American Heritage School Library Orientation: Additional Resources

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Search Tips

Did you know that language changes? If a search generates too few results, use terminology common to the time period you are searching.

Modern Term Historic Term
World War I Great War
Oklahoma Indian Territory 
African American Negro, Afro American


General Databases

Search within these databases for information on events and people.

Selected History Databases

Visual History Archives (VHA) USC Shoah Foundation

The library now has access to the Visual History Archive (VHA) USC Shoah Foundation! The vast collection includes the complete testimonies from witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust and other notable genocides including the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), Nanjing Massacre (1937), Rwanda (1994), and Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996). This resource includes firsthand primary source accountings with 53,000 recorded testimonies, 112,000 hours of video, participants from 63 countries and 39 languages, 1.8 million names, and 700,000 images. More...

Please Note: You must create a personal account to use this resource!

Free Online Resources

Museums and libraries often share their collections digitally online. Use the links below to search for primary sources or seek out a museum website relevant to your research topic.

  • Chronicling America | The Library of Congress
    • Access to millions of historical American newspapers from 1789-1924. Brainstorm with their recommended topics and search for primary sources. 
  • National History Day 'Helpful Research Links'
    • An extensive list of resources on the National History Day website to find background information and primary and secondary sources. 
  • National History Day | National Archives
    • Search primary and secondary sources and explore American history research topics. This website is updated annually for specific resources related to the current NHD theme.
  • Smithsonian Collections Search Center
    • Search images, videos, audio files, and other records related to Art & Design, History & Culture, and Science & Technology from the Smithsonian Collections.
  • Smithsonian's History Explorer | The National Museum of American History
    • Explore American history resources, including museum artifacts, videos, reference materials, and primary sources. Use the theme pages to brainstorm a research topic related to major themes in American history.
  •  Veterans History Project | The Library of Congress
    • Search first-hand accounts of American war veterans of most conflicts since 1914. Primary sources include oral histories, letters, diaries, and creative works. 
    • Please note: Select "View Digitized Collection" to view documents available online. 
  • World Digital Library | The Library of Congress & UNESCO
    • Search historic books, manuscripts, newspapers, journals, photographs, sound recordings, and more from nearly 200 countries and cultures. Browse items by place, time, topic, and type of item to find World History primary sources from 8000 BCE to 2000.