101 Best Websites 2010: Best History Sites

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Early American Roads and Trails

Find maps and history to trace your ancestors along the trails that helped settle America.
Member accounts are back at this site, now under the auspices of The Ohio State University, allowing you to contribute to what’s already an impressive collection. The highlight here, however, remains the complete online edition of the Official Records (“OR”) of the Civil War.

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project

Our ancestors had to eat, after all, and this online collection of 76 of the most important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century shows how they did it. The site includes cookbook pages plus searchable full-text transcriptions, along with a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the Michigan State University Museum.

Making of America

This two-part digital library of the 19th century includes some 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles (on the Michigan site) and 100,000 articles from period journals and periodicals (on the Cornell site, which got a complete makeover in 2009). 

New York Public Library

Feast your eyes on more than 700,000 images digitized from the library’s vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and old photographs. And now the library is working with Google to offer a portion of its collection online; you can browse these pre-1923 titles right in the library’s online catalog.

Perry-Castañeda Map Collection

Although this extensive collection from the library of the University of Texas at Austin includes current maps, genealogists love it for the wealth of historical maps covering locales across the United States and around the globe. From battlefield maps to highway maps and old atlases to travel guides, if you can’t find your ancestral place here, it might not have existed.
From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine