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History: Books - American History


The following lists include selections of key titles from the library's various print and online collections. For a more complete picture of the entire collection, you can do one of the following:

  • Search the library's catalog using specific keywords
  • Browse the library's collection using the call numbers found below to find related titles.

Selections from the General Collection

Search our catalog here or check out these books on US and local history. 

Selected Catalog Searches

Click the links below to see a sampling of what our catalog has to offer. 

Catalog Search Tips

Selected Reference and Other Works


American Eras  – Covers different topics such as people, government, lifestyles, religion, war, exploration, science, and arts over the span of seven eras of American history.

American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History – Brief entries on major U.S. history topics. Bibliography, appendices, U.S. documents, and presidential facts are included as well.

Dictionary of American History  – Illustrated ten-volume work on United States history. Over 2,000 articles on all facets of the country’s history: social, political, and economical topics are all covered. Cross references and bibliographies are available for each entry.

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 – Both sets (1619-1895 and 1896 to the present) provide a “comprehensive survey of African American history” from the colonial period to the present.   

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the present – Both sets (1619-1895 and 1896 to the present) provide a “comprehensive survey of African American history” from the colonial period to the present. 

Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates  – Chronological and concurrent entries on America’s most interesting facts.

Great Events From History: North American Series  – Events that historians generally accept as being significant to understanding the nation’s past.

The Historian’s Toolbox  – Overview of the theory, craft, and tools of history.

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture  – Expansive multi-volume set covering areas of southern culture such as history, folklife, agriculture, religion, law, and the arts.  

Reader’s Guide to American History  – Over 600 topics covered in this volume. Each entry consists of a bibliography and brief essay assessing the quality of literature available on the specific topic.

Reference Sources in History  – This ideal source for history students functions exactly as the Guide to Reference Books except that it is solely concentrated on history. The long descriptions and numerous categories easily guide students to the necessary sources.  


African American National Biography (Second edition) - 12-volume set published by Oxford.

American National Biography  – Profiles 17,500 historical figures from the earliest recorded European explorations up to the recent past.

The National Cyclopedia of American Biography – Extensive biographies of deceased Americans from all walks of life: businessmen, politicians, educators, writers, etc. Illustrations and signatures accompany most entries. One of the largest collections of biographies available in Roberts-LaForge Library.


AHA Guide to Historical Literature  – Comprehensive annotated bibliography of all pertinent books and articles on every conceivable field of history. Sections 39-44 focus on United States history.

America: History and Life (1970-1998) [Index Counter] – Article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations covering the United States and Canada from discovery to present day. The index is divided into six sections: North America, Canada, United States of America (to 1945), United States of America (to present), U.S. Regional, State, and Local History, and History, the Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals 1886-1974 [Index Table 6] – Arranged alphabetically by author. Title volumes are available as well.

Combined Retrospective Index to Journals in History 1838-1974 [Index Counter] – Indexes nearly 1,000 journals. Each major subject is divided into subtopics. Articles under each subtopic are arranged by keyword. Great for finding older articles not available through the databases. 

Harvard Guide to American History  – A standard in the field, this exhaustive guide provides annotations for sources arranged in 56 categories.

Humanities Index  (1974-1997) [Index Counter] – Index of articles, interviews, bibliographies, and book reviews on all areas of the humanities including music, art, philosophy, and history.


County and City Data Book  – Compiled from several federal agencies, this source contains county and city-level statistics on a number of subject areas. Contains recent data from Census 2000 and the 1997 Economic Census.

Datapedia of the United States: 1790-2005  – Offers broad overview of statistics, combining parts of the Historical Statistics of the United States with contemporary data from Statistical Abstracts.

Historical Statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present  – Contains statistics in areas of labor, population, economy, society, and agriculture. An annotated bibliography of all consulted sources is at the beginning of each section. The Reference Department also holds the bicentennial edition of this work.

Statistical Abstracts of the United States – Historically, this title was the first place to look for statistics. Published annually by the Census Bureau until 2012, Statistical Abstracts contains over 1500 tables of statistics gathered from all agencies and other organizations. Source information is provided at the bottom of each table for further study. Some editions are available online at ProQuest currently publishes this title.


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Selected E-Books

Click the icons below to examine these selected ebooks:

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Freedom From Fear by David Kennedy

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Jim Crow's Counterculture: The Blues and Black Southerners, 1890-1945 by R.A. Lawson

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The Transformation of Plantation Politics : Black Politics, Concentrated Poverty, and Social Capital in the Mississippi Delta by Sharon Wright Austin