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American Studies

General Research Tactics

Find Scholarly Books 


Find Scholarly Articles

 Academic Search Premier (via  EBSCOhost)

"Academic Search Elite offers full text for more than 2,000 serials, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study. More than 100 journals have PDF images back to 1985. This database is updated on a daily basis via EBSCOhost." (from website)

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials (via EBSCO)  

This database is a collection of major religion and theology journals selected by some of the major religion scholars in the United States. Coverage of this database dates back to 1949.

America: History and Life: Prehistory to the Present (via EBSCO)
This resource includes abstracts to articles, books, and dissertations on U.S. and Canadian history from prehistory to the present.

American Periodicals (ProQuest)

Over 1,100 periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and many other historically-significant periodicals

Expanded Academic ASAP

Includes citations and lots of full-text. Very general database, but includes articles from American studies, and sociology journals.

Humanities Full-Text (via Wilson Web)

Includes full text of social history. Good source for examining how various topics have been presented in literature throughout history.

Humanities Index International (via EBSCO)
"Humanities International Index is a comprehensive database covering journals, books and other important reference sources in the humanities. Produced by Whitston Publishing (an imprint of EBSCO Publishing), Humanities International Index provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting for over 2,000 titles and contains more than 2 million records." (from website)

Journal of American Studies (via Cambridge Journals Online) 

Journal of American Studies publishes works by scholars from all over the world on American history, politics, literature, institutions, economics, film, popular culture, geography, sociology and related subjects. A 'Notes and Comments' section provides a forum for shorter pieces and responses from readers to points made in articles or reviews. Also included are review essays, book reviews and, biennially, a list of theses on American topics in progress and completed at British universities.

All full-text and scholarly articles. Presents the back-files or the complete run of important journals up to a relatively recent embargo date. No controlled vocabulary or subject headings used. May limit keyword search to abstract, title, full-text. This database is complemented well by the ProjectMuse journals. Please view this tutorial for guidance in searching within J-STOR.

Master File Premier  (via EBSCO )

"Designed specifically for public libraries, this multidisciplinary database provides full text for more than 1,700 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also includes nearly 500 full text reference books, 84,774 biographies, 100,554 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of 202,164 photos, maps and flags. This database is updated daily via EBSCOhost." (from website)

MLA International Bibliography (Proquest)  

Provides more than 2 million bibliographic citations to journal articles, books, dissertations, and scholarly Web sites written in Western languages since 1923. Coverage includes literature from all over the world in academic disciplines such as language, literature, folklore, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, and the dramatic arts.

Philosopher's Index (ProQuest)  

Your #1 resource for finding all things philosophical. Includes citations to books, book reviews, and journal articles written about ancient philosophers.


PhilPapers monitors all sources of research content in philosophy, including journals, books, personal pages, and open access archives. The index currently includes records to over one million research books and articles.

Periodicals Index Online

"Periodicals Index Online is the new name for Periodicals Contents Index - a database of millions of article citations published in the arts, humanities and social sciences, across more than 300 years." (from website)

Project MUSE
All full-text, all scholarly.

Race Relations Abstracts

Race Relations Abstracts includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. The index contains more than 49,500 records, which are carefully selected from the most important sources within the discipline.

Research Society for American Periodicals 
The RSAP is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars interested in American magazines and newspapers. American Periodicals is an annual publication devoted exclusively to scholarship and criticism relating to American magazines and newspapers of all periods, including reviews of
books in the subject area.

Sociological Abstracts 
This database covers the life sciences, environmental and aquatic sciences, computer sciences, materials science and engineering, aerospace, social
sciences, and humanities. The abstracts are from not only an award-winning Internet Database Service, providing access to more than 70 databases, but also widely read print journals.

Primary Resources

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles. Newly digitized, these newspapers published by or for African Americans can now be browsed and searched as never before.

African-American Newspapers: The 19th Century

African American Primary Resource List from IUPUI

American Indian Primary Resource List from U of Michigan

American Memory

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.

American Periodicals (via ProQuest)

Over 1,100 periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and many other historically-significant periodicals.

Black Thought & Culture (Alexander Street Press)

When complete, Black Thought and Culture will provide approximately 100,000 pages of monographs, essays, articles, speeches, and interviews written by leaders within the black community from the earliest times to the present. The collection is intended for research in black studies, political science, American history, music, literature, and art. The collection begins with the works of Frederick Douglass and is targeted to include the works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Alain Locke, Mary McLeod Bethune, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Bunche, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis, Houston Baker, Jesse Jackson, Ida B. Wells, Bobby Seale, and many others.

Black Women Writers (Alexander Street Press)

Black Women Writers celebrates the many voices of women from Africa and the African Diaspora. Offering fiction, poetry, and essays from three continents and 20 countries, the database gives an unparalleled view of black women's struggles through time. New content is uploaded on a biweekly basis, giving users immediate access to a steadily growing treasury of extraordinary writings. The database currently features over 14,000 pages of poetry and prose.

Early American Fiction 1789-1875 (Chadwyck-Healey)

Early American Fiction 1789-1875 offers the full text of more than 700 first editions of American novels and short stories by such authors as Louisa May Alcott, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, as well as a host of minor writers of the period.

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800 (NewsBank)

"Based on Charles Evans' American Bibliography this database lists books published in 17th- and 18th-century America and links to images of the books themselves." -University of Virginia Libraries

Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment (Alexander Street Press)

Early Encounters in North America contains 1,482 authors and over 100,000 pages of letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters. Particular care has been taken to index the material so that it can be used in new ways. For example, you can identify all encounters between the French and the Huron between 1650 and 1700.

German American Collection

A project of The IUPUI University Library Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives.

Indianapolis Recorder

What began as a two-page church bulletin by co-founders George Pheldon Stewart and William H. Porter, the Indianapolis Recorder is now one of the top African-American publications in the nation. Established in 1897, the Indianapolis Recorder focused on local people and events in Indianapolis but also reported national events. 

Latin American Women Writers (Alexander Street Press)

Latin American Women Writers is an extensive searchable collection of prose, poetry, and drama composed by women writing in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Also included are essays by Latin American feminists and revolutionaries, who address both the universal concerns of women in every age and the distinctive issues of their struggles in the region. New content is uploaded on a biweekly basis, giving users immediate access to a steadily growing treasury of extraordinary writings. The database currently features 36 plays and over 52,000 pages of prose.

Latino Literature (Alexander Street Press)

Latino Literature is the most comprehensive collection of Latino Literature yet created. When complete it will include 100,000 pages of fiction and poetry and 450 plays, so representing the Chicano culture and all the different ethnicities of Latin American writers with a Hispanic background working in the United States.

National Women's History Project Source for updates about events, conferences, publications, films and other resources related to U.S. women's history.

National Archives and Records Administration: Women's History A guide to researching women's history through the United States National Archives. Subjects include African-American women, families and children, suffrage, temperance, women in the military, and other subject areas related to women's history.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories (Alexander Street Press)

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories provides a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada. Our goal is to include more than 100,000 pages of personal narratives including letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, and oral histories, providing a rich source for scholars in a wide range of disciplines. Much of the material is previously unpublished. Several thousand pages of Ellis Island Oral History interviews, indexed and searchable for the first time, are included.

North American Indian Drama (Alexander Street Press)

This edition of North American Indian Drama contains 172 plays by 33 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes the Native Playwrights' Newsletter, a unique resource, containing a wealth of original essays, articles, photographs, interviews, reviews, and production information related to the plays. The plays themselves have been selected using leading bibliographies and with the editorial advice of scholars and the playwrights themselves.

North American Theatre Online (Alexander Street Press)

North American Theatre Online is a comprehensive reference work covering all aspects of the Canadian and American Theatre. It includes some 40,000 pages of major reference materials, together with records to approximately 30,000 plays, 57,000 people, 5,400 theatres, 22,000 productions, and 2,500 production companies. Each year we'll add more than 20,000 new records. The collection also includes approximately 10,500 images, playbills, postcards, scrapbooks and other resources. Alexander Street Drama is a package that includes North American Theatre Online along with all the content in the following full-text play collections. Everything is cross-searchable through the unified North American Theatre Online interface, with the results seamlessly integrated into one search result. The package contains: Black Drama, Twentieth Century North American Drama, Asian American Drama, North American Women's Drama, Latino Drama, North American Indian Drama (cross-searchable with the others in 2009).

North American Women's Drama (Alexander Street Press)

When complete North American Women's Drama will bring together more than 1,500 plays, along with related biographical, production, and theatrical information. The collection begins with the works of Mercy Otis Warren and Susanna Haswell Rowson in colonial times and will span the 19th and 20th centuries to the present. It is planned to include contemporary playwrights, such as Tina Howe, Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Maria Irene Fornes, Megan Terry, and Paula Vogel.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries

"Includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters. Particular care has been taken to index this material so that it can be searched more thoroughly than ever before." (from website).

PRO: Philanthropy Resources Online

PRO is a digital library of primary and secondary sources that supports teaching and learning about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Although providing access to the content of materials is our primary goal, the project also serves to preserve the ideas contained in rapidly deteriorating texts. The PRO collection is made up of images of the pages in the books, journals, and pamphlets. PRO has been made possible by generous financial support from the IUPUI Research Investment Fund, ARNOVA: The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, the Ford Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale)

Based on Joseph Sabin's landmark bibliography, this collection contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. With over 6 million pages from 29,000 works, this collection is a cornerstone in the study of the western hemisphere.

Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960 - 1974 (Alexander Street Press)

The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960–1974 brings the 1960s alive through diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary. With 150,000 pages of material at completion, this searchable collection is the definitive electronic resource for students and scholars researching this important period in American history, culture, and politics. The database currently has over 38,000 pages.

Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive (Gale)

Slavery and Anti-Slavery is a four-part collection devoted to the transatlantic history of slavery. It includes books, manuscripts, court records, and serials. The first part, Debates over Slavery and Abolition, documents the debates surrounding slavery and its abolition in the U.S. but also in the UK and other European countries, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. Future parts are Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, Institution of Slavery, and Age of Emancipation. Once completed, it will include over 5 million pages.

Twentieth Century American Poetry (Chadwyck-Healey)

This unparalleled collection includes 50,000 poems drawn from 750 volumes by over 300 poets, including Adrienne Rich, Andrei Codrescu, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Denise Levertov, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, Lucille Clifton, and Cathy Song.

Twentieth Century North American Drama (Alexander Street Press)

This edition of Twentieth Century North American Drama contains 1,530 plays by 223 playwrights, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. More than 150 of the plays are published here for the first time, including a number by major authors. The plays themselves have been selected using leading bibliographies and with the editorial advice of scholars and the playwrights themselves

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1775-2000

1000 primary documents offering new ways to study American History.

Entry on a Figure

Biographical Resources

American National Biography

"...offers portraits of more than 18,700 men & women — from all eras and walks of life — whose lives have shaped the nation. The American National Biography is the first biographical resource of this scope to be published in more than sixty years"-American National Biography website.

Biography & Genealogy Master Index (Gale)

 Provides citations for biographical information on over 4 million people, from the beginning of time through present day.

Biographies in IUCAT and WorldCat

Use the Subject heading "biography" to restrict your catalog search.  In library catalogs look for an Advanced search option.  Here's IUCAT's:

Entry on a Text

Search IUCAT, WorldCat, and article indexing databases already mentioned for either the author or specific text and add the keyword "criticism" to your search.

IUCAT example.  I want to find discussions of Zitkala-Sa's writings: 

An example from America History and Life article indexing database:

Entry on an Event

Search historic newspapers and magazines

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (Library of Congress)

"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)" - Chronicling America Homepage.

Gale Newsvault: Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers

The default search will be a variety of newspapers.  You likely want to search only, Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers for this class. Select appropriately.

With digital facsimile images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers and advanced searching capabilities, researchers will be able to research history in ways previously unavailable. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.   

Historical New York Times 

(scroll to Historic New York Times) Searchable online database which houses a digitized version of New York Times back to mid 1800's.

Readers' Guide Retrospective (via EBSCO) 

Readers' Guide Retrospective is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.

Time Magazine Archive
A selection of Time Magazine full-text articles from 1923-present. Considered a popular resource, not a scholarly resource.

Entry on a Theme

Reference Works

Gale Virtual Reference Library (Gale)

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were accessible only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.

Find reference works in IUCAT

Reference works are a great way to find general information about a topic or to help you find a topic for a research paper.  Finding reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, or bibliographies in IUCAT is easy!

  • Login to IUCAT
  • Click on Advanced Search
  • Select Subject in one of the search box drop down menus and type in American.
  • Select Subject in another search box drop down menu and type in one of the following terms.
    • Encyclopedias
    • Dictionaries
    • Bibliography
    • Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Select Keyword in another search box drop down menue and type in an additional keyword pertinent to your topic help narrow the search.  Examples might include: Latin, literature, United States, women, history, religion, etc.