ProQuest’s Digitisation of American Indian Records Opens Paths for Exploring the Impact of Westward Expansion
New History Vault module makes rare 19th and 20th century content more accessible
ProQuest is opening new paths to the study of American Indians and the American West during the pivotal, often calamitous,19th and 20th centuries by digitizing key 20th century records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Major Council Meetings of American Indian Tribes, together with other rich primary source collections from the U.S. National Archives and the Chicago History Museum that focus on the 19th Century. In total, 36 new collections in American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971 join the expansive content in ProQuest® History Vault, a resource designed specifically to improve research outcomes.
Explore a sample of documents from History Vault – American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971 here.
Like other History Vault Modules, American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971, presents unique viewpoints on history. For example, the 20th century records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs are particularly fascinating because they cover political relations between the U.S. government and American Indians, as well as conditions on reservations, with a special focus on Indian customs, education, and health conditions on reservations. The 19th century collections open a window to the interaction among American Indians, white settlers and the U.S. Federal government, particularly in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Records on the tragic process of Indian removal in the 1830s consist of reports by Indian agents and individual Indians about the process. Records from the 1860s-1890s include gripping accounts of battles between American Indians and the U.S. Army, and highlight the tensions caused by the westward expansion of the post-Civil War years.
While the majority of these collections were previously only available to researchers in microfilm, more than 90,000 pages of material in this new History Vault module are being published for the first time.
“Because of their limited access, these important materials have not been easily discoverable. Publishing this content online opens new subject areas to explore for serious researchers,” said Susan Bokern, Vice President, Product Management, ProQuest Information Solutions. “We’re especially excited about the unique perspectives that become available on American Indians in the 20th century. That era has not been studied in as much detail as the 19th century and research interest in it continues to grow.”
ProQuest History Vault is a massive program to digitise primary resources that are critical for research. Each module contains rich collections of documents that provide unfiltered access to the record of cultural, social, and political policy, thought and achievement, produced by people who lived during that period. American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971 is part of ProQuest’s growing collection of primary source materials in History Vault that are focused on the theme of American politics and society.