U.S. History: 20th Century American History

How to use NoodleTools


See also the following course guides for U. S. History: Gilded Age/Progressive EraAmerica in World War II, and Annotated Bibliography and Book Review Guide


    RhinoCat Primary Sources Taft Online Subscriptions  Websites

Encyclopedias and Reference Books / eBooks

Search large collections of reference ebooks simultaneously in these databases: Gale Virtual Reference Library and Salem History.

Also: Britannica Academic Online contains the complete Encyclopedia Britannica, plus primary sources, ebook content, images and video, journal articles, and recommended web links.

NEW AT THE LIBRARY Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (Substantive, peer-reviewed, and regularly updated, Oxford Research Encyclopedias offer long-form overview articles written, peer-reviewed, and edited by leading scholars. All of the content is brand new and has been written specifically for this online format. Of special interest are the historiographies at the end of the articles, primary sources and links to digital materials.)

  • American presidents. Ref E176.1 .A6563 2015 2 vols (also an online ebook)
  • Dictionary of American biography. Ref E176 .D563 - E176 .D5635 20 vols
  • Dictionary of American military biography. Ref U52 .D53 1984 3 vols
  • Facts about the presidents: a compilation of biographical and historical information. Ref E176.1 .K3 2009
  • Great lives from history series:
  • Encyclopedia of American religion and politics. Ref BL 2525 .D58 2003 (also an online ebook)
  • Encyclopedia of American religious history. Ref BL 2525 .Q44 2009 3 vols (also an online ebook)
  • Encyclopedia of religious controversies in the United States. Ref BR 515 .E53 2013 2 vols
  • Religion and politics in America : an encyclopedia of church and state in American life. Ref BL2525 .R46125 2016 2 vols
American History Generally
Eras in American History
 America at War and Foreign Relations (see also D: World History)
Multicultural America and Ethnic Groups  (see also sources on immigration in J: Political Science)
Pop Culture in America (See also G: Recreaton - M: Music - N: Fine Art - P: Literature)
Statistics and Population
Economics and Commerce
Sociology, Social History, Criminology
Women in America
  • Encyclopedia of American education. Ref LB 17 .U54 2007 3 vols (also an online ebook) (earlier editions in Alumni collection, 1949)
  • Historical dictionary of school segregation and desegregation. Ref LC 212.52 .R34 1998
  • The album: a guide to pop music's most provocative, influential, and important creations. Ref ML 3470 .A24 2012 4 vols
  • Encyclopedia of popular music. Ref ML 102 .P66 G84 1998 8 vols
  • New Grove dictionary of American music. Ref ML 101 U6 N48 1986
  • New Grove dictionary of jazz. Ref ML 102 .J3 N48 2001 3 vols
  • A resource guide to themes in contemporary American song lyrics, 1950-1985. Ref ML156.4.P6 C66 1986
  • Songs of protest, war and peace: a bibliography and discography. Ref ML 128 .W2 D5 1973
  • American women artists: from early Indian times to the present. Ref N 6505 .R8 1982
  • Artspeak: a guide to contemporary ideas, movements, and buzzwords, 1945 to the present. Ref N 6490 .A87 2014
  • Dictionary of art. Ref N 31 .D5 1996 34 vols (also online in Oxford Art Online)
  • Dictionary of twentieth-century art. Ref N 6490 .C5317 1998
  • Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. Ref NX 512.3 .A35 E53 2004 2 vols
  • Harlem Renaissance. 2001 (an online ebook)
  • Oxford dictionary of American art and artists. Ref N 6505.M59 2007
  • African American writers. Ref PS 153 .N5 A344 1990 (2001 version online)
  • America's film legacy: the authoritative guide to the landmark movies in the National Film Registry. Ref PN 1993.5 .U6 .E15 2010
  • Ethnic American literature : an encyclopedia for students. Ref PS153.M56 E825 2015
  • American History Through Literature 1870-1920, 3 vols, 2006 (an online ebook)
  • American voices : an encyclopedia of contemporary American orators. Ref PS408 .A47 2005
  • American writers. Ref PS 129 .A55 12 vols and suppl. (also an online ebook)
  • The Beat generation. Ref PS 228 .B6 B43 2003 3 vols
  • Encyclopedia of American journalism. Ref PN 4855 .P26 1983
  • Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960. Ref PN 1991.2 .S57 2000
  • Encyclopedia of Politics, the Media, and Popular Culture. Ref P 95.82 .U6 C62 2009
  • Encyclopedia of television. Ref PN 1992.18 .E53 1997 3 vols
  • Literary history of the United States. Ref PS 88 .L522 1974 2 vols
  • Literature and its times. Ref PN 50 .L574 5 vols and 2 suppl (also an online ebook)
  • Modern American women writers. Ref PS 151 .M54
  • Oxford encyclopedia of American literature. Ref PS 21 .E537 2004 (also an online ebook)
  • Schirmer encyclopedia of film. Ref PN 1993.45 .G65 2007 4 vols (also an online ebook)
  • Television in American Society Reference Library. 2007 4 vols (an online ebook)
  • Twentieth-century literary movements dictionary. Ref PN 597 .T94 2000
  • American naval history: an illustrated chronology…1775-present. Ref VA 58.4 .S94 1984
  • Encyclopedia of American intelligence and espionage: from the Revolutionary War to the present. Ref UB 271 .U5 O85 1988
  • Encyclopedia of Cold War espionage, spies and secret operations. Ref UB 270 .T73 2004
  • Encyclopedia of guerilla warfare. Ref U 240 .B43 1999
  • Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency. Ref UB 251 .Y5 S63 2003
  • Historical dictionary of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. Ref U 793 .G37 2007
  • Weapons and warfare. Ref UF500 .W48 2010 3 vols (also an online ebook)


The Library's RhinoCat is our automated catalog of print and non-print books, DVDs, and other library materials. It is available from any browser at http://taft.bywatersolutions.com. A keyword search using a broad term will yield the most hits.

TIPS: When you identify a book in RhinoCat that sounds useful, click on Browse shelf to find additional books for your research project. And to find books available in ebook format, include the keyword "electronic" in your search.

On Reserve at the Circulation Desk

(Sign out for use IN LIBRARY ONLY for duration of assignment)

Primary Sources

See the course guide Finding Primary Sources for ways to find documents and primary sources in our Library.

Taft Online Subscription Databases


See Finding and Evaluating Websites for information on how to locate quality websites. Please read Wikipedia's article on Academic use.

  • AMDOCS: documents for the study of American history
  • America in the Making (Each unit in U. S. history contains primary sources, textbook excerpts, maps, Magazine of History articles, and a thematic timeline; from Annenberg Learner)
  • American History at the Library of Congress (These pages link to selected collection content available online at the Library of Congress, arranged by broad categories)
  • American Memory (Currently being updated, this link to the rich primary source collections of the Library of Congress takes you to AM collections not yet updated and provides links to updated content)
  • American Rhetoric ( Database of and index to 5000+ full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a declaration or two)
  • Authentic History Center: Primary sources from American popular culture (Created by Michael Barnes, a high school history teacher from MI, to teach that the everyday objects in society have authentic historical value and reflect the social consciousness of the era that produced them)
  • Best of History Websites: American history (see the sidebar for specific topics and eras in US history)
  • Cultural Politics (from a professor of American Studies at Washington State Univ, a directory of "resources for the analysis of the role of culture in shaping our political, economic, and social lives"; areas include popular culture, digital culture, social movements, and environmental justice)
  • Digital History (hypertext American history with primary sources and more; from University of Houston)
  • Digital Schomburg (online exhibitions, digitized books, images and more from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of the New York Public Library)
  • Discovering American Women's History Online (digital collections of primary source materials browseable by subject, place, time period, and source type; coverage is 18th century through late 20th century)
  • Famous Trials (the Web’s largest and most visited collection of original essays, trial transcripts and exhibits, maps, images, and other materials relating to the greatest trials in world history; from Prof. Douglas O. Linder of Univ. of Missouri Law School)
  • Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 (A statistical history of U.S. social, economic, political, and geographic development during periods from 1610 to 1970)
  • History Matters: the U.S. survey course on the web (an annotated guide to the best websites in American history; from George Mason University)
  • National Archives DOCS Teach (search or browse a large collection of documents from the U.S. National Archives)
  • People's century (companion to the PBS series of the same name documenting the extraordinary events of the century through the revealing personal testimony of the people who experienced them firsthand)
  • Presidential libraries (links to libraries, including their digital documents collections from Presidents Herbert Hoover through Barack Obama)
  • Primary Resources in U.S. history and politics (from the Miller Center at Univ. of Virginia)
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States (annual volumes of statistics back to 1878 and viewable in PDF ; Note: some years are not available)
  • Teaching American History: Documents Library (letters, speeches, documents on significant people and events in American political thought and history)


Updated 4/2018