U.S. History: 20th Century American History

See also Finding Primary Sources hints for finding documents and primary sources in our Library.

See also the following course guides for U. S. History: Reconstruction to 1900, the Gilded Age/Progressive Era AND America in World War II.


The Library's RhinoCAT is an automated catalog of books, DVDs, and other library materials. RhinoCAT is available from any browser at http://taft.bywatersolutions.com. It is also accessible from your TaftNet homepage. A keyword search using a broad term will yield the most hits. TIP: When you identify a book in RhinoCAT that sounds useful, find it on the shelf and BROWSE books on either side of it to find additional books for your research project.

Online Subscription Websites

Encyclopedias and Reference Books

For all Topics: Gale Virtual Reference Library, Infobase ebooks, and Salem History. Simultaneously search hundreds of reference ebooks. Also: Britannica Academic, the complete Encyclopedia Britannica, plus authoritative websites and full-text journal articles.


    • 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:
    • Notable American women. Ref CT3260 .N57 - CT3260 .N573 5 vols
    • Oxford dictionary of American art and artists. Ref N6505 .M59 2007



    • Cold War Reference Library. 2004 6 vols (an online ebook)
    • Encyclopedia of conflicts since World War II. Ref D 843 .E46 2007 3 vols
    • Encyclopedia of Japanese American internment. Ref D 769.8.A6 E64 2013
    • Encyclopedia of the Cold War. Ref D 840 .E63 2008 5 vols
    • Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. Ref D 804.3 E53 1990 4 vols
    • Encyclopedia of the Korean War : a political, social, and military history. Ref DS918 .E53 2010 3 vols
    • Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: a political, social and military history. Ref DS 557.7 .E53 2011 3 vols
    • Great events from history series:
    • History in dispute series. Ref D 20 .H543 2000 21 vols (individual titles in series are also available as online ebooks)
    • Korean War Reference Library. 2002 2 vols (an online ebook)
    • Man-made catastrophes. Ref D 24 .D38 2002
    • Vietnam War Reference Library. 2001 5 vols (an online ebook)
    • World War I (1914-1919). Defining documents in American history series. Ref D 619 .W67 2014 (also an online ebook)
    • World War I : the definitive encyclopedia and document collection. Ref D 510 .E53 2014 5 vols
    • World War I Reference Library. 2002 4 vols (an online ebook)
    • World War II Reference Library. 2000 5 vols (an online ebook)
    • World War II : the definitive encyclopedia and document collection. Ref D740 .E516 2016 5 vols


American History

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)

    • African American Almanac. 2008 (an online ebook)
    • African-American Years: Chronologies of American History and Experience. 2003 (an online ebook)
    • Asian American history and culture: an encyclopedia. Ref E184.A75 A8287 2010 2 vols
    • Black women in America. Ref E 185.86 .B542 2005 3 vols
    • Encyclopedia Latina: history, culture, and society in the United States. Ref E 184 .S75 E586 2005 4 vols
    • Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 2nd ed. 2006 2 vols (an online ebook)
    • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1619-1895. Ref E185 .E545 2006 3 vols
    • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present. Ref E185 .E5453 2009 5 vols
    • Encyclopedia of American Indian history. Ref E 77 .E48 2008 4 vols
    • Encyclopedia of multiculturalism. Ref E184 .A1 E58 1994 6 vols
    • Encyclopedia of Muslim-American history. Ref E184.M88 E876 2010 2 vols (also an online ebook)
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. encyclopedia. Ref E 185.97 .K5 M334 2008
    • Native America in the twentieth century. Ref E 740.7 1990 .N56 2009 3 vols
    • Presidents and Black America: a documentary history. Ref E 176.472.A34 J66 2012
    • Race and racism in the United States: an encyclopedia of the American mosaic. Ref E 184 .A1 R254 2014 4 vols
    • UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. 2008 4 vols (an online ebook)

Pop Culture in America (See also G: Recreaton - M: Music - N: Fine Art - P: Literature)


H SOCIAL SCIENCES Statistics and Population

Economics and Commerce

    • 100 most significant events in American business: an encyclopedia. 2012 (an online ebook)
    • Affirmative action: an encyclopedia. Ref HF 5549.5 .A3 A426 2004 2 vols
    • Advertising age encyclopedia of advertising. Ref HF 5803 .A38 2003 3 vols
    • The American economy: a historical encyclopedia. Ref HC102 .A66 2011 2 vols
    • Encyclopedia of American economic history. Ref HC 103 .E52 3 vols
    • ADD Encyclopedia of American recessions and depressions. Ref HB3743 .E53 2014 2 vols
    • A Financial history of the United States. Ref HG181 .M298 2011 2 vols
    • Historical encyclopedia of American business. Ref HF 3021 .H67 2009 3 vols (also an online ebook)
    • Historical encyclopedia of American labor. Ref HD 8066 .H57 2004 2 vols
    • Labor conflict in the United States. Ref HD 5324 .L32
    • Oxford encyclopedia of American business, labor, & economic history. Ref HG 3021 .O94 2013 2 vols
    • Poverty in the United States. Ref HC 110 .P6 P598 2004 2 vols

Sociology, Social History, Criminology

Women in America

    • ABC-CLIO companion to women in the workplace. Ref HD 6095 .S34 1993
    • Encyclopedia of women and American politics. Ref HQ 1236.5 .U6 E52 2008
    • Encyclopedia of women in American history. Ref HQ 1410 .E53 2002 3 vols
    • From Suffrage to the Senate: America's political women: an encyclopedia of leaders, causes, and issues. Ref HQ 1236.5 .U6 s32 2013 2 vols
    • Radical feminists: a guide to an American subculture. 2011 (an online ebook)
    • Women in American Society. 2008 (an online ebook)
    • Women in American politics: history and milestones. Ref HQ1236.5.U6 W43 2012 2 vols (also an online ebook)
    • Women's rights in the United States : a comprehensive encyclopedia of issues, events, and people. Ref HQ1236.5.U6 W677 2015 4 vols




    • 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 companion to American literature. Ref PS 21 .H3 1995
    • 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


    • Asimov's chronology of science and discovery. Ref Q 125 .A765 2004
    • Astronomy and space. Ref QB 14 .E54 1994 3 vols
    • Cambridge world history of human disease. Ref R 131 .C233 1995
    • Encyclopedia of medical history. Ref R 133 .M34 1985
    • Encyclopedia of pestilence, pandemics, and plagues. Ref RA652 .E535 2008 2 vols
    • Historical encyclopedia of atomic energy. Ref QC 772 .A87 2000
    • McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science and technology. Ref Q 121.M3 2002 20 vols and annuals
    • The Oxford encyclopedia of the history of American science, medicine, and technology. Ref Q127.U6 O95 20142 vols
    • Science and its times: Understanding the social significance of scientific discovery. Ref Q 175.46 .S35 2000 8 vols (also an online ebook)
    • Science, technology, and society : the impact of science in the 20th century. Ref Q125 .S395 2002 3 vols



    • 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
    • Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War. Ed. M. Grossman. Ref UF 500 .G8 1995
    • Great lives from history : Inventors & inventions. Ref T39 .G75 2010 3 vols (also an online ebook)
    • 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)

Taft Online Subscriptions

  • Academic Search Complete (Ebsco) Full text access to thousands of journals in all disciplines
  • African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 Full-text access to 270 historically significant African-American newspapers from across the U.S. This collection offers unique perspectives and rich historical context.
  • America’s Historical Newspapers 1690 – 2000 Full facsimile images of American newspapers back to the colonial era
  • American History Online Overview essays, biographies, primary sources, videos and slideshows, images, timelines, and maps and graphs in American political, military, social, and cultural history. Includes expanded coverage of American women's history and U.S. government information.
  • American Periodicals (1740 - 1940) Full facsimile images of special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals.
  • Annals of American History Search 2700+ primary source documents and multimedia by author, decade, or topic
  • FactCite: The Lincoln Library Online FactCite contains all volumes of Defining Moments (American History) series, American Founding Documents, World Biography and more. Issues & Controversies in American History Extensive coverage of key issues and controversies in American history from colonial America to the present. JSTOR Extensive backfiles of scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, and sciences, many dating back to the 19th century
  • Liberty Magazine Historical Archive, 1924-1950 Liberty flourished when illustrated magazines were the most important form of mass entertainment. Liberty charted the moods, attitudes, lifestyles, fads, and fortunes of middle class America through three significant decades.
  • New York Times 1851-2008 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) Graphical interface and full-text coverage back to the first issue in 1851 (Click here for Traditional Interface)
  • Oxford Art Online Includes the full text of the 34-volume print edition of The Dictionary of Art plus several other art reference works
  • Oxford Music Online Includes the full text of the 29-volume print edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians plus several other music reference works
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective Contains the complete indexing of The Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890-1982, and full text context where available.
  • The Times (London) Digital Archive 1785-1985 200 years of news in full facsimile images from London's premier newspaper
  • U. S. History in Context Comprehensive collection of reference sources, primary documents, periodicals, maps and multimedia
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 – 2000. Thousands of primary source documents and other resources in American women's history


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Updated 4/30/2017