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U.S. Local History: A Resource Guide

Research Guides

Library of Congress curators and specialists have created research guides that highlight diverse aspects of local history. Most of these fall into a few broad categories. In addition to listing general Library of Congress states and territory guides, we also list some specific examples of other topical guides that can be useful in doing local history research.

U.S. State and Territory Guides

Severals areas of the Library of Congress are creating state and territory-focused guides. The three "series" of these guides are highlighted below. As new guides are created, they will be added to the lists below.

Each of these guides provides access to digital materials in the Library of Congress related to the individual state or territory, as well as links to external websites and a selected print bibliography.


The History and Genealogy Section has a series of individual state guides that focus on local history and genealogy research.


These guides showcase AFC collections that document expressive cultures and folklife in individual states:

Topics in Chronicling America Guides

Chronicling America contains more than 16 million word-searchable newspaper pages from 1777-1963, covering 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The headlines, articles, and advertisements capture the life and times of the American people, shining new light on historic events as they unfolded. The guides in this series can aid local history research in different ways, several of which are featured below.

Events of National Significance in Specific Locations

Historical Events that Remain Best Known Locally

Local Landmarks

Territories to Statehood

Turning Points in Labor Movement

Turning Points in African American and Native American history

World Fairs

Finding More Guides

Local history gems are found in other guides as well. For instance, the Community Cookbooks guide has a section entitled “Cookbooks by Place.”

For best results, when browsing the guides for your local history research, search both on the village / town / city name, and on the state name.