The Era of the American Revolution

Fall 2013

Listed in: History, as HIST-453; Kevin M. Sweeney (Section 01)

Questions about research in this course? Contact Michael Kelly, Dunstan C. McNutt.

  • Overview
  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Primary Sources


Using the Library of Congress Subject Headings while you're looking at records in the catalog is a great way to find more books on the same topic. It also means that you can search for books outside the Five Colleges with those same terms, via World Cat.

LC Subject Headings that might be relevant are:

United States  History  Revolutionary Period, 1775-1783
United States  Politics and Government  1775-1783
Founding Fathers of the United States
Revolutionaries  United States  Biography 

Sub-headings might include: 

African Americans
British forces
Foreign public opinion
Participation, French 
Personal narratives 
Sources [use this for collections of primary sources]   

Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books

America, History & Life (1964 to present)
Covers the world's scholarly literature on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.

Discover: Start here for books, articles & more
Simultaneously search research databases plus the Five Colleges Libraries Catalog to find full-text articles, books and more.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).


American National Biography
Information on over 17,400 men and women.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
70 reference e-books, including multivolume works like the Encyclopedia of Religion, American Decades, and more.

Print-format reference works

The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.  Cambridge MA, Blackwell, 1991.
Solid, 10- to 15-page essays (with lots of citations) on major background topics, events, and concepts related to the Revolution. (Ref E 208 B635 1991)

The American Revolution 1775-1783, An Encyclopedia.  N.Y., Garland, 1993. 2 vols. 
Some short and some longer entries, most with references to further readings. (Ref E 208 A433 1993)

Encyclopedia of the New American Nation, the Emergence of the United States, 1754-1829.  N.Y., Thomson Gale, 2006. 3 vols. 
Entries on topics, events, places and people of significance, most with brief bibliographies. (Ref E 301 E53 2006)

Primary Sources

Early American Imprints, Series I, Evans (1639-1800)
Books, pamphlets, broadsides and other imprints listed in the renowned bibliography by Charles Evans.

Early American Imprints. Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819)
Books, pamphlets, broadsides and other imprints listed in the distinguished bibliography by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (1701-1800)
Page images and full-text searching for more than 136,000 key English- and foreign-language titles printed in Great Britain during the 18th century, based on the English Short Title Catalogue.

American Archives, Documents of the American Revolution 1774-1776 

A digitized version of a 9-volume compilation of pamphlets, booklets, newspaper articles. etc., originally published in the early-mid 19th century.

American Periodicals Series (1740-1940)
Digitized reproductions of more than 1,100 18th and 19th century newspapers and periodicals.

The American Revolution: An Everyday Life Perspective
Focused on everday life in the era of the American Revolution, covering religion, education, music, work and medicine. 

America's Historical Newspapers (1690-1980) 
Searchable archive of American newspapers including Early American Newspapers, Series 1,2, and 5 (1690-1922) and Hispanic American Newspapers (1808-1980).

British Periodicals 
Searchable full text of hundreds of British periodicals from the late 17th century to the early 20th, with high-resolution facsimile page images.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Digitized documents and images from the collections of the New York Historical Society.

House Journal: The Journal should be seen as the minutes of floor action for the United States House of Representatives. It notes the matters considered by the House and the votes and other actions taken. It does not record the actual debates, which can be consulted through the "Link to date-related documents" in the full text transcription of the Journal.

Journals of the Continental Congress: This complete edition, published by the Library of Congress from 1904 to 1937, is based on the manuscript Journals and other manuscript records of the Continental Congress in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. 

For more on primary sources, including tips on finding materials in the 5 Colleges Catalog and WorldCat, see our Primary Sources Research Guide.