, CD‐ROMs, CDs, DVDs, videos, and government documents held by the libraries at the University of South Alabama. It does not list journal articles(see "Indexes to Journals and Articles" below) It also includes the contents of the microfiche Library of Amrican Civilization and links to online books in the ACLS Humanities E-Books Project and in NetLibrary. Click here for video tutorials of the search process.

Search Tips for Limiting to Primary Sources:

Include one or more of the following search terms in a keyword search to limit a search to primary sources: correspondence, diaries, personal narratives, interviews, letters and sources. Use truncation symbol (?) to broaden search terms.

Do an author search: e.g. Williams, Roger; Bradford, William; Winthrop, John

Sample Searches on SOUTHcat Catalog:

Subject Heading Browse
united states-history-colonial period
women-united states-history-18th century
slavery-united states-history-17th century

Keyword (AND with Relevance) NOTE: Be careful not to put 2 spaces between your words
"united states" "colonial period" sources
women "colonial period" diar?
american newspapers colonial
"indians of north america" sources
colonial “united states” letter?
newspaper? "united states" bibliograph?
"thomas jefferson" correspondence

Selected Resources for Primary Material in USA Library

    • NOTE: Browse the area in the stacks of the most common call numbers found in this list.
    • Annals of America. Reference E 173 .A793 and online under "Electronic Reference Sources"
    • Encyclopedia of American Historical Documents. Reference E 173 .E54 2004 (3 vols.)
    • Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699. Bookstacks E 82 .L73
    • Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690. Bookstacks E 187 .A563
    • Papers of George Washington. Colonial Series. Bookstacks E 312.72 1983 v. 1-10
    • Documents of Political Foundation Written by Colonial Americans. Bookstacks KF 4502 .D64 1986
    • Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives : Documents in Early American History. Bookstacks HQ 1416 .W67 1998
    • Black Soldiers in the Colonial Militia: Documents from 1639-1780. Bookstacks E 184.6 .B49 1994
    • "Pretends to be Free": Runaway Slave Advertisements from Colonial and Revolutionary New York and New Jersey. Bookstacks E 445 .N56 P74 1994
    • Women’s Early American Historical Narratives. Bookstacks E 173 .W83 2003
    • Irish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan: Letters and Memoirs from Colonial and Revolutionary America, 1675-1815. Bookstacks E 184 .I6 I683 2003
    • Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers. Bookstacks E 187 .C78 2000
    • Major Problems in American Colonial History: Documents and Essays. University Library Circulation Desk, 7 Day Library Reserve E 188.5 .M25 2000
    • Journeys in New Worlds : Early American Women’s Narratives. Bookstacks E 187.5 .J68 1990
    • Select Charters and Other Documents Illustrative of American History, 1606-1775. Microfiche, Lib of American Civilization LAC13442
    • Great Debates in American History; From the Debates in the British Parliament on the Colonial Stamp Act (1764-1765) to the Debates in Congress at the Close of the Taft Administration (1912-1913). Bookstacks E 173 .M64 v. 1-14
    • Benjamin Franklin Papers. Bookstacks E 302 .F83 1962
    • American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of All Books, Pamphlets, and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States From the Genesis of Printing in 1639 Down to and Including the Year 1820. Reference Z 1215 .E92
    • National Index of American Imprints Through 1800. Reference Z 1215 .S495

Reference Books

Indexes to Books, Chapters in Books and Dissertations:

  • WorldCat (FirstSearch and web as .org) An index to books and other materials in libraries worldwide. Can be searched by keyword, subject heading, author or title. No full text, but links to InterLibrary Loan.
  • WorldCat ( This web version allows you to discover how close items are to your location and links to InterLibrary Loan.
  • ACLS Humanities E-Book Project. Full text to books of major importance in historical studies. (All titles appear in SOUTHcat Catalog but best search results are from E-Book website)
  • NetLibrary. All records appear in the SOUTHcat Catalog or can be searched with keyword or subject searches from the NetLibrary site. Must register and establish user name and password to check out book for four hours.
  • Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations. Searchable by author, keyword or institution. USA theses submitted in pdf format are available online at no charge.
  • Google Books. Part of Google's library-scanning project. Good for out-of-copyright materials.

Indexes to Journals and Articles

Some indexes will also have links to full-text of the articles. Dates of full-text coverage may vary with different databases. One way to check availability is to use "Our Journal List" under "Articles, Indexes and Databases” on the University Library homepage (SOUTHcat Plus).

  • JSTOR. A collection of full-text journals in which the latest issues are at least 3 to 5 years old, but the holdings often extend back many years. The journals may be searched separately or by discipline.
  • Project Muse. A collection of full-text journals which provides current coverage of journals, including many of the titles in JSTOR.
  • History Cooperative Journals: includes American Historical Review, Journal of American History and William and Mary Quarterly
  • Periodicals Archive Online. Similar to JSTOR. Backfiles of journals in humanities and social sciences up to 2000.
  • Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale/InfoTrac). Some full-text. Includes book reviews.
  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) Some full-text. Includes book reviews.
  • History Reference Center. EBSCO database. Set correct "timeline" and "publication type." No need to enter words in the search. This will retrieve primary documents from that period.
  • Readers’ Guide Retrospective. Index to general interest periodicals for the period 1890-1982. No full text.
  • America: History and Life. Reference Z 1236 .A48 (1964-1998) Excellent abstracts. No full-text. Includes book reviews.
  • Google Scholar - Google's attempt at an academic database. Set Preferences to University of South Alabama to enliven links to our material.

Our Journal List:

This is the database of all the journals we subscribe to in print and electronically. Once you have a citation to an article, go here to see if the Libraries have a subscription to this particular volume, issue and year of the journal you need. Occasionally the information is incorrect and/or unclear. Call us at 460-7025 if you have any question about the availability of these journals. (Note: Some magazine and journal publishers "embargo" the latest year of electronic versions. This means that the most recent issues will not be available online for a year from their publication date.)

Internet Projects Containing Primary Material

•American Journeys.
•American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920.
•History Matters.
•Avalon Project.
•Virtual Jamestown.
•Plymouth Colony Archive Project.
•Primary Sources on the Web.
•Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive
•American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
•The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas
•Early Virginia Religious Petitions / Library of Congress and Library of Virginia
•A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
•Slave Movement During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
•Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860
•Web Resource in Early American History
•Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive

Style Guides:

Bedford/St. Martin Documentation
Chicago Manual of Style. Ready Reference Z 253 .U69
Citing Internet Sources

Library Resource Guides:

American Colonial documents
Locating Primary Sources