The United States government has a rich collection of information on genealogy
The Library of Congress publishes guides to all of its genealogy collections, compiled by reference librarians and available in full text. Click here to see this extensive record of information regaring genealogical research, telephone and city directories, international lists, U. S. ethnic groups, military records, and more.
Searching for Information on the Internet
There is a good deal of information on daily life in America to be found on the Internet. However, using standard Internet search engines such to find this information can sometimes be difficult, because search engines use keywords instead of standardized subject headings to locate relevant websites. There are many additional avenues for locating information on these topics:
1. Full-text archives: American Memory (from the Library of Congress; http://memory.loc.gov/) and The Making of America (two separate online archives from the University of Michigan and Cornell University; http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/ and http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/) provide digitized primary source materials related to American history. American Memory includes both published and non-book materials (such as photographs and sound recordings) from the colonial period to the present, while the Making of America sites consist of full-text reproductions of American books and periodicals from the 19th century. Both have site-specific keyword search engines. There are other digital archives with information organized by region, state, or topic. Some examples are given below:
a. Region: Documenting the American South ( http://docsouth.unc.edu/ ); Library of Western Fur Trade Historical Source Documents ( http://www.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/mmarch.html )
b. State: The Kansas Collection ( http://www.kancoll.org/ )
c. Topic: American Journeys (materials on early American exploration from the Wisconsin Historical Society; http://www.americanjourneys.org/ ); Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1660-2000 (resource from SUNY Binghamtom which includes both free and fee-based resources; http://womhist.binghamton.edu/ ); Banknotes of the United States of America ( http://www.banknotes.com/us.htm ).
2. American history site directories and virtual reference shelves: The Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Library of Congress maintains an annotated virtual reference shelf dubbed "Alcove 9"; the U.S. History section of Alcove 9 ( http://www.loc.gov/rr/main/alcove9/ushist.html ) includes links to many of the websites described in here. Public and academic libraries also maintain virtual reference shelves with an emphasis on American history, e.g. Multnomah County Library ( http://www.multcolib.org/homework/amhsthc.html ).
3. Online exhibits: Offered by museums, libraries, and academic institutions, online exhibits often include images, narrative descriptions, and bibliographic references to materials on American daily life and culture. For example, the Smithsonian Institution maintains a list of links to online exhibits and other resources on American social and cultural history available on its website at http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions . The Balch Institute of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a number of online exhibits, including Freedom for Some: The Japanese American Internment Experience ( http://www2.hsp.org/exhibits/Balch%20resources/internment/html/intro_page.html ) An online exhibit on Pioneer Asian Indian Immigration to the Pacific Coast ( http://www.sikhpioneers.org/ ) offers historical photographs, bibliography, and numerous external links.
4. Genealogy websites: Genealogy site directories such as Cyndi's List ( http://www.cyndislist.com/ ) can often be "mined" for links to digitized books, diaries, letters, and other first-person accounts of daily life in America. Examples of such sites include Tracing Mormon Pioneers (from genealogical researcher Bill Nelson; http://www.xmission.com/~nelsonb/pioneer.htm ), with online transcriptions of various published emigration narratives; and the Mardos Memorial Library of On-Line Books and Maps (transcriptions of books from the library of genealogical researcher Pam Reitsch; http://www.memoriallibrary.com/ ).
Green Library Genealogy Titles
How Do Historians Do Research?
The study of history offers students an opportunity to investigate the past, gain perspective on the present, and develop their critical faculties and their imaginations. History provides an integrating principle for the entire learning process, and students gain a sense of human development and interrelatedness and an understanding of social processes. History demands a confrontation with the mythologies and achievements of our own society and with the reality of "otherness," both at home and in the larger world.
The study of family history includes the study of not only the life of your parents, grandparents and other ancestors, but of the times in which they lived. Use the Green Library databases which are most appropriate for a link to historical context by clicking here.