Major Online Document Collections


While most entries on History of the Great Lakes States are for individual books, articles or maps, we also have many large website collections of digitized documents. You may be interested in exploring a few of those collections listed below, which have resources related to the whole Great Lakes region or even larger parts of the U.S.


Click on the page name to open it in a new tab, and you’ll find the recommended works there, with links and more detailed descriptions. They are listed alphabetically.


Great Lakes Documents & Collections page

All the sites below are listed under the Collections heading, which is found halfway down the page.


American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement

American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later.


American State Papers: Legislative and Executive Documents of Congress 1789-1838

This collection of 6,278 documents contains legislative and executive documents of Congress during the period 1789 to 1838 in ten topical classes or series.


The First American West: The Ohio River Valley 1750-1820

“15,000 digitized pages of original historical material documenting the land, peoples, exploration, and transformation of the trans-Appalachian West from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century…”


Northwest Territory Collection, 1721-1825

550 Documents. “The bulk of the papers are from the period 1780 through 1801 and relate to the U.S. Army in the [North]West.”


Papers of the War Department 1784-1800

42,882 documents. Some are transcribed. “Between 1784 and 1800, the War Department was responsible for Indian affairs, veteran affairs, naval affairs (until 1798), as well as militia and army matters…”


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