American Revolution


Also referred to as the “Revolutionary War” or the “American War of Independence”, the American Revolution was the struggle of thirteen colonies, from 1775 to 1783, to gain independence from Great Britain.

Getting Started:

As you begin your research, you may find it helpful to have a place to start. Below I have listed the Library of Congress Classification numbers and the Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers for the American Revolution. I have also included a list of key terms you can enter in your search engine, or library catalog, as you begin your research.

  • Call Numbers:
    • Library of Congress Classification Numbers:
      • E – History of America
        • 151-904……….United States
        • 201-298……….The Revolution, 1775-1783
        • 300-453……….Revolution to the Civil War, 1775/1783-1861
          • 300-302.6……….General
          • 302……….Collected works of American statesmen
          • 302.1……….Political history
          • 302.5-302.6……….Biography (Late eighteenth century
          • 303-440.5……….By period
          • 303-309……….1775-1789. The Confederation, 1783-1789
      • Source: Library of Congress Classification Outline: Class E-F – History of the Americas.
        Retrieved December 14, 2007 from http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/classification/lcco/lcco_ef.pdf.
    • Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers:
      • 900 – History and Geography
      • 970 – History of North America
      • 973 – United States (OCLC, 2003)
  • Key Terms or Searches:
    • Revolutionary War
    • American War of Independence
    • Thirteen Colonies
    • Democracy
    • Declaration of Independence
    • Intolerable Acts
    • Boston Tea Party
    • Boston Massacre
    • Stamp Act
    • Patriots
    • First Continental Congress
    • Second Continental Congress
    • Founding Fathers
    • Militia
    • Benjamin Franklin
    • George Washington
    • Thomas Jefferson
    • Betsy Ross
    • Thomas Paine
    • Paul Revere

Where to search:

To find information about the American Revolution, or any of the other key terms listed above, you can simply log onto the Internet Public Library, https://www.ipl.org/. Through the IPL, you are able to search in several different ways. First, you are able to use the “Search the IPL” function in the top right corner of the screen.

Second, you can choose to search through the IPL’s Subject Collections, links found on the left hand side of the screen. Look at either of the following sections of the IPL’s Subject Collections, and you will immediately have a wealth of resources that are related to the study of the American Revolution.

IPL Subject Collections: Colonial Period and Revolution


IPL Subject Collections: American Revolution


Lastly, there are several other possible ways to search the IPL for information relating to the American Revolution. Take a moment to look at the links on the left hand side of the screen and to see if anything meets your need.

Beyond the Internet Public Library, you may choose to use a search engine to locate materials related to the American Revolution. Two possibilities are Google, http://www.google.com and Metacrawler, http://www.metacrawler.com. Both of these search engines can quickly provide you with thousands of sites affiliated with your topic. Below are some examples of what you may find, or somewhere, on the web, to begin your quest.

Internet Sources:

The American Revolution – The Making of America and her Independence
This site provides you with a complete history of the American Revolution and the Revolutionary War including documents, biographies, and a chat forum.

The History Place – American Revolution
This site provides accurate timelines of events that took place before, during and after the American Revolution.

PBS, Liberty! The American Revolution
“Liberty is the official companion to the PBS television series, LIBERTY” It provides an abundance of information regarding the American Revolution.

The American Revolution
Providing historical f acts, figures, battles, people, places, and events that occurred in the war, American Revolution.org is a good site for teachers and has helpful hints for lesson plans.

The Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive
“A comprehensive documentary edition of the papers surrounding the construction of the Academical Village, Jefferson’s 19th-century architectural masterpiece at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.”

The White House – History & Tours, Past Presidents
This site is the essential guide to the Presidents of the United States of America.

The National Archive Experience: Charters of Freedom
This link provides you with digital images from the National Archives in Washington D.C.. Here you can find uploaded images of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and many other primary sources related to the American Revolution.

Maps of the American Revolution from the Hargrett Library Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the University of Georgia
This University of Georgia Special Collection maintains a collection of more than 800 historic maps spanning nearly 500 years, from the sixteenth century through the early twentieth century.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: 18 th Century Documents
Excellent source to view Primary Source Documents from the American Revolution.

Try your local library:

You may also find it useful to go to your local library to use the card catalogue or to ask the Reference Librarian for assistance. There are many databases, which require membership, which you may find useful in your search. Most often, your local library will have a subscription to these sites and allow you to use them, at their facility, free.

Your local library is also an excellent source of print resources. Below are some titles you may choose to look for at your local library. The Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers have been included.

Blanco, R. L., & Sanborn, P. J. (1993). The American Revolution, 1775-1783 an encyclopedia. New York: Garland Pub.
Detailed encyclopedia of the events occurring in the United Stated between 1775-1783.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.303

Burg, D. F. (2001). The American Revolution an eyewitness history. New York: Facts on File.
This book includes illustrations, maps and detailed summaries of important themes throughout the American Revolution. Source includes many primary sources as well as informative essays written by contemporary historians.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.3092

Claghorn, Charles Eugene, Women Patriots of the American Revolution: a biographical dictionary. Metuchen, NJ, Scarecrow Press, 1991
A biographical dictionary of female patriots of the American Revolution.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.315

Griffith, S The war for American independence: from 1760 to the surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2002.
This book draws attention to strategic policies in Britain and France in addition to personal accounts of colonial soldiers. Griffith draws from personal diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, and battle maps.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.3

Savas, T. and D. Dameron Guide to the battles of the American Revolution New York, Savas Beatie Publishing, 2006.
Provides detailed information about each battle of the Revolutionary War. Includes location , commanders, opposing forces, terrain, weather and time of day for each battle. Also provides both Colonial and British perspectives of the war.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.345

Schmittroth, L., Rosteck, M. K., & McConnell, S. A. (2000). American Revolution biographies. Detroit: UXL. .
Profiles sixty men and women who were key players on the British or American side of the American Revolution, from John Adams, who became the second president, to Eliza Wilkinson, who wrote of the day British soldiers looted her South Carolina home.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.3

Schmittroth, L., Baker, L. W., & McConnell, S. A. (2000). American Revolution primary sources. Detroit: U X L.
Thirty-two excerpts from documents, speeches, satirical pieces, pamphlets, and letters that explore events surrounding the American Revolution. Excerpts range from John Dickinson’s Letters from a Farmer to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to the Declaration of Independence and to George Washington’s farewell address to his troops. Fifty black-and-white illustrations bring the text to life. Numerous sidebars highlight interesting individuals and fascinating facts
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.3

Selesky, H. E., & Boatner, M. M. (2006). Encyclopedia of the American Revolution library of military history. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
This is a three volume set which provides an A – Z ready-reference dictionary covering all aspects of the American Revolution. The volumes cover biographies, campaigns, strategy, battles, skirmishes, naval actions, weaponry, politics and popular legends about the war.
Dewey Decimal Call Number: 973.3

Associations affiliated with the American Revolution:

National Society for the Sons of the American Revolution
The Sons of the American Revolution is a historical, educational, and non-profit corporation that seeks to maintain and extend, the institutions of American freedom, an appreciation for true patriotism, a respect for our national symbols and, the value of American citizenship.

National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a not-for-profit, women’s organization for the descendants of individual who aided in achieving American independence. The focus on historic preservation, community, and patriotism.

The Brigade of the American Revolution
“The Brigade is a non-profit living history association dedicated to recreating the life and times of the common soldier of the American War for Independence, 1775-1783. Members represent elements of all the armies then involved: Continental, Militia, British, Loyalist, German, French, Spanish, and Native American forces plus civilian men, women and children.”

Other Sources:

Kid Info – American Revolution

This Pathfinder was created by Sheri B. Scovil as a final project for LIS5916, Virtual Reference Environments, Dr. Lorri Mon, Florida State University, Fall 2007.