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Westward Expansion  

Last Updated: Apr 4, 2017 URL: http://lfanet.libguides.com/WestwardExpansion Print Guide RSS Updates

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Web Resources

"California Gold Diggers, A Scene From Actual Life at the Mines". A wood engraving in Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, May 3, 1856. Image from the Library of Congress

  • History of the American West Photograph Collecton
    "The Denver Public Library’s Western History/Genealogy Department collection of digitized photographs chronicles the people, places and events that shaped the settlement and growth of the Western United States... Subjects include Native Americans, pioneers, railroads, mining, Denver and Colorado towns, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and the 10th Mountain Division ski troops. New images continue to be added, chronicling the ongoing development of Western America."
  • WestWeb (CUNY)
    Website with links to many resources about the West and the history of Western expansion. Maintained by Catherine Lavender, Department of History, College of Staten Island, The City University of New York.
  • Louisiana Purchase 1803 (Avalon Project- Yale Law School)
    Primary sources re: Louisiana Purchase 1803, and Associated Documents.
  • The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820 (Library of Congress)
    "Consists of 15,000 pages of original historical material documenting the land, peoples, exploration, and transformation of the trans-Appalachian West from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. The collection is drawn from the holdings of the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky. Among the sources included are books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, scientific publications, broadsides, letters, journals, legal documents, ledgers and other financial records, maps, physical artifacts, and pictorial images. The collection documents the travels of the first Europeans to enter the trans-Appalachian West, the maps tracing their explorations, their relations with Native Americans, and their theories about the region's mounds and other ancient earthworks."
  • Westward Expansion: Encounters and Cultural Crossroads (Library of Congress)
    Primary sources related to Westward expansion.
  • New Perspectives on the West (PBS)
    Information and primary sources about events and people related to the topic of Western expansion.
  • Oklahoma History Society
    Links to resources about OK history including Indian Pioneer Histories, and Digital Prairie: Documents and Images from the Oklahoma Dept.of Libraries .
  • Prarie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family letters, 1862-1912
    "This digital collection integrates two collections from the holdings of the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Solomon D. Butcher photographs and the letters of the Uriah W. Oblinger family. Together they illustrate the story of settlement on the Great Plains. Approximately 3,000 glass plate negatives crafted by Butcher record the process of settlement in Nebraska between 1886 and 1912. Butcher photographed actively in central Nebraska including Custer, Buffalo, Dawson and Cherry counties. The approximately 3,000 pages of Oblinger family letters discuss land, work, neighbors, crops, religious meetings, problems with grasshoppers, financial problems, and the Easter Blizzard of 1873."
  • Nebraska Studies
    Primary sources related to the Western expansion settlement of Nebraska and Kansas territories.
  • California Gold Rush (1848-1858)
    Information about the Gold Rush from Harvard University's Open Collections Program.
  • the Gold Rush in California
    Links to resources about the California Gold Rush on a website hosted by the San Francisco Virtual Museum.
  • American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts
    "Read the words of explorers, Indians, missionaries, traders and settlers as they lived through the founding moments of American history. View, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society."

Web Resources

Sod House, 1884, Dakota Territory; Image from  North Dakota State Univ., Fred Hultstrand History In Pictures Collection,

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