Native American History

Try to narrow your research to a particular area or one tribe. You might start by finding an entry in a good print encyclopedia or by reading a short, general book on your topic. This will give you an overview of the subject and help you to refine your search. Check out the starting your research project before you begin! 

Some possible subject areas for Native American history include:
images of Native Americans in film
massacre at Wounded Knee, 1890
the Treaty of Greenville
the U.S. Cavalry 1832 through 1898
the Trail of Tears

We can't fit every resource about Native American history on to this list! A topic guide is just the beginning of building your bibliography.

Reference materials

This is the place to start any research project. Reference books offer short, authoritative information on every topic. These books must be used in the library. Most contain bibliographies of important books on your topic. A good first stop would be any of the standard print encyclopedias in the Beaver collection: Encyclopedia Americana, World Book or Britannica.


Gale Group. (2001). History behind the headlines : the origins of conflicts worldwide. REF 909 H62 2001
Sonneborn, Liz. (2001). Chronology of American Indian history : the trail of the wind. REF 973.0497 So5 2001


Britannica Online Great for pre-search and primary sources, including speeches, essays, biographies, court decisions, editorials and photos.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
General Reference Center Gold


Books about Native American history will be found at 973.049. Native Americans is NOT a Library of Congress subject heading. Try Indians of North America. Biographies can be found at 921, listed alphabetically by the subject's last name (for example, a biography of Sitting Bull would carry the call number: 921 Sitting Bull).

Josephy, Alvin (ed). (2006). Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes. 978.0072 L58 2006 196 pages.
Moore, Mari Jo (ed). (2006). Eating fire, tasting blood : breaking the great silence of the American Indian Holocaust. 970.1 Ea8 2006 406 pages.
O'Neill, Terry (ed.) (2002). The Indian reservation system. 323.1 In2 2002 142 pages.
Philip, Neil. (2006). The great circle : a history of the First Nations. 973.0497 P53 2006 153 pages.


For these Gale Group Resources, use Native North Americans and then History to find articles.
Academic OneFile
Expanded Academic ASAP
General OneFile
Student Edition
Artstor Browse through photographic images of Native Americans and their lives, look at artwork created by Native Americans. Must be on campus to register for remote access.
Biography Resource Center For information on famous people associated with Native American history. Search by the person's last name.
SIRS Use Indians of North America to create a term to reflect your research goals.
Facts on File For pre-search, biographies, primary sources and images.

Internet sites

Digital History Full of primary sources, this site is maintained by the history department and by the College of Education at the University of Houston.
Library of Congress Selected resources on the Indians of North America.
Smithsonian Encyclopedia Information on American Indian history and culture.
WWW Virtual Library This is a long list of links to sources on Native Americans. Very helpful for research on a particular tribe or geographic region.

BPL: Electronic Resources

America: History and Life. This database indexes scholarly and popular articles on American history. You can limit your search to full text if you want articles instead of citations.
History Resource Center: U.S. A good starting point for pre-search and fact-checking as well as more advanced searches. This site will also let you limit your searches to reference, biographies, periodicals, news, primary sources or maps and multi-media.
History Study Center. This resource was designed just for students! Start here to learn more about Native American history, see a timeline of important events, learn about key people and places. An excellent starting point for your research.

Updated, 9-09