About RCDSAdmissionsAcademicsCommunityArtsAthleticsAlumniSupporting RCDS
page tools |
Home |
Academics > Library > US History Pathfinder
Rye Country Day


SCOPE: Over the course of U. S. History there have been countless issues, movements, developments and events that had a profound impact on American life. In order to investigate any of these occurrences one has to look at a wide variety of resources, both print and online. This pathfinder will help you locate relevant materials that span U.S. History from our nation's beginnings to the present.

GENERAL ADVICE: It's always a good idea to begin your investigation in a general encyclopedia, especially if you know very little about your topic. Encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Britannica, or electronic ones such as ABC CLIO can give you good background information and are a good source of keywords (people places, dates, names of events) about your topic. You should plan to explore your topic in its historical, political, social and economic context. Once you have background and specific vocabulary you can search in more specialized sources. Be sure to seek out primary sources for documents, newspapers, posters, advertisements, video and audio recordings, letters, and diaries.

DEWEY NUMBERS: Note: there will be books about incidents in American History in virtually every main Dewey section. Be sure to browse the shelves in these areas. Dewey numbers are the same for the reference section, and in most public libraries.

    300s  Social issues
    310s  statistics
    320s  systems of government
    330s  economics
    340s  law
    360s  social services and problems
    370s  education
    380s commerce, transportation
    390s  customs, dress, folklore
    500s Natural sciences (math, biology, physics, astronomy)
    600s Applied sciences (medicine, technology, inventions, engineering, manufacturing)
    700s fine arts (art, architecture, music, dance, theatre, cinema)
    800s literature (810s for American literature)
    900s geography and history
    910s geography and travel
    920s collective biographies(especially in Reference)
    970s American history from pre-Columbian times (Native Americans)
    973 U. S. History-arranged in chronological order: (e.g. 973.2 colonies, 973.7 civil war)
    974-9 specific states arranged roughly east to west


    Annals of America Ref 973 ANN  (Many volumes of primary documents in chronological order)
    Grolier Library of World War I  REF 940.3
    Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture REF 973.04 ENC

     Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century REF 973.003 ENC
    Documents of American History  973.08 COM
      American Decades REF 973.91-973.92
    20th Century America REF 973.92 TWE
    American Heritage Magazines 1955-present   See Index.

There are many books on specific topics, and lots of others that may have a section on your topic. Check the OPAC using one or more keywords.


When searching databases, start with a subject search whenever possible. Fewer words are better than more; put phrases in "...".  (e.g. "women's suffrage"). Try using the POWER SEARCH, which searches many databases and some of the e-books at once.

Specify a range of dates where that is possible. Some good places to start are:

  • ABC-CLIO:American History, World History Modern Era, American Government, Pop Culture Universe
  • CQ Researcher
  • JSTOR (archives of scholarly journals, historical and personal papers)
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (NYTimes, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Constitution, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and LA Times)
  • Newspaper Archives (small town papers across the US and some other nations)
  • Science Resource Center
  • SIRS (social issues)
  • Student Resource Center (reference essays, newspapers, magazines,journals, documents, & multimedia files)


Discovery Education (http://www.discoveryeducation.com) Works from on-campus only.

This site has all kinds of educational videos, many with live footage of historical events.

Student passcode: 8BD6-1FD3

Enter the student passcode; you will be invited to create your own personal username and password. Each time you wish to use Discovery Education, enter your own username and password. Search by subject or keyword.

ehistory:  http://www.ehistory.com/


The Internet is a vast, unstructured place. Check with the librarian and/or your teacher for suggestions for specific sites. Try some of the sites offered from searches done on Encyclopedia Britannica, SIRS or Student Resource Center.  If, after using other resources you need more information, use the most specific vocabulary you can to search the web. Be sure to carefully evaluate any sources you find using a search engine!


American Memory: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem A HUGE collection of primary sources not reachable through Google. Ask for help navigating this valuable resource. 

SoJust.net: A Document History of Social Justice
Uncover the history of anti-racism, suffrage, the gay rights movement, labor activism, and other movements through historic speeches, song lyrics, poetry, essays, and other documentary artifacts related to social justice.


Smithsonian Institution
: http://www.si.edu/


National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/ 

Chronology of U. S. Historical Documents : http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/

Documents From Revolution to Reconstructionhttp://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/ 

Documents for the study of American History http://www.vlib.us/amdocs

Hanover Historical texts (lots more than just US History):  http://history.hanover.edu/project.html#us

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/coredocs.html

U.S. Congressional Debates 1774-1873: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html

Selected historic decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court: http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/cases/historic.htm

From the Internet Public Library:  http://www.uidaho.edu/special-collections/Other.Repositories.html

Memoirs of life in the armed services: http://www.ehistory.com/


Works Progress Administration (WPA):  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaposters/wpahome.html


Political cartoons by Dr. Seuss (!) War and domestic issues:  http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/Frame.htm


From Ohio State University:  http://www.ehistory.com/

Dept. of the Navy--Naval Historical Center: 


Timeline-Women's history w/ images:


National Archives and Records Administration Exhibit Hall: http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/index.html 

LABOR HISTORY 1948-1975:  http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/collections/exhibits/tam/reiss/opener.html


US Labor and industrial history:  http://www.albany.edu/history/LaborAudio/

Internet Archive www.archive.org



Historical Census Browser: http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/histcensus/

US Census:  http://www.census.gov/

Federal Statistics organized by topic (Contemporary and historical): http://www.fedstats.gov/cgi-bin/A2Z.cgi



US Presidential inaugural speeches: http://www.bartleby.com/124/

Many states also have historical archives.

  • April 24, 2014
    • Faculty Professional Day- NO CLASSES
    • Parents' Day Out: Role of Honeybees 10:00 AM to 12:00 PMStone Barns Center, TarrytownClick for Info. Flyer
    • US Spring Show Dress Rehearsal 5:45 PMPAC

Rye Country Day School      Cedar Street      Rye, NY 10580      Ph 914.967.1417      Contact Us      Site Map


FirstClass Access     Haiku
email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite