• Resources & links

    "There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record."
    Vannevar Bush, 1945
    Univac computer predicts a winning horse, 1959 (Library of Congress)

    Why I love the Internet

    No matter where or how you learn or do history--as a student, teacher, writer, or public practitioner--the digital age has transformed how you work and discover. And while it is always critical to remember that there are many things that have *not* been digitized, a great deal has, along with ebooks, historical visualizations, public writing by historians, online exhibits, and more. This section has some of my go-to places around the web to learn about history, especially three subjects that I teach and write about most often: American national politics, the history of technology and computing, and the history of cities in the US and around the world. I've also added in lists of how-to resources for undergraduate and graduate students.

    General U.S. history

    Here are my go-to resources on American history, all written and edited by professional historians, all geared for public audiences. If you are a K-12 history teacher, also check out the abundant resources compiled by the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians.


    Made By History

    Historically informed commentary from The Washington Post.


    We're History

    America then for Americans now, written and edited by top scholars.



    Online magazine aggregating quality, historically-informed journalism and commentary on current events.



    The blog of the Organization of American Historians.


    Black Perspectives

    The award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, readings and analysis of black thought and culture from early America to the present.


    U.S. Intellectual History Blog

    From the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, historiographical debates and commentary on the practice of history and its role in public life.

    History in photographs

    There's so much to explore in this category, and it's expanding every day. But remember that there's a lot of stuff out there that isn't accurately captioned or sourced, or it's used without the photographer's permission. Here are some of my top sources for high-definition, properly sourced and credited vintage photographs. If you reproduce any of them, please properly caption and credit as well.


    Library of Congress - Prints and Photographs Division

    Here's the place to start for the definitive collection of photographs and print images from U.S. history, largely pre-World War II, and mostly in the public domain.


    UW Libraries Digital Collections

    Outstanding collection of digitized manuscripts and photographs relating to Pacific Northwest history, from multiple regional archives and depositories.


    The 1930s and 1940s in Color

    Remarkable collection of color photographs from the Great Depression and World War II made available as part of the Library of Congress' photo stream on Flickr, where you also can find excellent archival collections from other American museums and libraries, as well as snapshots of everyday life taken by ordinary people (like these). Filter your search for images with Creative Commons licensing.


    Their tagline is "always something interesting," and they're right. A vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images of everyday life in America from the 1850s to 1950s. New photographs added nearly every day.



    Another excellent, well-curated site featuring a wide ranging array of subjects. Particularly good if you are looking for non-U.S. images. Prepare to get lost down this rabbit hole for a while.

    The tech industry, past and present

    Computer History Museum

    Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the CHM has online collections on all things computational, from artifacts to documents to advertisements, plus a great repository of oral history interviews with Valley pioneers.


    Engineering and Technology History Wiki

    Large and growing collection of documents and personal recollections, a collaboration of IEEE and others.


    Silicon Valley Archives
    Key materials related to the history and development of Silicon Valley, based at Stanford University Libraries and curated by Silicon Valley historian Leslie Berlin.


    Silicon Genesis
    Oral histories of the semiconductor industry, including interviews with early leaders of Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, and more.


    Venture Capitalists Oral History Project

    Recollections and personal histories of the men who built and financed the technology industry. A project of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.


    The Chip Collection at the Smithsonian Institution

    Collection of primary source documents on the history of the integrated circuit and the development of the modern computer.


    OECD Guide to Measuring the Information Society

    Data and standards for measuring growth of internet and related technologies worldwide, and their social impact.


    Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academies

    Access to full text of major reports relating to innovation and technology-driven economies in the US and abroad.



    Understand how the past informs the present by keeping up on the latest news in the technology industry. Seattle is home to one of the best ones out there, for news and views on what's happening in the region's tech community, Silicon Valley, and beyond. They're so cool that they actually talk to history professors.

    American political history

    The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials, 1952-2016.

    Any student of mine knows that I roll these out nearly every term. Archive of television commercials from every major-party candidate from Ike to Donald. Excellently curated online exhibition from the American Museum of the Moving Image.


    American President

    Based at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, contains refereed online resources on American Presidents and the Presidency, from the founding to the present.


    The American Presidency Project

    Established in 1999 as a collaboration between John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Their searchable archives contain more than 110,000 documents related to the study of the Presidency.


    Presidential Libraries and Museums

    The National Archives' affiliated presidential libraries now have extensive online exhibitions and document collections on presidents and their times.


    Pivotal Tuesdays

    The lecture series behind the book. Videos of my 2012 public lecture series on the elections of 1912, 1932, 1968, and 1992, aired on Seattle's UWTV.

    Urban history

    Urban@UW Research Portal

    Curated and annotated list of urban research institutes and programs in U.S. and global universities.


    Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America

    From the University of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab, unprecedented online access to the national collection of "security maps" and area descriptions produced between 1935 and 1940 by one of the New Deal's most important agencies, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC).


    The Metropole

    The blog of the Urban History Association.


    Urban Planning, 1794-1918
    A searchable anthology of primary documents discussing city planning in the United States and Europe, compiled by Prof. John Reps.


    Pictures of American Cities
    Photographs from the holdings of the National Archive and Records Administration.


    Two glimpses into America's urban past from the Library of Congress: The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906 and Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1906.


    The Welikia Project
    Historical visualization project of the Wildlife Conservation Society that explores the original ecology of Manhattan. Uncover pre-European Manhattan Island, block by block.


    Invincible Cities
    The extraordinary photographs of Camilo Jose Vergara, documenting thirty years of changing landscapes in poor, minority communities in the urban United States.


    Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution
    Research and commentary on land use, regional governance, transportation, education, and housing in American cities and suburbs.


    A moderated, multi-disciplinary forum for discussion and dissemination of scholarship on urban history and urban studies. Features teaching center with syllabi, primary resources, and other tools for teaching about cities and suburbs.


    LSE Cities

    London School of Economics research institute addressing urban sustainability in the world's megacities.

    Resources for students of history

    You are taking a History class or, even better, majoring or minoring in History. Way to go! In terms of preparing you to write, talk, think, and argue effectively, "History is kind of the king." Here are some resources that can help you ace that course and wow your professors, friends, and employers.


    First, here are some of the how-to handouts I've put together for my students over the years (other teachers and professors should feel free to download and use, but please give me proper attribution).


    Paper-writing Style Sheet


    Grading Standards


    About Reader Response Papers


    Next, here are some resources at the University of Washington.

    History Writing Center

    Assistance with writing problems and issues encountered in crafting successful History papers


    CLUE (Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment)

    The Center offers tutoring, class discussion sections, and a drop-in Writing Center for writing help.


    Odegaard Writing and Research Center

    Offers writing and research assistance by appointment.


    Student Consultation Service

    Students can meet individually with a librarian who will help them research a particular topic.


    Last, some resources beyond the UW.


    Learning to do Historical Research

    A basic introduction to historical research for anyone and everyone who is interested in studying the past, from Prof. William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin.


    Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students

    Step-by-step aids to developing and writing an outstanding college research paper, from Prof. Patrick Rael of Bowdoin College.


    Writing a Good History Paper

    Very useful handbook on organization, tone, structure, and style, from the History Department of Hamilton College.


    Writing Guide

    From the Boston University Department of History.