American Indian History Databases

January 28th, 2013

Researching American Indian History? The library has some great primary and secondary resources to help you in your quest! If you’re new to the subject and need an overview of some possible topics, American Indian History Online is a great place to start. From the database homepage, click “Events and Topics” to explore overviews of themes such as American Indians in the American Revolution (see “Wars and Rebellions”) or employment and labor in the ancient Americas (see “Economics, Trade, and Labor”). This database provides you with an encyclopedic overview of a variety of topics, biographies of prominent individuals, images, maps, and some supplementary primary sources.

American Indian History Online screenshot

Once you have a basic understanding of your chosen topic, try exploring secondary resources with databases like America: History & Life (EBSCO). Type some simple keywords into the search box and check out your limiting options below the search box: search within a specific historical period or choose to only search peer reviewed articles. And because it’s an EBSCO database, you can even expand your selections by searching multiple databases at the same time. Click the “Choose Databases” link above the search bar and check a few other databases to search simultaneously. Try “Academic Search Premier” or “Newspaper Source.”

Finally, for the most exciting part of a history paper – exploring primary sources! Alexander Street Press has some fabulous primary source databases covering a variety of topics, including Early Encounters in North America. From the homepage, you can choose to browse the plethora of sources by place names, cultural events, names of peoples, environment, and more. Writing a paper on the importance of the tobacco crop in America? Browse sources about tobacco under the list of “flora.” You can also perform simple and more advances searches in this database. Type in your keywords and limit your search by publication year, subject headings, or document type (letters, reports, narratives).

Early Encounters in North America screenshot

If you get stuck in your research, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone! The library is here to help you, so please stop by Hayes 140, call our reference librarian at 765-973-8297, or email iueref@iue.edu for research assistance. We’re always happy to help, whether you don’t know where to begin or you just can’t find that one last article for your paper…just ask!