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The settling of the western territories of the United States is a subject that continues to fascinate both the serious researcher and the history buff. The courage and pioneer spirit of the men and women who explored and settled these new lands will always remain an integral part of the American character and legend.

Western Americana offers students of American history and others interested in learning more about this country's growth with a wide range of books and documents about the American west. This comprehensive microfiche collection spans the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, and includes federal and state documents, directories, guidebooks, state and regional histories, memoirs, reminiscences and travel accounts, and conventional primary and secondary histories of the west.

Clark C. Spence and the four other prominent historians who compiled this collection set out to present researchers with firsthand accounts by the ordinary men and women who built the west --sodbusters, livery stable keepers, middle-class housewives. These personal narratives by people who directly observed the early western scene provide unique, vivid descriptions of the conditions and events at the time. For example, Caroline Kirkland's A New Home--Who'll Follow? provides a realistic portrayal of frontier life in Michigan during the 1830s.

These informative personal accounts are balanced throughout the collection with numerous works by professional historians, thus providing a complete overview of American history as the settled lands pushed closer and closer to the Pacific Ocean.

Western Americana is organized into sub-collections that may be purchased separately. Many of the subject headings listed serve the newer disciplines of ethnohistory, urbanology, natural resources, and women's studies:

  • The Frontier Thesis
  • Earlier Wests
  • The Trails West
  • Mormon Utah
  • Indians
  • Other Ethnic Influences
  • Extractive Industries
  • Agriculture
  • Livestock Industry
  • Transportation
  • Politics & Diplomacy of Expansion
  • Government & Scientific Exploration
  • Urban Development
  • Women of the West
  • Land & Water Questions of the Public Domain
  • Conservation & Use of Resources
  • Culture, Religion, Education
  • Government & Politics
  • The Fur Trade & Early Exploration
  • Travel Accounts, Memoirs, Reminiscences
  • Directories & Guidebooks
  • Regional, State, & Local Histories

Within these sub-collections, researchers can explore such areas as accounts of early Anglo-American, French, and Spanish explorations in the west, personal narratives by fur trappers and traders, and more.

The 1,012 titles included also provide a wealth of material on economics, government explorations, religion, education, and culture. The collection offers one of the most exciting resources available depicting the western experience as it relates to the social, economic, and political development of our country.

VOLUME EQUIVALENT: 1,138 volumes

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