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History 118 - United States History, 1865 - Present - Stonis

With the recent controversies around Confederate monuments and historical memory, this project helps students think about public spaces, historical revision, and public art in an engaging way.


Primary sources can be found in a variety of places, including the GCC Library's OneSearch tool, library databases, and websites.

Well-researched history books build their arguments on primary sources. Looking through the citations of a secondary source is a great way to find primary sources. Often the author will provide the link, book title, article title, or archive information in the citations. These are your clues! Follow this information to find the primary source you'd like to find and then start researching from there. It's like another author gave you a head start.

Tip for success and integrity: Avoid plagiarism by not taking all of another author's primary sources. This research technique is to discover where the major paths into the topic are, find a primary source, and then jump into your own research.



The web sites below contain databases with digital images of primary sources. For better results, take the time to explore the different databases and learn about the search options that are available. 

The Atlanta History Center has collected resources about confederate monuments, including a research template and a bibliography. There are also links to information about confederate monuments in New Orleans, Mississippi, Dallas, Charlottesville, Atlanta, and more.

Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 200,000 digitized items—including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts—reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations across California.

  • Civil Rights Digital Library
    The Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative represents an ambitious and comprehensive efforts to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web. The struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s is among the most far-reaching social movements in the nation's history, and it represents a crucial step in the evolution of American democracy. The initiative promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement through its three principal components: 1) a digital video archive of historical news film 2) a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Movement, and 3) a learning objects component delivering secondary Web-based resources.

  • Digital Public Library of America
    The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.


Imagine Santa Monica, home to the digital collections of the Santa Monica Public Library. The collections include the Santa Monica Image Archives, Pacific Palisades Historical Collection, Santa Monica Evening Outlook (1895-1925), Santa Monica Facts, Historical Maps of Santa Monica, and Santa Monica Newspaper Index.

  • Independent Lens
    Airing weekly on PBS, the five-time Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens is a film festival in your living room. Each week we bring you another original documentary film, made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today.

  • Japanese American National Museum Collections Online
    The Japanese American National Museum’s Collections Online features selected highlights from our permanent collection of over 60,000 unique artifacts, documents, and photographs.

  • National Archives Records

Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved in the National Archives and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family's history, need to prove a veteran's military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you.

  • The National Archives: Documented Rights
    The National Archives and Records Administration has accumulated historical “Documented Rights ” resources from around the country for you to see in one place.


The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.

  • ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries
    ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is the oldest active Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning (LGBTQ) organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. Founded in 1952, ONE Archives currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records and personal papers.


The Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project is based at the University of Washington. It represents a unique collaboration involving community groups, UW faculty, and both undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Social Movements & Culture
    The Social Movements & Cultures web sites are designed for students, teachers, journalists, scholars, activists and anyone else interested in learning more about popular culture, digital cultures, social movements, environmental justice, and/or cultural theory. All the sites aim to further a progressive cultural politics of social justice.

Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

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