Databases and Journals, Library Resources, Research, Tools & Tips

Researching Native American History in New York

by Tierney Gleason, Reference and Digital Humanities Librarian

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we wanted to share a selection of resources available through Fordham’s libraries and beyond covering Native American history in New York state. Whether you are interested in reading historical overviews, exploring digital maps, or examining primary sources with a critical eye, the library offers many entry points to begin engaging with Native American history.

Language and Terminology

Selecting keywords for research in Native American history depends on many factors including when a document or book was published, biases from individual or institutional authors, or the intended audience for a particular item. For broad searches, terms such as “Indian,” “indigenous,” or “Native American” along with “New York” will generate varying results. A more targeted search strategy would be to consult the background information found in encyclopedias to learn the names of New York tribes, as well as key people, treaties, and/or historical events to use as search terms in the library catalog and databases.

Finding Books

The Library Catalog is the gateway to finding books available at Fordham Libraries in both print and electronic formats. Fordham offers access to a range of books on Native American issues including historical monographs, biographies, literature, archeological findings, environmental studies, government documents, and primary source materials within books such as treaties, images, oral histories, and more.

Image description: Sample subject search from the Library Catalog tab on the homepage for books about the “Munsee Indians.”

Finding Articles

Databases enable searching across multiple periodicals to find articles on a topic. To find scholarly articles, try searching by keyword in databases like America: History & Life or AnthroSource. For community news and magazines, try searching in Ethnic NewsWatch to find publications with current news, events, and discussions.

If you have a citation for an article, use our Finding Full Text Journals & Periodicals video tutorial to learn how to locate specific articles in the Fordham system.

A sampling of Native American periodicals with cover art for American Indian Quarterly, the logo for Indian Country Today, the logo for The Circle, and cover art for American Indian Law Review.
A sampling of Native American periodicals with cover art for American Indian Quarterly, the logo for Indian Country Today, the logo for The Circle, and cover art for American Indian Law Review.

Digital Collections & Tools

  • The National Archives collaborated with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, to create the Indigenous Digital Archive Treaties Explorer. This resource provides online access to 374 Ratified Indian Treaties and supporting documents. Search the treaties by cession number, tribe, and/or place. The Resources section offers teaching tools, recommended books, and additional web resources.
  • This interactive map developed by a Canadian nonprofit Native Land Digital visualizes indigenous lands before colonization. View the map by territory, language, or treaty. Use the Resources tab to lookup a location to create a Territory Acknowledgement and connect with teaching guides, lists, and digital tools.
Sample search of the Bronx in Native Land Digital’s Territory Acknowledgement tool.
  • The Lenape Talking Dictionary is a free, online database developed by the Lenape Language Preservation Project. The database enables searching in English or Lenape and features audio pronunciations. This resource provides additional grammar tools and stories that enable users to follow along in English or Lenape.

Questions? Looking for More?

This post represents only a selection of resources available for research. There is always more at the library! Please get in touch if you have any questions. The resources highlighted here (and more) are located on the Native American History page of the New York – Researching guide.

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