Exploring and Focusing Topics:
Encyclopedias, Companions, Biographical Dictionaries & General Histories
The Library has a large number of subject-specific online encyclopedias with exhaustive and well-researched entries written by subject experts. The essays in these encyclopedias and companions are great overviews and generally helpful in defining and focusing a topic. All essays include bibliographies that lead to further sources on a topic.
- Dictionary of American History
3rd ed. E-Reference
See entries on American Indian Movement, Indian Political Life, Indian Reservations, Bureau of Indian Affairs and more.
- A Companion to American Indian History
E-Reference & Print
Introduction to a wide range of topics ranging from education and religion, to family and gender. Each chapter incudes a review of the published literature.
- American Indian Culture
See entries on Boarding and Residential Schools, Disease and Intergroup Contact, Ghost Dance and more.
- American Indian History
See entries on Indian Citizenship Act, Reservation System of the United States, Cherokee Tobacco Case, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and more.
- American Indian Tribes
See entries on Navajo, Lenni Lenape, Populations of U.S. Reservations, and more. Entries on tribes include current population size, primary location, and relocation history.
- Encyclopedia of United States Indian Policy and Law
Great overview articles over U.S. Indian policy by times period like the one on 1960 - Present. See also entries on Citizenship, Civilization Program, Gaming, and more.
- A-Z of Native American Movements
- Tiller's Guide to Indian Country
Economic profiles of American Indian reservations.
- Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West
- Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas
Volume 1, parts 1&2 cover North America.
- Chronology of Native North American History
From Pre-Columbian Times to the Present
- More Native American history reference titles
- Not sure which encyclopedia is best suited for your topic? Search hundreds of encyclopedias simultaneously in the Gale Virtual Reference Library and the Sage Knowledge library.
Here is a selection of databases that will lead you to peer-reviewed journal articles. Contact me for further suggestions.
- America: History & Life
Search the contents of academic journals, historical magazines and dissertations. This database indexes academic journals such as American Indian Culture & Research, American Indian Quarterly, European Review of Native American Studies, Canadian Ethnic Studies, and Ethnohistory as well as magazines such as Encounter. The FindItbutton links to the full text of the articles in the Library's collection as well as to an interlibrary loan form.
Example: Ishii, Izumi. "Alcohol and Politics in the Cherokee Nation before Removal." Ethnohistory 50, no. 4 (Fall 2003): 671-695.
- Ethnic NewsWatch
A comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Includes such magazines and newspapers as News from Indian Country, The Native Voice, Indian Country Today, and the Native American Times. Mostly full text.
Example: Schaap, J.. (2010). The Growth of the Native American Gaming Industry: What Has the Past Provided, and What Does the Future Hold? American Indian Quarterly, 34(3), 365-389,407.
- CQ Researcher
CQ Researcher report offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each CQ Researcher report is based on a common structure: overview, background, current situation, pro/con section, special focus, chronology, bibliography and next step.
Example: Worsnop, R. L. (1992, May 8). Native Americans. CQ Researcher, 2, 385-408.
Use the Issue Tracker feature to link to related reports:
Katel, P. (2006, April 28). American Indians. CQ Researcher, 16, 361-384.
- CQ Electronic Library
Combines many CQ Press resources for research in American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs. Includes Congress and the Nation (1945-2004), Historic Documents Series (1972 -), Political Handbook of the World, Supreme Court Yearbook (1989 -), Vital Statistics on American Politics and CQ Researcher.
Example: "American Indian Policy, 1945-1964 Legislative Chronology." CQ Press Electronic Library, Congress and The Nation Online Edition.
- PAIS International
Indexes public policy journals, government documents, grey literature and more.
- The library's online catalog
subject search: "Indians of North America" and sources
subject search: "Indians of North America" and "early works"
subject search: "Indians of North America" and "government relations" and sources
subject search: "Speeches, addresses, etc., Indian"
subject search: "Dakota Indians" and "personal narratives"
- Historical New York Times
Complete coverage from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current two years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.
Example: "Indians ready to fight: The Pine Ridge Agency placed in imminent peril. Eight thousand armed Sioux congregated near the settlement -- Gen. Brooke massing his troops." (1890, November 22). New York Times, p. 1.
- American Periodicals Series
A selection of 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.
Example: G. A. Custer. "My life on the plains: origin and decay of the Indians." The Galaxy. A Magazine of Entertaining Reading (February 1872), vol. xiii, no. 2, p. 182.
Magazine article authored by George Armstrong Custer four years before his death in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994
Reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from the 15th Congress through the 103rd Congress. Select Indian Affairs on the subject tab to browse for relevant content or use the search box. Documents cover reservations, treaties, education, laws and supreme court cases.
- Readers' Guide Retrospective
Provides citations to the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.
- Sabin Americana, 1500-1926
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.
- Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800
More than 37,000 books, pamphlets and broadsides. It includes information about every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary War, temperance, witchcraft, and just about any other topic imaginable.
- Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819
Books, pamphlets and broadsides covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States.
- America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922
A digital collection of early American newspapers from 1690 to 1922, that includes the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1860-1920.
This is just a small sample of primary source collections. Please feel free to ask for further suggestions.
Citing Your Sources
Make an appointment to meet with Jutta
I am happy to meet with you at any time, in person, by phone, or virtually via our chat service.
You can also email me directly.
Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Jutta Seibert is the subject librarian for History and is available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support & purchase requests.