American West Digital Library

Directory of Online Publications, Exhibits, Maps & Special Collections Documenting the history of the American West.
U.S. History > American West > Digital Library

Digital Library > History > U.S. > American West

The American Folklife Center
"...full texts of selected publications; digital presentations of collections; a growing list of links to other resources in ethnographic studies; the Folkline information service, which provides timely information on national events, jobs, and training opportunities in folklife; and the Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States."
- The Library of Congress

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music From the Thirties
"...a multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians."
American Memory, Library of Congress

Camp Harmony Exhibit
"This exhibit tells the story of Seattle's Japanese American community in the spring and summer of 1942 and their four month sojourn at the Puyallup Assembly Center known as "Camp Harmony."
University of Washington Libraries

Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp
Online exhibit from the Japanese American National Museum
"This digital exhibit highlights the Museum's collection of letters written to San Diego librarian Clara Breed by Japanese Americans interned in World War IIconcentration camps."

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920
"...documents the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage. The collection consists of 60 books and pamphlets, 140 Federal statutes and Congressional resolutions, 34 additional legislative documents, excerpts from the Congressional Globe and the Congressional Record, 360 Presidential proclamations, 170 prints and photographs, 2 historic manuscripts, and a two-part motion picture."
American Memory, Library of Congress

Finding Family Stories Gallery
Online exhibit from the Japanese American National Museum
"This electronic gallery features artists previously involved in Finding Family Stories. Working with the Korean American Museum, The Watts Towers Arts Center and Plaza de la Raza has enabled the Japanese American National Museum to initiate an ongoing dialogue about the "purity" of ethnic communities by examining the historic and contemporary crossovers and exchanges between the Japanese American, African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles."

The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820
"...consists of 15,000 pages of original historical material documenting the land, peoples, exploration, and transformation of the trans-Appalachian West from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. The collection is drawn from the holdings of the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky. Among the sources included are books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, scientific publications, broadsides, letters, journals, legal documents, ledgers and other financial records, maps, physical artifacts, and pictorial images."
- American Memory, Library of Congress

Meeting of Frontiers (English or Russian)
" a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest...It is intended for use in U.S. and Russian schools and libraries and by the general public in both countries. Scholars, particularly those who do not have ready access to major research libraries, also will benefit from the mass of primary material included in Meeting of Frontiers, much of which has never been published or is extremely rare.
U.S. Library of Congress

Native American Documents Project
" working to make documents about the history of federal policy concerning native peoples more readily available. [includes] Indexed Published Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Board of Indian Commissioners for 1871, and two appendices to the board's report...ten tables of quantitative data, with explanatory material, about the results of allotment...111 indexed documents in the Rogue River War and Siletz Reservation collection, most from the 19th century, with explanatory material and a map."
California State University, San Marcos

Native American Electronic Text Resources on the Internet
An extensive collection of contemporary historic texts, documents, articles and more
Maintained by Karen M. Strom

The Promise of Gold Mountain: Tucson's Chinese Heritage
"Using text and photographs, this exhibit traces the history of Chinese-Americans in Tucson, including short biographies of some prominent members of Tucson's Chinese-American community."
- University of Arizona


Texas Tides
Tides in Early Texas History
"We created two web portals through Texas Tides.
Half of our project is a web site geared for fourth and seventh grade Texas history students and teachers and the other half of the project is a database of over 5,000 digitized primary resources."
- Collaborative project between the East Texas Research Center, The Stone Fort Museum, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, the Newton Gresham Library and the Huntsville Public Library.

University of Washington Digital Collections
"...a growing number of collections from the University of Washington Libraries and faculty in such diverse areas as the humanities, the natural sciences, and the regional cultures of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The site includes the award-winning project American Indians of the Pacific Northwest. These collections are especially strong in Seattle history, architecture, labor and industry, the Klondike Gold Rush, and our natural environment."

Utah State University Special Collections & Archives - Digital Exhibits

Voices from the Dust Bowl
"...documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. This collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera generated during two separate documentation trips."
- American Memory, Library of Congress

War Relocation Authority Camps in Arizona, 1942-1946
"This Exhibit features images from approximately forty photographs taken for the War Relocation Authority and vividly depicts life in Arizona's two camps."
University of Arizona Library's Special Collection

Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion, 1820-1890
"This selection of items from Mystic Seaport's archival collections includes logbooks, diaries, letters, business papers, and published narratives of voyages and travels. The unique maritime perspective of these materials offers a rich look at the events, culture, beliefs, and personal experiences associated with the settlement of California, Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest. A number of photographs, paintings, maps, and nautical charts are also included to illustrate the story of Americansí western seaborne travel. Various themes are touched upon, including whaling, life at sea, shipping, women at sea, and native populations."
American Memory, Library of Congress

Early Washington Maps: A Digital Collection
"Spanning three hundred years, Early Washington Maps: A Digital Collection includes maps of both sea and land faring explorersófrom David Thompson, the successful navigator of the Columbia River, to the exploits of William Clark and Merriwether Lewis. It documents the struggle between Britain and America for the ownership of the region, and the further development of one of the last frontiers on the continent. Some of the digital collection's maps delineate the boundaries under dispute within the years 1818 and 1846, culminating in a peaceful compromise and the decision of the 49th parallel as the northern border of the United States. The digital collection also shows the efforts of the U.S. government to survey the land, for both federal and private use, under the watchful, trained eye of the General Land Office and the Corps of Topographical Engineers."
- University of Washington Libraries

Western History Collections Photo Archives
"...emphasis on the American Southwest and West for the period 1870-1940, the Photographic Archives is a major source for research and graphic illustration for many disciplines. Topically, the collection is strong on American Indians, Oklahoma's land runs and lotteries, the settlement and development of Oklahoma towns, western outlaws and lawmen, the cattle trade, agriculture, the petroleum industry, and related socioeconomic themes of the western United States."

Exploring the West from Monticello
"An Exhibition of Maps and Navigational Instruments, on View in the Tracy W. McGregor Room, Alderman Library, University of Virginia."

The Oregon Trail - Trail Archives
"The Trail archive is our growing collection of full-text period documents." Includes Diaries, Memoirs, and Period Books.
By Prof. Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher, creators of The Oregon Trail, the award-winning documentary film which aired nationally on PBS Stations.

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