Last Updated: Apr 4, 2017
"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."
Sod House, 1884, Dakota Territory; Image from North Dakota State Univ., Fred Hultstrand History In Pictures Collection,
- The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (University of Nebraska)
This website makes available the text of the Lewis and Clark journals as well as images, supplemental texts, and Native American perspectives.
- Discovering Lewis and Clark
Website of the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation covering the expedition and journals.
- Indian Removal Act, 1830 (Library of Congress)
Primary source and contextual information from the library of Congress.
- American Notes: Travels in America 1750-1920 (Library of Congress)
"American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920 comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920. Also included is the thirty-two-volume set of manuscript sources entitled Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, published between 1904 and 1907"
- California as I Saw It: First Person Narratives of California's Early Years 1849-1900 (Library of Congress)
"Consists of the full texts and illustrations of 190 works documenting the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts. The collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams."
- Digital Horizons: Life on the Northern Plains
"Digital Horizons provides, maintains, and preserves a wide range of historical and significant content related to North Dakota and Minnesota. Digital Horizons was established in 2007 by a consortium including: Concordia College Archives, Moorhead, Minn.; NDSU Institute for Regional Studies & University Archives, Fargo, N.D.; Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, N.D.; and State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, N.D."
- Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846–1869 (Brigham Young University)
"a collection of the original writings of 49 voyagers on the Mormon, California, Oregon, and Montana trails who wrote while traveling on the trail...Accompanying the original diary images and their searchable transcripts are 43 contemporary maps; seven trail guides; 82 photographs, watercolors and art sketches; four essays on the Mormon and California trails, maps and trail guides".
- Western Expansion- National Museum of American History
Pictures of artifacts from the era of Western Expansion.
- Westward Expansion (History Channel)
History.com presents 13 video clips and 13 photo galleries about the Louisiana Purchase, Gold Rush, The Donner Party, Sitting Bull, Lewis and Clark, and more.
- The Homestead Act of 1862 (National Archives)
Primary sources and contextual information from the National Archives.
- Manifest Destiny (PBS)
Information about Manifest Destiny and Westward expansion.
- Frontier Life (PBS)
Descriptions of life on the frontier and wagon trains.
- The Frontier in American History, By Frederick Jackson Turner
Frederick Jackson Turner delivered a paper at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, on "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," . This is considered a very important work in understanding American Frontier History.
- Native American Indian History LibGuide
LibGuide with resources on Native American History.