Background Information

African American Studies Center (Oxford University Press)
Includes the Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895 and the African American National Biography among other titles and selected primary sources.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
High quality encyclopedias galore. This online library includes the highly recommended Dictionary of American History.

American National Biography Online (Oxford University Press)
Biographical resource on more than 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.


Falvey Library Catalog
Books and book chapters in the Library's print collection are an important source of critical literature. The Library's catalog has a number of different search options: keyword and subject searches are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets, which appear to the right of the results. Topic, region, era, and languageare helpful facets.
Sample subject searches:
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Participation, African American.
Slaves - Emancipation - United States
Freedmen - United States
African Methodist Episcopal Church - History

WorldCat (OCLC)
WorldCat is a catalog of library collections worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.
WorldCat Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.

E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.

Journal Articles

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
A complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. The database also includes citations and links to book and media reviews.
America: History & Life Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this index.

Contemporary Newspaper & Magazines

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Accessible Archives)
Includes the complete text of major 19th century African-American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder (1861-1902) and Freedom's Journal (1827-1829). For more information about African American print culture and readers read this article by Eric Gardner:
Gardner, Eric. "Remembered (Black) Readers: Subscribers to the Christian Recorder, 1864–1865." American Literary History 23, no. 2 (2011): 229-259.

New York Times: 1851- (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Complete archive of The New York Times from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current two years.

America’s Historical Newspapers (Readex)
A digital collection of early American newspapers from 1690 to 1922, that includes the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1860-1920.

American Periodicals (ProQuest)
A selection of periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1900.

Washington Post Historical: 1877- (ProQuest)
Complete archive of the Washington Post from 1877 to 1996.

Civil War: Primary Documents on Events from 1860 to 1865

Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective (Accessible Archives)
Over 2500 issues of both Northern and Southern newspapers published between Nov. 1, 1860 and Apr. 30, 1865. Contains news articles, eye-witness and official reports of battles, editorials, advertisements, biographies and over 700 images of battlefield maps and illustrations.

Online archives to leading journals of opinion such as Harpers Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, Commentary, NACLA, Commonweal, American Spectator and the National Review.

Government Documents & Records

AncestryLibrary (ProQuest)
The collection consists of census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.
Data sets include the 1870 United States Federal Census and the U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1861-1865.
Census forms from 1790 through 1940 and the slave schedules from 1850 and 1860 are available online.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set: 1817–1994 (Readex)
Provides full-text of all reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from 1817-1994 (15th through 103rd Congresses). Documents of the first 14 U.S. Congresses can be found in the American State Papers collection.

Personal Recollections

Falvey Library Catalog
Use the terms correspondence, letters, narratives and memoirs in combination with personal names and/or with the phrases "civil war, 1861-1865" and "African American."
Sample search: correspondence and "African American" and "civil war, 1861-1865"
Sample search: narratives and "African American" and "civil war, 1861-1865"

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale)
Books, pamphlets, serials and federal and state government documents. The collection includes personal narratives from the Civil War.

Black Abolitionist Papers (ProQuest)
The collected correspondence, speeches, sermons, lectures, editorials, society proceedings and poems of close to three hundred Black abolitionists including hand-written correspondence.

Citing Your Sources

Chicago Manual of Style Online
The 17th edition of the standard style manual used by writers and editors of scholarly books and journals.
For a quick introduction watch the online tutorial A Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Chicago-Style Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to Chicago Style.
Use the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide for easy reference.