American History and Culture

Le Cours du Missisipi ou de St. Louis, 1718
Nicolas de Fer. Le Cours de Missisipi... 1718. map6F G4042 .M5 1718 .F4.

Every period of American history—from New World encounters to the Civil War to the Chicago literary renaissance and beyond—is well represented in the Newberry’s collections. Over many decades of collection development, the Newberry has built up an extensive array of archival materials, monographs, periodicals, ephemera, and rare, idiosyncratic works. For materials from the mid-eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, see Modern Manuscript Abstracts.

The Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture promotes research in the Newberry’s collections in American History, Literature, and Culture, including its seminar series across an array of disciplinary fields. Additionally, Newberry librarians have compiled Research Guides containing bibliographies, checklists, and other resources to aid in research.

Subject strengths include:

Published descriptions of the Newberry’s collections in American history and culture are listed in American History – Publications about the Newberry Library Collections. Please call the reference desk at (312) 255-3506 with questions on our holdings, or Contact a Librarian with research questions.

Digital Resources

Below is a list of related digital resources.

550 images of Illinois and the Great Lakes from the French period of exploration and settlement to the early twentieth Century.

Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms is a resource for teachers and students developed by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the US Civil War and in conjunction with the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Newberry Library mounted the exhibition, “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North” in September of 2013.

On “Indians of the Midwest,” you can explore important issues, learn how to do further research, and gain an introduction to the research methods that underlie scholars’ findings.