History of the United States Research Guide

Welcome to the Research Guide for U. S. History, I and II

Library Home

In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to journal articles, ebooks, and print books in the on-campus collection. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be.  For our Distance Learning (DL) students, excerpts from print items held in the on-campus library can be provided on request.

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.

Reference Works


  • Academic Search Premier and ProQuest provide access to a number of scholarly sources on a wide range of historical events.

  • Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800 - Millions of images of documents and books printed in America between Jamestown and 1800.

  • JSTOR  contains a large number of scholarly journal articles in a variety of disciplines. JSTOR generally excludes the most recent 2 to 5 years of published articles, which is not usually a problem in historical studies. If you need more current research use Academic Search Premier or ProQuest.

Internet Resources

American Memory from the Library of Congress
Growing collection of full-text documents, photographs, movies and sound recordings as cataloged by the Library of Congress. Includes materials from the Continental Congress, the papers of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, 19th century books and periodicals, and September 11th materials, among others.

American Studies @ The University of Virginia
Collection of topical maps that address territorial expansion, sectional conflict, slavery, and other topics. Also includes important literary and historical texts (many with hypertext links) such as Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, the Lewis and Clark Journals, and Parkman's Oregon Trail.

Library of Congress (LOC) American Women History Series
Provides access to the extensive American women's history collection of the LOC as well as a number of essays that give overviews on important historical milestones in the journey to realize equal rights for women.  

Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Hundreds of original documents drawn from U.S. political legal and diplomatic history, with hypertext links to definitions and related texts.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
“This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)."

Digital History
"Using new technologies to enhance teaching and research" The site uses audio and video in the Multimedia section to educate and explore American History. The site also has primary source documents and modules for teachers to use in the classroom.

Documenting the American South
Documenting the American South (DAS) is a collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.

Gilder Lehrman Center
For the study of slavery, resistance, and abolition.

OSSHE Historical and Cultural Atlas Resources
Series of maps that trace American history through such themes as territorial expansion and slavery. Many require the Shockwave plug-in for interactivity.


You can search more specific topics, using the search terms below and limiting by "Subject":

Adams, John, 1735-1826
Cold War
Civil Rights--United States
Great Britain--Colonies--America
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Korean War, 1950-1953
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

United States--Biography
United States--Foreign Relations
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States--History--Colonial Period, ca. 1600-1775
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Washington, George, 1732-1799
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945

Selected Journals

You can search for articles by title, author, keyword, or phrase or you can browse journals linked from the library's Periodical Listing.

  • American Diplomacy (Online 1996-Present)
  • American History (Print 3/1/1997-Present, Online 1997-Present)
  • Church History Online 1994-Present)
  • Civil War History (Print 06/2002-Present, Online 1997-Present)
  • Early American Studies (Online 04/01/2007-Present)
  • Journal of American History (Print 09/01/2009-Present, Online 06/01/1964-Present)
  • Journal of American Studies (Online 04/01/2001-1 year ago)
  • Journal of Southern History (Print 2000-Present, Online 1935-Present)
  • Reviews in American History (Print 2000-Present, Online 1978-one year ago)
  • Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Online 01/01/1994-Present)

Research Tips

  • Chicago/Turabian is the preferred citation style for this course. Citation help needed? Check out  the OWL (Online Writing Lab) online style manual at Chicago/Turabian 
  • askalibrarian@phc.edu will connect you with a helpful, cheerful, and thorough librarian.
  • Tutoring assistance is available for free online at ssc@phc.edu or in the Library Study Center several nights each week. Tutors can suggest good study strategies and proof read papers!  Check with the library for current days and times. 
  • Click on a subject term in the record of a book to search for other books on the same subject or check an item's bibliography for similar items that might be helpful.

Created: Gladden, 2008. Revised and updated: Dr. Robert Spinney/Thornhill, 2016. Last update: Thornhill, 2022.

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