United States & Canadian Studies websites

Note: This page links to general resources. See individual subject pages for more detailed lists of resources by topic

United States


American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Library of Congress & WBGH Boston project to digitally preserve the most important public radio & TV broadcasts since the 1940s

American Memory

Gateway to digitised American historical materials from the Library of Congress. Comprising more than 9 million items that document U.S. history and culture, American Memory is organized into more than 100 thematic collections. The original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Collections may be browsed & searched individually, or searched across multiple collections.

Digital Public Library of America

Cooperative effort that ultimately aims to become the national digital library

Documenting the American South

Excellent digitised resources primarily from the holdings of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, materials include books, posters, diaries, letters, artifacts, oral histories, songs.

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Vast and growing array of resources covering all areas and periods

Making of America

Digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through to reconstruction.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

Diverse & extensive range of resources online


Amistad Research Center

Houses the collections of the American Missionary Association (AMA). Includes some digital collections of documents & photographs, most relating to the fight against slavery, the civil rights movement, and AMA schools

Civil Rights History Project

Maintained by the Library of Congress with extensive video interviews with key figures

MLA Language Map of the USA

Uses data from the 2000 census and updates from the American Community Survey. Detail down to zip code level

NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

Founded in 1909, the oldest & largest civil rights organisation

Hispanic Trends (Pew Research Center)

Includes major annual (2002-) National Survey of Latinos

Southern Poverty Law Center

Major civil rights organisation



Official website (formerly called Thomas) for federal legislative information, including bills, the Congressional record and historical documents.

Congressional Research Service reports

Produced by the Congressional Research Service for the US Congress. Thousands of reports are accessible online, mostly from 2000 onwards

Digitization Projects Registry

Very useful directory of links to digitisation projects relating to publications of the United States government which is maintained by the US Government Printing Office (US.GPO). These include US government projects and those undertaken by other libraries and research institutes

GPO Federal Digital System

Replaces GPO Access. Gradually being replaced by Govinfo (currently beta site). Free access to official publications from about 1993 onwards, including Presidential documents, Congressional bills, documents, hearings & reports, the Congressional record, and Federal register. Also MetaLib from GPO - searches across 50+ official databases. Items retrieved include bibliographic references to books, US government reports and other materials, with links to resources available in full text

House of Representatives

Includes links to Member Offices, Committee Offices and Leadership Offices; Roll Call Votes and much more.

National Security Archive

An independent non-governmental research institute at George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. See its electronic briefing books

United States Code

The US code is a consolidation & codification by subject of the general and permanent laws of the US


The official portal for searching federal & state websites (previously called First.Gov)

White House


Chronology of US historical documents

Useful listing from the University of Oklahoma Law Center

Library of Congress

National library of the US

National Archives and Records Administration


Chronicling America : Historic American Newspapers

Free digitised content from the National Digital Newspaper Program, a project of the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities. Access to a selection of digitised full text newspapers published between 1789-1924 from across US states. Also a searchable directory of American newspapers published from 1690 to the present day, giving bibliographic details and holdings records for the Library of Congress but not the full text


American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy

Important free market oriented institute. Some publications are freely available as full text documents

Foundation Center

Gateway to the US philanthropy and grant awarding sector. Includes useful free statistics and an extensive catalogue of literature relating to non-profit organisations in the US

Pew Research Center

Respected nonpartisan centre carries out opinion polls and other data driven research to analyse issues and trends shaping America across these broad themes: US politics, media, social trends, religion, internet & technology, science, Hispanics. Useful source of reports & data


Free access to an online repository of public policy research from over 200 (mainly US) think tanks &research centres. Most items are offered in full text and date from 2007/8 onwards.


Free access to more than 25 000 publications from over 300 free market policy institutes in the USA, from the mid-1990s onwards. Maintained by the Heartland Institute


The RAND Corporation is an important non-profit institution that aims to improve policy and decision-making through analysis of the challenges facing the US and the world. These challenges include such issues as education, poverty, crime, and the environment, as well as national security. Many of its publications are available online.

Urban Institute

Free access to reports and data focusing on issues particularly relevant to metropolitan areas in the US



Major collaborative effort by libraries, archives & others to make available Canada's heritage in digital form. Content is from 16th century onwards and includes the core collections: Early Canadiana Online and Heritage


A digital publishing initiative of Universite de Montreal and other major French Canadian universities.An excellent starting point for tracing academic research on the history, culture and politics of Quebec and its relations with the rest of Canada.

Library and Archives Canada

National library and archives. A growing number of digital collections and digitised microforms are available


The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192