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INTD 105 -- The Underground Railroad -- Professor Behrend: Researching the Underground Railroad

Secondary Sources--articles by historians and other scholars

Finding Books


When you are looking for primary sources in IDS Search, combine your topic words with one or more of these subject headings:

personal narratives


Resources through The New York Public Library

These online resources are accessible to anyone with a  New York Public Library card, which is available to anyone with a New York State address.

African American Newspapers: The 19th CenturyThis full text database includes nine rare African American newspapers from the 1800s. In this database you can read Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper in the United States, as well as Provincial Freeman, a newspaper founded in Canada for African Americans who escaped slavery or chose to leave the United States.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998This database includes over 270 newspapers from 35 states, including titles such as Alaska Spotlight and Afro-Hawaii News.

African American Experience. This full-text digital resource explores the history and culture of African Americans, as well as the greater Black Diaspora. This database is a great resource for middle school, high school, and undergraduate researchers.

ProQuest Civil War Era (1840-1865). This database includes more than 2,000 pamphlets and eight newspaper titles for the years 1840-1865, covering a vast range of Civil War Era research topics reflecting points of view of Northern, Southern, and Border States.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & LawThis database brings together all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world, as well as materials on free African-Americans in the colonies and the U.S. before 1870. Included are every statute passed by every state and colony, all federal statutes, all reported state and federal cases on slavery, and hundreds of books and pamphlets on the subject.

Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.  A historical archive of several million cross-searchable pages of books, serials, supreme court records and briefs, and key manuscript collections from the United States, Great Britain, and France concerning debates of slavery and abolition, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the Institution of Slavery, and the Age of Emancipation.

African American Historical Serials CollectionThis database documents the history of African American life and religious organizations from materials published between 1829 and 1922.  The archive includes 170 titles from 75 different institutions.

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995. This database includes over 170 periodicals, published in 26 states, by and about African Americans, such as academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations' bulletins, and annual reports. 

Black Studies Center.This fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies includes scholarly essays, periodical literature, historical newspaper articles, reference books, dissertations and more.

Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience This resource, developed in cooperation with NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, provides an encyclopedic treatment of the formation and development of Black Studies. This database provides a core collection of primary and secondary resources in Black Studies, including full-text articles, book chapters, dissertations, reference materials, timelines, images and multimedia.

Research Help

If you need help with your history research, sign up for a one-on-one Student Research Consultation (SRC) with a reference librarian who can help guide you through your research project.