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Reconstruction: Online Sources

Primary Sources - Custom Search Engine

When historians talk about evidence, they often mean primary sources. Primary sources (diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper accounts, artifacts, etc. created during the time period being studied) can offer rich and unique insights into your topic.  Thousands of primary documents have been digitized and can be found online on university, government and museum websites.  The Bentley Library also has collections of these documents in printed and ebook sources.  In addition you can use the Google Custom Search Engine created by Ms. Bogas.  For more information about primary sources and more links, please check out the Primary Sources research guide.

American History Primary Sources Custom Search Engine

Historical Newspapers

Encyclopedias & Reference Books in Online Databases

U.S. History in Context (Gale) - Reconstruction (includes books, journal articles, primary sources, images, and more!)

American History Online (Inforbase)

Issues & Controversies in Amerian History (Infobase)

Reconstruction Timeline

Modern World History Online (Inforbase)

Free African Americans (from Gale U.S. History in Context

Reconstruction  (Oxford African American Studies Center)

Reconstruction ebooks

Britannica Image Quest

Britannica Image Quest (username "bentley"; password "Ktwelve")

Trusted Websites

Digital Public LIbrary of America- great source for primary images

Harper's Weekly
This paper was one of the most popular publications in America during the late 1800’s. Many images pertaining to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

African American Odyssey
From the Library of Congress. Tons of primary source materials focusing on African American history post Civil War.

Digital History Reconstruction Exhibit great primary source materials

NYPL Digital Schomburg
Images of African Americans from Reconstruction

Civil War and Reconstruction Timeline From the Library of Congress.

PBS LearningMedia search for your topic (see below for examples)

America's Reconstruction: People and Politics after the Civil War
text by famed historian Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney


Reconstruction Era : 1865-1877  from Howard University

Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
This digital archive presents a hypermedia archive of primary sources providing a social history of a northern and a southern community from 1859 through the Reconstruction period.

The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy (from Facing History Facing Ourselves) a rich source of primary source documents under the "Documents" section.