United States History: Starting Points
Open Access & Public Domain Resources
Open access (OA) is a contemporary movement in online research, designating websites, databases, and other resources that voluntarily place no restriction (paywalls, etc.) on access to their information and frequently also put up few or no barriers to the further use of that information (source). The public domain is a legal designation for the condition of intellectual property (books, music, etc.) for which the exclusive rights of distribution and reproduction have expired, been waived or forfeited by their owner, or are otherwise inapplicable (source). The links listed in this section represent a mixture of open access and public domain resources, sometimes within the same site or service. We encourage you to bear in mind that certain legal restrictions on the use or reproduction of material in these resources may still apply, regardless of their designation as 'open access' or 'public domain' on this guide.
Top Databases in American History
In these resources you can find abstracts, citations, or the full text of articles published in scholarly and popular journals on topics in U.S. history.
Focused Topical Overviews
These resources offer compact, authoritative discussions of focused topics, individuals, or research areas in history, as well as bibliographies to begin your research.