This guide is intended to provide an introduction to resources at The Bancroft Library related to American History, with attention to digital resources available in the Online Archive of California and Calisphere. Please note, that while many digital resources are mentioned in this guide, most resources held at The Bancroft Library are not online. Anyone doing in-depth research should look closely at the catalog records for items not included in this guide and consider consulting with The Bancroft Library staff in order to find other sources.
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The Western Americana collection at The Bancroft Library includes materials relating to the history of western North America, from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean and From Alaska to Panama. The greatest concentration of materials relate to California, followed by Mexico, which are extensively collected up to the present. Some of the topical strengths include materials relating to Native Americans and Anthropology, Spanish/Mexican California, Borderlands history, the California Gold Rush and the settlement that followed, Urban and Rural Development particularly in northern California, Ethnic Communities, the Environmental Movement in the American West, and Politics and Social Movements in the West including documentation of local, state, and national political figures. The history of most other Western American states is collected up to 1920, except such broad, overlapping issues as water and the environment, which are collected without regard to date. Also represented are early Pacific voyages of exploration and discovery; continental expansion west of the Mississippi, the fur trade, overland journeys to the West; Hawaii and the Philippines, British Columbia and the Yukon. In addition to books and manuscripts, the collection includes maps, newspapers, photographs and other pictorial documentation, microfilms of original documents including some from foreign archives, and other materials. For more detailed information see:
In addition to the Western and Latin Americana Collections, The Bancroft Library is home to: