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Find Articles

America: History & Life
Search a specialized history database like America: History & Life to find secondary sources -- scholarly journal articles, books, and dissertations on immigration topics (1450-present).

Other Databases


journal of american history If the full text of the article is not available immediately in the database, click on the Check for Full Text link to locate the full text in another database.

Use Journal Finder if you have a citation and need to find the full text journal.

Web Resources

Immigration History Research Center
Sponsored by the University of Minnesota, the Immigration History Research Center promotes the study of international migration specializing in U.S. immigration. Search its collections in the online image database Collage.

Find Books

Search the SMC Library Catalog:

If you find a book the library does not own, submit an interlibrary loan request.

Browse Library Collection

  • JV6403-7127   United States Immigration
  • E184                Irish Americans, Italian Americans, etc.

Use Subject Headings

Brainstorm keywords for your searches

  • immigration, immigrants, ethnicity, foreigners, illegal aliens, ellis island, irish americans...
  • emigration, emigrants, Italy, Italian, Russia, Russian, China, Chinese ....

Find Encyclopedias

Specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works can provide good background information on your topic.

encyclopedia of american immigration

Use Reference Universe to search for other reference material in the library's collection.

Find Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred.

1. Search the Library Catalog to find primary sources in the SMC Library or WorldCat to find primary sources at another library. Type in keywords from your topic and any of the following terms.

  • sources
  • personal narratives
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • speeches
  • manuscripts
  • notebooks
  • autobiography
  • description and travel
  • case studies
  • interviews
  • statistics
  • songs and music

American Immigrant Autobiographies
Microfilm collection of manuscript autobiographies held at the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota. Consult the microfilm guide for a table of contents of the collection.

Immigration and Multiculturalism: Essential Primary Sources
Provides primary source documents focused on immigration and multiculturalism in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

2. Search web sites for primary sources using Google Advanced Search.

  • Search on keywords such as immigration, immigrants, italian americans, etc.
  • Use digital collection as one of your terms to help identify digitized primary sources or try oral history.
  • Search within a domain such as .edu, .org, .gov to restrict your search to educational and government institutions.

Historical Newspapers & Magazines

American Periodicals Series Online
Full text from 1100 American magazines and journals published between 1741-1900.

Historical Newspapers
Full text for New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal from 1851-2004.


American History in Video
Videos include commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries.

New York City, Ellis Island Oral Histories, 1892-1976
Audiofiles of oral histories collected by the Ellis Island Oral History Program through the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Search by keyword using country of birth such as Italy. SMC Library has the transcripts on microfilm.

Library of Congress National Jukebox
Searchable database of historical sound recordings. Check out the genre Ethnic Characterizations

Selected Digital Collections

American Memory
Primary documents in American History from the Library of Congress.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Search or browse the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) on selected topics to find digital images. Other search interfaces available include Access to Archival Databases and the Online Public Access Catalog.

Immigration and Naturalization Gallery
Collection of digital documents and images on immigration from the National Archives.

Ellis Island Photographs from the Collection of William Williams, Commissioner of Immigration, 1902-1913
Digital collection of Ellis Island photographs at the New York Public Library

European History Primary Sources
Index of scholarly websites that offer online access to digitized primary sources on the history of Europe.



Maintained by Stacey Knight