James H. Thomason Library

History 458 Course Guide: Immigration and America
Reference Sources

Italian family, Ellis Island.  Lewis Hine (1905). Collection of Eastman House, Rochester, New York. 
ARTstor Image Collection
  Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  Handbooks & Companions
  Atlases, Maps, & Statistical Sources
  Style Guides
Locating Books
Locating Articles
  Article Databases
  Historic Newspapers
Web Sites
Get Help

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Reference Sources:    
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias   back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

American Decades, Gale Research, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A [10 vols, supplement]
See volume 1 (1900-1910), article “Problems of Immigration.” By Frank P. Sargent (1904).. Each volumes has its own index. Look under heading “immigrants” for specific page numbers.

American Decades Primary Sources, Thomson Gale, 2004.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.9 Am35A suppl [10 vols]
A companion to the American Decades series providing insight into the seminal issues, themes, movements and events from each decade of the 20th century through oral histories, songs, speeches, letters, photographs, advertisements, cartoons, and newspaper articles compiled in a print volume for each decade.

American Eras, Gale Research, 1997. 
Main Level, Reference: R 973.8 Am35A [8 vols]
Check index for specific topics during a specific time period. Vols. 1-6 include information on slavery.

American Immigrant Cultures, Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 305.800973 Am35A [2 vols]

Dictionary of American History, Thomson Learning, 2003.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.03 D561D [10 vols]
Coverage includes political, military, and economic development, as well as the social, cultural, personal, and demographic considerations which contribute to the ever-expanding knowledge of the American experience. Entries include cross-references and bibliographies.


Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations, Routledge, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 305.8003 C268D

Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002.
Main Level, Reference: R 327.73 En19E [3 vols]
Covers concepts and doctrines, policymaking, commerce and science, human rights and arms control, with specific articles on topics ranging from anti-imperialism to environmental diplomacy, from refugee policies to terrorism and countermeasures. Use index (volume 3) for specific topics. Main entry for “Immigration” (vol. 2, pp.203-216) provides a good historical overview of U.S.policy on the matter.

Encyclopedia of American Immigration, M. E. Sharpe, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 304.8 En19E [4 vols]

Encyclopedia of American Urban History  [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2007.
Key Features:
Addresses the rise of urban America using a concise, readable, and historical format—a century with the most dramatic urban growth and a time when the United States transformed from being a nation of shopkeepers and farmers to an urban industrial, and then post-industrial society. A few of the relevant entries include: Americanization Movement, Asian Americans in the Suburbs, Gateway Cities, Ethnic Neighborhoods, and Settlement House Movement.  

Encyclopedia of Community  [Sage eReference], SAGE Publications, 2003.
Community itself is a concept, an experience, and a central part of being human. Whether the reader is a student, researcher, or professional in the field of psychology, sociology, or even economics, this three-volume work will provide the necessary definitions of community beyond traditional views. Arranged in an A-to-Z fashion, the Encyclopedia can also be viewed topically via a Reader's Guide. This allows for interdisciplinary "compare and contrast" among topics such as types of communities, social capital, technology, urban life, politics and law, community design, and global studies.

  Encyclopedia of Community Bookcover

Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West [SAGE eReference], SAGE Publications, 2006.
This comprehensive survey of the spread of individuals and groups across the trans--Mississippi West contains more than 300 articles. Bakken, a history professor at California State University-Fullerton, and Kindell, a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University, worked with more than 100 contributors to provide coverage of individuals, groups, places, events, policies, and other topics. Examples of entries include Dry farming; Fresno, California; Gold; Homestead Act; Mormon colonization of Utah; Okies; Route 66; Women on the emigrant trails; and World War II defense industries. Among the 31 individuals who are covered are Stephen Fuller Austin, Levi Strauss, and Sarah Winnemucca. Entry length ranges from half of a page to 10 pages. Each entry includes suggested readings, and a "Master Bibliography" listing standard works as well as current research is repeated in each volume. Also in each volume are an alphabetical and a topical list of articles. Volume 2 contains several "Research Guides" for those who want to delve deeper into certain topics. The very detailed index is an important tool, since not all entry headings are intuitive. A few black-and-white maps and photographs are scattered throughout the text.

Emphasis is on ethnic and racial diversity, with topics such as Chileans and the California gold rush, Chinatowns, Euro-American migration of the overland trails, Japanese internment, and Trail of Tears. Tribal histories, such as Creek Nation and Washoe, are among the longest articles in the set. Many entries offer glimpses of individual struggles and movements that produced hostility and territoriality as well as innovation, husbandry, and stable nuclei of surviving cities. The writing is engaging, sometimes stirring. Commentary on demographics and social interaction illuminates the roles of simple folk in the exploration and settlement of the Great Plains and the gradual decimation and displacement of First Nations. (from BookList) (includes browseable index with linked entries ---good for exploring topics)

Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism, Marshall Cavendish, 1994, 1998.
Main Level, Reference: R 306.446 En19E [8 vols]

Encyclopedia of Population [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Macmillan Reference USA, 2003.
Provides expanded, up-to-date coverage of demographic topics both in the core field and in neighboring disciplines. Designed to encompass the large-scale changes in emphasis and research directions in population studies during the last 20 years, topics covered include: rapid demographic expansion in poor countries; low fertility rates and problems of old-age support; the environmental impact of a dense population; the press for expanded reproductive rights; and much more.
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 304.603 En19E [2 vols]

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America  [SAGE eReference], Sage Publications, c2005.
Includes entry on Immigration and Social Welfare Policy (United States)

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.003 En19E [5 vols]
Presents lengthy essays on political, economic, social, cultural, and technological developments that have marked the century. Includes cross-references, bibliographical essays, a chronology, and an index volume.

Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations, Oxford, 1997.
Main Level, Reference: R 327.73 En19E2 [4 vols]
Essays on major aspects of U.S. foreign relations, such as the American Revolution, the world wars, the environment, and international trade and commerce including a chronology of U.S. foreign relations, a table of national data, and a bibliography. Vol.4 contains index; use this to look up specific topics, such as Irish Americans, Japanese immigrants (has subheadings such as “Gentlemen’s Agreements,”  “internment during World War II,” and “segregation of San Francisco schools.”)

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Gale Group, 2000.
“Signed, scholarly articles covering a variety of ethnic groups within the U.S., including immigrant and native cultures. Each article presents an overview, ethnic relations, assimilation, traditions, culture, economic conditions, organizations and much more. Sources for additional study are listed for each group. The first volume contains a listing of the articles included; the third volume contains an index.” Also available in print,  Main Level, Reference: R 305.800973 G131G
[2 vols]

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Belknap Press, 1980.
Main Level, Reference: R 973.04 H261H   
Although somewhat dated, this title provides an excellent historical overview of emigration to the United States by various nationalities and ethnic groups.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas [Gale Virtual Reference Library], Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005.
More an encyclopedia than a dictionary, this set provides articles from a distinguished team of international scholars and is "designed to introduce a general audience to the main ideas and movements of global cultural history from antiquity to the twenty-first century.” A search for “immigration” retrieves nine entries, including  “Americanization, U.S.,” “Asian-American Ideas (Cultural Migration),”  and “Reception of Asians to the United States.”
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference: R 903 N42N [6 vols]

Gale U. S. History in Context [Thompson Gale] 

Encyclopedic and critical articles, essays and biographies, full-text periodicals and scholarly history journals with links to digitized special collections and audio and video clips of historic speeches and events. Multimedia maps and images, country and era overviews, and chronological timelines for undergraduate audience. Access note: After connecting to the Advanced Search screen, enter the “Publication title” in theappropriate box then enter your keyword terms OR document title in another appropriately labelled box. Includes titles below:

Dictionary of American History, Thomson Learning, 2003.
Also available Main Level, Reference:  R 973.03 D561D [1996 ed., 10 vols]
Coverage includes political, military, and economic development, as well as the social, cultural, personal, and demographic considerations which contribute to the ever-expanding knowledge of the American experience. Entries include cross-references and bibliographies.

Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993.
Also available Main Level, Reference: R 940.03 En19E [3 vols]
Covers all aspects of North American colonies from 985 to 1867. History and social history are covered, such as labor systems, folkways, technology, arts, settlements, government, economy, life courses, and social interactions. Includes a chronology, maps and index.

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
Entries cover population, politics and government, economy and work, society and culture, religion, social reform, foreign policy and more with illustrations and maps, a chronology, original documents and complete index.

New Collection!   U.S. History and Culture: Sharpe Online Reference [SOLR]

This collection of 9 eBooks from M. E. Sharpe Publishing explores the broad range of events, people, movements, and political, social, economic, and cultural issues that have shaped the United States from earliest times to the present day. Includes web links, primary sources, teacher resources, as well as a searchable image gallery.


Handbooks & Companions   back to top

The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience, Russell Sage Foundation, 1999.  
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 304.873 H191H

Multiculturalism in the United States: A Comparative Guide to Acculturation and Ethnicity, Greenwood Press, 2005. 
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 305.800973 M919M

The Oxford Companion to United States History [Oxford Reference Online], Oxford University Press, 2004. 
Entry on “Immigration” provides historical overview for periods 1840–1890. 1891–1930. 1930–1960.,  and 1960–2000.  Other relevant entries include “Americanization Movement,” and “Immigrant Labor,” as well as entries by country/region of origin (Asian Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Scandinavian Americans, etc.)
Also available in print, Main Level, Reference:
R 973.03 Ox2O 

Immigrant America : European Ethnicity in the United States, Garland Pub., 1994. 
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 305.84 Im6I
Click on call # link for Table of Contents.

Atlases, Maps, & Statistical Sources   back to top

Atlas of American Migration, Facts on File, 1998.
Upper Level, Circulating Collection: 304.80973 F613A

Historical Census Browser [University of Virginia Library] -link not working at this time-
Census data from 1790 to 1960, drawn directly from historical volumes of the U.S. Census of Population and Housing. The Browser allows users to view category data over a number of years. By using “Ethnicity/Race/Place of Birth” category, users can map immigrant population by date and by state.

Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts [U.S. Census Bureau]

Yearbook of Immigration Statistics [Homeland Security, US Government]
Includes news releases and The Yearbook, a compendium of tables that provide data on foreign nationals who, during the fiscal year [current issue is 2007] were granted lawful permanent residence, were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis, applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration law enforcement actions.

Style Guides   back to top


Suggestions for Paper Writers, Dr. Anita Gustafson, History Dept.

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.

Locating Books   back to top


Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Kraut, Alan M. [as AUTHOR]

  Addams, Jane [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to immigration:

Acculturation--United States


Acculturation--United States--History




Emigration And Immigration--United States


Immigrants--United States


Immigrants--United States--History


United States--Emigration And Immigration-- Government Policy


United States--Emigration And Immigration--History

  World War, 1914-1918-–Italian Americans  
  • Materials relevant to the study of immigration may also be found by specifying the era or dates, geographic area, or the material type in which you are interested:
  Chinese Americans--Social conditions--19th century  

Chinese American Women--History--19th century


Immigrants--United States--Social Conditions--20th Century


Irish American Women--History--19th century


Swedish Americans--Minnesota--Saint Paul--History-- Congresses


United States--Emigration and immigration--History--19th century


Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
immigrants AND legal status

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
immigrant AND (laborers OR workers)

· Add * to the root of a word to truncate or expand
a term:
immigra* = immigrant, immigrants, immigrate, immigration

Try KEYWORD searching with THOMCAT, other library catalogs & library databases

PASCAL Catalog

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Check link for instructions.

Locating Articles:    
Article Databases/Indexes back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic Search Premier [EBSCOhost] 
Approximately 550 of the more than 8000 periodicals indexed are history-related journals and magazines, with full-text articles for many of them.

Gale U.S. History in Context [Gale]
Events, issues and current information in U.S. history from journal articles, reference, and primary source materials. 

A searchable archive of full-text journals covering all disciplines while providing more full-text access in the library's electronic databases.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection
Current and recent volumes of over 111 core journals in the humanities and social sciences

Essay and General Literature Index, 1900-2001
Main Level, Reference: Ind 016.824 Es73E
This author and subject index to essays published in collections and miscellaneous works covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, including history.


Historic Newspapers   back to top

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876 [NewsBank Archive of Americana]
A searchable database with issues from over 700 historical American newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries. Select specific titles or search publications by state.

The Atlanta Constitution Archive [ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image articles from 1868-1945.

The New York Times Archive [ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image of NYT articles with coverage from 1851 up to three years ago.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals [Library of Congress]
Twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Library of Congress, including literary and political magazines, as well as Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder, and Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry. The longest run is for The North American Review, 1815-1900.

Web Sites   back to top

New! American History in Video [Alexander Street Press]
This collection is an exclusive collaboration with A&E Television Networks and features important documentaries and series from The History Channel®, A&E Network®, and Biography®. Historical coverage ranges from the early history of Native Americans, to the lost colony of Roanoke, to the 1988 Vicennes Affair in the Persian Gulf. Biographical coverage ranges from eighteenth century figures such as Benedict Arnold and Daniel Boone to modern day figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Helen Thomas. Search or browse-- powered by Semantic Indexing and searchable transcripts synchronized to video—gives the ability to drill down in seconds to find the footage of interest from thousands of hours of video.

Ancestors in the Americas [Center for Educational Communications]
Website for the PBS series exploring the history and legacy of Asians in the Americas with sections on historic documents, program information, viewer guides, preview clips, and storytellers guides.

Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation

A non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its role in shaping America’s past, present and future. Don't miss the History and Immigrant Voices links. ipl2 4/2010

Text of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 [Mt. Holyoke College]

The Chinese in California : 1850-1925  [Library of Congress]
Illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials. Included are photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter. These documents describe the experiences of Chinese immigrants in California, including the nature of inter-ethnic tensions. They also document the specific contributions of Chinese immigrants to commerce and business, architecture and art, agriculture and other industries, and cultural and social life in California. Chinatown in San Francisco receives special treatment as the oldest and largest community of Chinese in the United States. Also included is documentation of smaller Chinese communities throughout California, as well as material reflecting on the experiences of individuals.

Ellis Island Photographs from the Collection of William Williams, Commissioner of Immigration, 1902-1913 [New York Public Library Digital Gallery]

Photographs (gelatin silver prints) relating to Ellis Island and immigration into the United States in the early 20th century, ranging from portraits of individual immigrants by Augustus Francis Sherman to views of the Ellis Island facility and its grounds by Edwin Levick and others. 6/08

Overview of INS History to 1998 [ Marian L. Smith, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services]
Originally published in A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government, edited by George T. Kurian.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Reprinted with permission.

Immigration History Research Center [University of Minnesota]
Search COLLAGE, thousands of photographs, illustrations, texts, and other archival materials selected from the IHRC collections using our online image database.

Immigration, American Expansion [American Memory Project, Library of Congress]
Currently consists of 14 full-text collections, including "California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900 and Trails to Utah and the Pacific: Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 [Harvard University Library]
A web-based collection of selected historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the US from the signing of the Constitution to the onset of the Great Depression.

Lewis Wickes Hine: Documentary Photographs, 1905-1938 [New York Public Library Digital Collections]

617 silver gelatin photographic prints depicting American social conditions and labor, including immigrants at Ellis Island and construction of the Empire State Building, Hine's principal subjects.


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