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HIS 352 - American West

Finding primary source material in books

Finding books on historical topics in the online catalog

Search the library catalog to find books containing primary source resources.

Try adding one of the following words to your search to find collections of primary sources:

"documents," "sources," "letters," or "diaries"

e.g., "Free soil AND Sources"

"Free labor AND Diaries"


If you do not find enough information in Doane's catalog, select "Libraries Worldwide" in the filters on the left side of the screen.  We can borrow items for your use from other libraries through a service called Interlibrary Loan. If you find a source in the catalog you'd like to use, go into the record by clicking on the title. Then scroll down until you see a blue button that says, "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan." Fill out the form and we'll borrow the item from another library for you -- it's totally free!

Nebraska Resources

The Homestead Records Project brings together Homestead National Monument near Beatrice Nebraska , the National Archives, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and two family history research groups -- FamilySearch and fold3, both operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Over a million homestead records have been digitized and can now be searched on computers located at any of the University of Nebraska's libraries or at the National Homestead Monument.

The Nebraska Newspaper Project (link in Digital Collections box below) gives access to historical Nebraska newspapers either in digital or microfilm. Microfilm is available by Interlibrary Loan through Doane's library.

Nebraska History magazine is available in print in Doane's Perkins Library in the Government Publications area.  You can search it online at

Finding primary sources in periodical literataure

To find articles in older magazines and journals look in Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982. This resource offers access to information about history, culture and seminal developments across nearly a century by indexing articles from over 550 magazines.


Once you've found a citation, request the article through Interlibrary Loan. Most articles are sent to us from other libraries within 1-3 days -- but plan for more time just to make sure.

Digitized Collections

Here is a representative list of history websites that may be helpful in your research. Much more extensive lists are available in books about online research, located in the Course Reserve area of the library:

  • The American history highway : a guide to Internet resources on U.S., Canadian, and Latin American history, by Dennis Trinkle
  • The history highway : a 21st century guide to Internet resources, by Dennis Trinkle
  • U.S. history matters : a student guide to U.S. history online, by Kelly Schrum

Find historical newspaper articles online

Try Google's Advanced News Archive Search in order to find scanned images from historical newspapers!

Use the "date" boxes to limit your search to a particular date range.

Use the "price" drop down box to limit your search to articles with "no price".

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a collection of over 30,000 e-texts in the Public Domain.  Use the "Author" and "Title" searches to locate works by a particular person.