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Reference Materials

When researching a new topic it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, and standards) for the field of American History. To find additional reference materials, check UNB WorldCat (the library catalogue) or our Reference Materials database.

Key Resources

  • Oxford Companion to United States History
    see also [HIL-REF E174 .O94 2001 ]

    Here is a volume that is as big and as varied as the nation it portrays. With over 1,400 entries written by some 900 historians and other scholars, it illuminates not only America's political, diplomatic, and military history, but also social, cultural, and intellectual trends; science, technology, and medicine; the arts; and religion.Here are the familiar political heroes, from George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, to Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. But here, too, are scientists, writers, radicals, sports figures, and religious leaders, with incisive portraits of such varied individuals as Thomas Edison and Eli Whitney, Babe Ruth and Muhammed Ali, Black Elk and Crazy Horse, Margaret Fuller, Emma Goldman, and Marian Anderson, even Al Capone and Jesse James. The Companion illuminates events that have shaped the nation (the Great Awakening, Bunker Hill, Wounded Knee, the Vietnam War); major Supreme Court decisions (Marbury v. Madison, Roe v. Wade); landmark legislation (the Fugitive Slave Law, the Pure Food and Drug Act); social movements (Suffrage, Civil Rights); influential books (The Jungle, Uncle Tom's Cabin); ideologies (conservatism, liberalism, Social Darwinism); even natural disasters and iconic sites (the Chicago Fire, the Johnstown Flood, Niagara Falls, the Lincoln Memorial). Here too is the nation's social and cultural history, from Films, Football, and the 4-H Club, to Immigration, Courtship and Dating, Marriage and Divorce, and Death and Dying. Extensive multi-part entries cover such key topics as the Civil War, Indian History and Culture, Slavery, and the Federal Government.A new volume for a new century, The Oxford Companion to United States History covers everything from Jamestown and the Puritans to the Human Genome Project and the Internet--from Columbus to Clinton. Written in clear, graceful prose for researchers, browsers, and general readers alike, this is the volume that addresses the totality of the American experience, its triumphs and heroes as well as its tragedies and darker moments. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Shaping North America : from exploration to the American Revolution

    "Compiling famous and hard to find primary sources along with specific topical entries and thematic essays, this book provides an invaluable collection of information about early American history."--Provided by publisher.

  • Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture

    As a meeting point for world cultures, the USA is characterized by its breadth and diversity. Acknowledging that diversity is the fundamental feature of American culture, this volume is organized around a keen awareness of race, gender, class and space and with over 1,200 alphabetically-arranged entries - spanning 'the American century' from the end of World War II to the present day - the Encyclopedia provides a one-stop source for insightful and stimulating coverage of all aspects of that culture.Entries range from short definitions to longer overview essays and with full cross-referencing, extensive indexing, and a thematic contents list, this volume provides an essential cultural context for both teachers and students of American studies, as well as providing fascinating insights into American culture for the general reader. The suggestions for further reading, which follows most entries, are also invaluable guides to more specialized sources.

  • Concise Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History

    With 150 accessible articles written by more than 130 leading experts, this essential reference provides authoritative introductions to some of the most important and talked-about topics in American history and politics, from the founding to today. 

  • Oxford Guide to the United States Government, The
    "Compiled by three leading scholars, it contains the key figures, events, and structures that have animated U.S. government for more than 200 years. In addition to coverage of the 2000 Presidential race and election, it features biographies of all the Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices, as well as notable members of Congress, including current leadership; historical commentary on past elections, major Presidential decisions, international and domestic programs, and the key advisors and agencies of the executive branch; in-depth analysis of Congressional leadership and committees, agencies and staff, and historic legislation; and detailed discussions of 100 landmark Supreme Court cases and the major issues facing the Court today. Other entries define legal terms and phrases and elaborate on the wide array of government traditions."
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access
  • Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions, The (2 ed.)
    "This dictionary includes all 400 entries on major Supreme Court cases through history published in the acclaimed Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, in addition to approximately 45 new entries for the post-1991 decisions. It also gives entries on the U.S. Constitution, and the nominations and successions of justices. Terms covered in the Companion are briefly defined and explained, and a complete case list is given."
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access
  • Cambridge histories online
    This resource, part of Cambridge Core, contains the online versions of over 270 Cambridge Histories publications in the following 15 areas: American History, British History, Economic History, General History, History of Science, History of the Book, Language and Linguistics, Literary Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political and Social Theory, Regional History, Religious Studies, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, and Warfare. For a complete listing of titles in each area, please refer to the publisher's site, at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/collections/cambridge-histories
  • Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online
    Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online "is a vast new online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. With more than 350 reference volumes to be published in Blackwell Reference Online by the end of 2008, it is the largest academic reference collection available online and includes the critically-acclaimed Blackwell Companions and Handbooks, major reference works such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management and the Companion to Syntax, and a whole host of other valuable reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and concise companions."
  • Oxford Reference
    Multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published.Covers the humanities and social sciences.
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access

Additional Resources

  • The Reader's companion to American history [HIL-REF E174 .R43 1991]

    The Reader's Companion to American History offers a fresh, absorbing portrait of the United States from the origins of its native peoples to the nation's complex identity in the 1990s. Covering political, economic, cultural, and social history, and combining hundreds of short descriptive entries with longer evaluative articles, the encyclopedia is informative, engaging, and a pleasure to read. The Reader's Companion is sponsored by the Society of American Historians, an organization dedicated to promoting literary excellence in the writing of biography and history. Under the editorship of the eminent historians John A. Garraty and Eric Foner, a large and distinguished group of scholars, biographers, and journalists -- nearly four hundred contemporary authorities -- illuminate the critical events, issues, and individuals that have shaped our past. More than a reference book to be consulted simply for the dates or details of an event, the Companion offers a history of ideas. It distinguishes itself from conventional encylcopedias by featuring several hundred thematic articles. A chronological account of immigration, for example, is complemented by a conceptual article on ethnicity. Similarly, the Bull Moose party and the Know-Nothings, examined in individual entries, are also placed within a larger context in an article on third parties in American politics. And readers consulting entries on specific religious groups, leaders, and movements will be led to an article offering an overview of religion in America. Linking discrete facts, dates, and events through its interpretive essays, the Reader's Companion presents the overarching themes and ideas that have animated our historical landscape. Over the past twenty years, the study of history has undergone a metamorphosis. Political history, once the primary avenue for exploring the past, has given way to the "new social history." Focus has shifted from key events and leaders to everyday life in America, including the history of the family, women and the work force, race relations, and community life. The Reader's Companion to American History reflects this broader vision of our past. Interweaving traditional political and economic topics with the spectrum of America's social and cultural legacies -- everything from marriage to medicine, crime to baseball, fashion to literature -- the Companion is certain to engage the curiosity, interests, and passions of every reader. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Reader's guide to American history [HIL-REF E178 .R42 1997]

    There are so many books on so many aspects of the history of the United States, offering such a wide variety of interpretations, that students, teachers, scholars, and librarians often need help and advice on how to find what they want. The Reader's Guide to American History is designed to meet that need by adopting a new and constructive approach to the appreciation of this rich historiography. Each of the 600 entries on topics in political, social and economic history describes and evaluates some 6 to 12 books on the topic, providing guidance to the reader on everything from broad surveys and interpretive works to specialized monographs. The entries are devoted to events and individuals, as well as broader themes, and are written by a team of well over 200 contributors, all scholars of American history. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Dictionary of American History [HIL-REF E174 .D52 2003 vols. 1-10]

    This 2003 edition contains 4,400 articles, 1,200 photos, and 252 maps and includes 8,940 new topics and 1,400 rewritten articles. These cross-listed and newly-illustrated entries of 100-8,000 words are aimed at college students and reach into the future with a 1500-word essay on "9/11." Volume nine, a wonderful addition, contains archival maps and primary documents (with introductions) such as the anonymous story (c. 1745) of the league of five nations (Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas); an excerpt from Francis Grund's (1837); and Henry Ford's "Advice to the Unemployed in the Great Depression" (1932). Volume nine's other distinctive feature is a division of the into chronological chunks that correlate entries, maps, and documents with relevant chapters in three Wadsworth textbooks: (2000), (2001); and (2002). A six-page guide provides tips on historical research. The over 2000 contributors are from American academies. One caution: the dictionary does not contain biographical entries. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia USA : the encyclopedia of the United States of America, past & present [HIL-REF E174 .E52 vols. 1-18]
  • Encyclopedia of U.S. labor and working-class history [multiple locations HIL-REF HD8066 .A78 2007 vols. 1-3]

    Provides a coverage of US labor history. Containing over 650 entries, this encyclopedia encompasses labor history from the colonial era.

  • Encyclopedia of American urban history
    see also [HIL-REF HT123 .E49 2007 vols. 1-2]

    We are an urban nation and have been so, officially at least, since the early twentieth century. But long before then, our cities played crucial roles in the economic and political development of the nation, as magnets for immigrants from here and abroad, and as centers of culture and innovation. They still do. Yet, the discipline that we call "Urban History" is really a phenomenon of post-World War II scholarship. Now, after a generation of pathbreaking scholarship that has reoriented and enlightened our perception of the American city, the two volumes of the Encyclopedia of American Urban History offer both a summary and an interpretation of the field. With contributions from leading academics in their fields, this authoritative resource offers an interdisciplinary approach by covering topics from economics, geography, anthropology, politics, and sociology.

  • Women in American history : a social, political, and cultural encyclopedia and document collection [HIL-REF HQ1410 .W6468 2017]

    Volume 1. Precolonial North America to the Early Republic -- Volume 2. Antebellum America through the Gilded Age -- Volume 3. Progressive Era through World War II -- Volume 4. Cold War America to today.

  • Encyclopedia of African-American culture and history : the Black experience in the Americas [HIL-REF E185 .E54 2006 vols. 1-6]

    Impressively comprehensive, this reference updates the first edition published in 1996 and the Supplement, in 2001, and will be valuable for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers. It contains 1,300 entries, two-thirds of which are revised, rewritten, or newly added; and half the remainder have updated bibliographies. Many of the new articles are thematic, for example, those on the African diaspora, anti-colonial movements, economic condition, and military experience. Several new entries are devoted to topics in the Caribbean. The central focus is on the experience of African-Americans throughout North and South America, although the people, concepts, and events associated with the U.S. predominate (due to the larger amount of scholarship). Biographical entries profile political and public figures as well as artists, writers, and musicians. Each entry concludes with a list of cross-references and a bibliography. An introductory article provides a background history of Africa. Volume Six is devoted to a selection of primary documents, an appendix with numerous tables of statistics and lists on all topics, and a comprehensive index. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1619-1895 : from the colonial period to the age of Frederick Douglass
    In nearly 700 entries, this set documents the full range of the African American experience during the period from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass, and shows how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans.
    Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present : from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century
    Focusing on the making of African American society from the 1896 "separate but equal" ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson up to the contemporary period, this encyclopedia traces the transition from the Reconstruction Era to the age of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Brown ruling that overturned Plessy , the Civil Rights Movement, and the ascendant influence of African-American culture on the American cultural landscape. --publisher description.
    Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • 50 events that shaped American Indian history : an encyclopedia of the American mosaic [HIL-REF E77 .A125 2017 ]

    This powerful two-volume set provides an insider's perspective on American Indian experiences through engaging narrative entries about key historical events written by leading scholars in American Indian history as well as inspiring first-person accounts from American Indian peoples.

  • The Oxford handbook of American Indian history [HIL-REF E77 .O94 2016]

     

    'Everything you know about Indians is wrong." As the provocative title of Paul Chaat Smith's 2009 book proclaims, everyone knows about Native Americans, but most of what they know is the fruit of stereotypes and vague images. The real people, real communities, and real events of indigenous America continue to elude most people. The Oxford Handbook of American Indian History confronts this erroneous view by presenting an accurate and comprehensive history of the indigenous peoples who lived - and live - in the territory that became the United States. Thirty-two leading experts, both Native and non-Native, describe the historical developments of the past five hundred years in American Indian history, focusing on significant moments of upheaval and change, histories of indigenous occupation, and overviews of Indian community life. The first section of the book charts Indian history from before 1492 to European invasions and settlement, analyzing US expansion and up to the twenty-first century. A second group of essays consists of regional and tribal histories. The final section illuminates distinctive themes of Indian life, including gender sexuality and family, spirituality, art, intellectual history, education, public welfare, legal issues, and urban experiences. A much-needed and eye-opening account of American Indians, this Handbook unveils the real history often hidden behind wrong assumptions, offering stimulating ideas and resources for new generations to pursue research on this topic. -- from dust jacket.

  • Historical dictionary of the Progressive Era [HIL-REF E661 .C63 2009]

    Cocks (SAR Press, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico), Holloran (history, Worcester State College, Massachusetts), and Lessoff (history, Illinois State U.) offer students, scholars, and interested general readers a reference work covering the period between 1898 and 1917--an era characterized by significant social, political, and industrial change in the U.S., which set the agenda for the rest of the 20th century.

  • American national biography [HIL-REF CT213 .A68 1999]
  • Keesing's contemporary archives [HIL-REF D410 .K4 v.32 1986]

    Textual holdings: v. 1 1931/34-v. 32 1986

  • The New York Public Library American history desk reference [HIL-REF E174 .N48 1997]

    Here is the comprehensive yet quick-answer guide to one of the most popular topics in home reference: American history. With succinct, clearly written topical overviews, timelines, and capsule biographies, accompanied by sidebars and illustrations, this single volume incorporates all major events and contributions from the earliest inhabitants of North America to the present age. 90 illustrations. 10 maps. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • International historical statistics [HIL-REF HA155 .M575 2003 vols. 1-3]

    This three-volume set of international historical statistics allows the full breadth of statistical analysis and comparisons across both time and across the world.

  • Encyclopedia of the American Revolution : library of military history [HIL-REF E208 .E63 2006 vols. 1-2]

    Selesky (history, U. of Alabama) presents new edition of the respected 1966 encyclopedia on the military aspects of the American Revolution, originally written in its entirety by US Army officer Mark Boatner, but now the product of collective scholarship. Seventeen hundred of the original entries have been reviewed, with almost all being extensively revised and augmented in light of advances in scholarship over the intervening years. In addition, a number of new entries have been added on topics such as African Americans in the Revolution, historiography, iconography, religion and the American Revolution, the social history of the Continental Army, and mobilization in the colonies. Entries provide information on political concepts and controversies, political and military leaders, battles and campaigns, espionage and military controversies, camps and fortifications, military terms and organization, American Indians, cultural and intellectual issues, and economic and technological contexts. The bibliography has also been updated. Boatner's 1973 Landmarks of the American Revolution has also been republished in revised and updated form as a companion reference. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • The encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War : a political, social, and military history [HIL-REF E208 .E64 2006 vols. 1-5]

    This impressive 5-volume reference, appropriate for high school and undergraduate students and the public library, contains over 900 entries on the people, battles, issues, and events of the war. Many of the entries are biographical, describing the subject's life and the details of their involvement in the conflict. Two general essays are included at the outset, on the origins of the American Revolution and the military operations during the war. Maps are included at the beginning of vols.1-4 (maps of specific actions are also incorporated into the text), and a glossary, chronology, and bibliography are included in vol.4. All of vol.5 is devoted to primary documents, including acts, resolutions, official reports, first-hand and sometimes contrasting accounts of significant events, letters, treaties, and political proclamations. The volumes are well illustrated with b #38;w images. Fremont-Barnes is an independent historian; Ryerson is academic director of the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, Penn. The contributors are academics and independent scholars in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Annotation #169;2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • American Revolution : the definitive encyclopedia and document collection [HIL-REF E208 .A44 2018]

    5 Volumes

  • The A to Z of Revolutionary America [HIL-REF E209 .M356 2007]

    Reference Reviews Revolutionary America covers the period from around the early 1760s when colonists began to feel British depredations keenly through the post-conflict era during which Americans debated how to constitute themselves as a polity and finally ratified the current US Constitution. Some 1000 alphabetical entries provide information on political and military institutions, events, documents, and people from the era, with the vast bulk of the material being biographical. Included with the entries are an introductory essay, a chronology, and a bibliography. Additionally, appendixes list signers of the Article of Confederation, Constitutional Convention of 1787 attendees, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Presidents of Congress

  • Women in American history : a social, political, and cultural encyclopedia and document collection [HIL-REF HQ1410 .W6468 2017]

    This four-volume set documents the complexity and richness of women's contributions to American history and culture, empowering all students by demonstrating a more populist approach to the past.

    Based on the content of most textbooks, it would be easy to reach the erroneous conclusion that women have not contributed much to America's history and development. Nothing could be further from the truth. Offering comprehensive coverage of women of a diverse range of cultures, classes, ethnicities, religions, and sexual identifications, this four-volume set identifies the many ways in which women have helped to shape and strengthen the United States.

    This encyclopedia is organized into four chronological volumes, with each volume further divided into three sections. Each section features an overview essay and thematic essay as well as detailed entries on topics ranging from Lady Gaga to Ladybird Johnson, Lucy Stone, and Lucille Ball, and from the International Ladies of Rhythm to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The set also includes a vast variety of primary documents, such as personal letters, public papers, newspaper articles, recipes, and more. These primary documents enhance users' learning opportunities and enable readers to better connect with the subject matter.

    Features

    • Provides significantly more detail than typical reference works on women's history and culture, enabling readers to better appreciate the contributions of women of all socio-cultural statuses
    • Covers the astounding range of American women's experience, including women of various economic and racial statuses, religious affiliations, political and ideological identifications, and sexualities
    • Includes a significant selection of primary documents, thereby combining the educational power of secondary and primary literature to create a richer learning experience for users
  • Encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history in America [HIL-REF HQ76.3 .U5 E53 2004]

    This reference features over 500 topics, more than half of which are biographies, about issues, events, concepts, and figures pertinent to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history in the US. The entries are directed at beginning undergraduates and the general reader. Among the entries on general topics are advertising, bookstores, Arab Americans, boycotts, churches, coming out, dance, economics, geography, language, and suicide.

  • American art to 1900 : a documentary history [HIL-REF N6505 .B87 2009]

    American Art to 1900 presents an astonishing variety of unknown, little-known, or undervalued documents to convey the story of American art through the many voices of its contemporary practitioners, consumers, and commentators. The volume highlights such critically important themes as women artists, African American representation and expression, regional and itinerant artists, Native Americans and the frontier, and more.

  • Encyclopedia of American disability history [HIL-REF HV1553 .E523 2009 ]

    Compiled by Burch, cofounder and board member of the Disability History Association and recipient of a Mellon Seminar Fellowship and Fulbright Lecturing Award, this work focuses on the importance of disability in American history, the need to explain disability in historical rather than medical terms, and the varieties and similarities of the historical experiences among those with disabilities. It thus succeeds in bringing to the forefront something that has typically gone unnoticed, allowing us to understand America in new ways by looking at it through a specific lens. The over 750 entries, contributed by over 350 authors nationwide, cover activists, disabled persons, authors, and inventors. Also covered are topics relating to disability in general, such as disorders, organizations, governmental institutes, acts and legal cases, publications, movements, sites of importance, events, major historical experiences, stereotypes, popular culture, autobiographical essays, and literature.

 

 


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Last modified on April 20, 2024 14:23