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New Resource: American Indian Histories and Cultures

New Resource: American Indian Histories and Cultures

New Resource: American Indian Histories and Cultures

Aartistic representation of native americansmerican Indian Histories and Cultures presents a unique insight into Native American history. It is one of the strongest archival collections on this subject in the world and contains original documents, maps, photographs, drawings and paintings.

AIHC is a wide-ranging digital resource presenting a unique insight into interactions between Native Americans  and Europeans from earliest contact continuing through the turbulence of the American Civil War, the on-going repercussions of government legislation, and up to the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. This resource contains material from the Newberry Library's extensive Edward E. Ayer Collection. Also included are manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books, photographs and newspapers. Browse through a wide range of rare and original documents ranging from treaties, speeches and diaries, to historic maps and travel journals.


Access to this resource has been made possible by the Library as well as, in part, through generous support from the Rupert Costo Endowment and Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, UC Riverside.


Document types, digitized in full color, include:

  • An extensive collection of manuscripts ranging from the early 16th to the mid-20th centuries
  • A striking collection of artwork including rare American Indian ledger art
  • Speeches and petitions written by American Indians
  • Diaries, essays, travel journals and ledger books from early European expeditions
  • Correspondence, notes and minutes relating to important treaties
  • Early linguistic studies and ethnographic accounts of American Indian life
  • Thousands of photographs
  • Historic maps and atlases
  • Rare printed books
  • American Indian newspapers from the 1960s-1990s

This rich selection of primary sources covers such important themes as:

  • American Indians and the European Powers
  • American Indians and the US Government
  • Military Encounters: Conflicts, Rebellions and Alliances
  • Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
  • Indigenous Peoples of Mexico
  • First Nations of Canada
  • Missionaries and Education
  • Trade and Indian Economies
  • Civil Rights Movement

Providing information on subjects such as:

  • Early America and European colonialism including New France, New Spain and British colonialism
  • Territorial disputes; treaties, land cessions, delegations
  • Relations with the US Government incorporating treaties, land claims and petitions, the Indian Removal Act and termination
  • Battles and conflicts such as the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, Pontiac's Rebellion, the US Civil War, Creek War, Battle of Washita and the Battles of Little Big Horn
  • European and inter-tribal Indian alliances
  • Mexico and the surrounding areas
  • Canadian First Nations and the fur trade
  • Religion; the dissemination of Christianity, Jesuits, Missionaries
  • Education and Indian Boarding schools
  • Artwork, photographs, journals and travel narratives describing customs, traditions and cultures
  • 20th century political activism; the Red Power Movement, Urban Indian Conferences and the occupation of Alcatraz

The combination of primary documents and secondary resources provides an extensive overview of American Indian History in North America. Key periods covered include:

  • Pre-contact
  • Early contact between American Indians and Europeans settlers
  • The first days of the New Republic and the emerging Federalist Era
  • Relocation policy and the ensuing Indian Removal Act of 1830
  • Indian Wars, the War of Independence and the American Civil War
  • Turn of the century politics and the Progressive Era
  • The impact of the Indian New Deal
  • The Red Power Movement and the occupation of Alcatraz


For more information contact:
Steve Mitchell,
Native American Studies Selector
Orbach Science Library



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