Library of Congress
Colonial Settlement (1492 - 1763)
- Africans in America: The Terrible Transformation, 1450-1750 — An illustrated narrative about the period, a resource bank containing biographies, primary sources, commentary from modern historians, and a teacher's guide. A companion to the PBS series.
- The Age of Exploration — A special issue of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s online journal History Now with articles on such topics as Jamestown, navigation, the Columbian exchange, Native American discoveries of Europe, and more.
- American Centuries . . .View from New England — Explore the history of family life, Native Americans, African Americans, and the land through exhibits and lessons provided by the Memorial Hall Museum.
- The American Colonist’s Library — An extensive set of links to primary source documents, including many European documents that influenced the development of colonial America.
- American Journeys — This site from the Wisconsin Historical Society offers access to 18,000 pages of primary source eyewitness accounts from expeditions of discovery, from the voyage of Leif Ericson to the Pike Expedition.
- America’s Stone Age Explorers — PBS devoted an episode of the series Nova to the earliest humans in the Americas; this site supports the episode with activities and a teacher’s guide.
- The Avalon Project: Colonial Grants, Charters and Other Documents — Yale University provides access to these primary sources.
- A Biography of America: New World Encounters — The first chapter in the Annenberg video series on U.S. history follows early American history from west to east.
- California Mission Studies Association — Articles, an illustrated glossary, and links about the history of California's missions.
- The Cartographic Creation of New England — Old maps trace the development of Europeans' knowledge of what came to be known as New England. Based on an exhibit at the University of Southern Maine.
- A Colonial Family and Community — Students use clues in historical documents to answer questions about a colonial family. Part of the Web site of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
- Colonial House — This site includes lesson plans, activities, and background information to accompany the 2004 PBS “reality” series in which contemporary families attempted to live as colonial families did.
- Colonial Records Project: It Says in the Papers — Excerpts from newspapers in several colonies from the 1730s-1770s.
- Colonial Williamsburg — A variety of resources for exploring such aspects of colonial life as work, animals, Christmas customs, politics, and religion. From the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
- Columbus Navigation Homepage — Detailed information about the life and voyages of Columbus, created by historian Keith Pickering.
- Common-place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life — The American Antiquarian Society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute have designed the quarterly Common-place to be scholarly but friendly. Topics related to colonial (and earlier) America include Benjamin Franklin, using Copley’s art in the classroom, and the classic Tree of Knowledge sampler.
- Conquistadors — This site from PBS provides extensive online content and teaching materials on the Spanish Conquistadors and their legacy in the Americas.
- Divining America: Religion and the National Culture — Scholarly essays on religion in the colonies from Teacher Serve at the National Humanities Center.
- Early America: 1630-1812 (PDF-663KB) — A unit examining “the role the natural environment played in shaping American political, social, and economic institutions.” From the Environmental Literacy Council.
- Early American Paintings — The Worcester Art Museum presents reproductions and detailed discussions of 53 early American paintings, biographies of 20 painters, and a timeline that juxtaposes paintings with political events of the time.
- 1492: An Ongoing Voyage — This permanent Library of Congress exhibit looks at life before the voyage of 1492—in the Americas and in the Mediterranean. It also examines the interactions between the groups and the impact of contact on the lives of people in the Americas.
- Historical Fiction: Early America — The Weber County (UT) library provides an annotated bibliography of books for children on Early America.
- Jamestown Rediscovery — The Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities provides information on the history of Jamestown, as well as insights into the ongoing archeological work there.
- The Leslie Brock Center for the Study of Colonial Currency — Primary sources related to colonial economics and an introductory article on colonial currents are provided here.
- The Making of Our First President — Discovery School provides this lesson plan looking at the “unknown years” in the career of George Washington—in particular, the years of the French and Indian War.
- Maps of the French and Indian War — The Massachusetts Historical Society presents 14 maps of the French and Indian War, plus a brief history of the war and a timeline.
- Pilgrims in the Capitol — An interesting discussion of artworks in the U.S. Capitol that depict the Pilgrims or Pilgrim leaders.
- Plimoth Plantation: Living Breathing History — Information on the first settlement in Massachusetts, from the living history museum maintained at the Plimoth Plantation.
- Pocahontas Revealed — This site from the PBS series Nova presents 40 primary sources related to Pocahontas, as well as an introductory essay on the legendary Native American woman.
- Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704 — A multimedia presentation that allows users to look at varying perspectives on the French and Indian raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, on February 29, 1704.
- Salem Witch Museum — Background on the Salem witch trials of 1692.
- Salem Witch Trials — Rare books and documents about the witch trials.
- Teaching American History: Colonial America Lesson Plans — The TAH project at Fitchburg State College presents several in-depth lesson plans on the colonial period.
- Teaching About Thanksgiving — The University of North Carolina College of Education provides resources to help teachers “bring historical accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and a broader context to discussions” about Thanksgiving.
- Thirteen Originals: Founding the American Colonies — Background and links on the founding of each of the 13 original colonies.
- Understanding the Colonial Economy — The National Council on Economic Education provides this detailed lesson plan on the colonial economy.
- Unearthing Secret America: These American Lives — Archaeological evidence about the lives of slaves in colonial America.
- Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga — Learn the story of the Vikings' arrival in North America and contacts with Native Americans. From the Smithsonian.
- Virtual Museum of New France — Information on explorers, Native Americans, and daily life in New France. From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
- Virtual Tour of New Netherland — A well-illustrated introduction to North American colonies established by the Dutch.