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The Great Lakes States Past & Present – Online Library of Free Books & Articles

This large collection of links is spread over 90 webpages, and covers the U.S. States of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois & Indiana. We have thousands of free online books & articles for your use. Plus collections of maps, documents and periodicals. Below are links to all the pages of the collection.

Biographies & Memoirs

Books and articles on the lives of famous Americans, political leaders, pioneers etc. Also Memoirs.

Cities & Places

Books and articles about towns, cities, counties, and regions. Websites with collections of city and county histories.


Books and articles about literature, education, sports, theater, fine arts, crafts, journalism, recreation, and architecture.


Books and articles about business, work, workers’ organizations, railroads, roads, shipping, farming, manufacturing, banking, medicine, mining, logging etc.

Government & Politics

Books and articles about territorial governments, state and local governments, political parties, state constitutions, statehood, and legislation.


Books and articles meant as histories of a state or region. Works not classified in other categories.

Military History

Books and articles about wars in the Great Lakes region and other U.S. wars. Conflict with Native Americans; military actions other than in wars. Works about forts and posts, military operations and military life.


Novels, short stories and poetry set in the states or region or written by local authors.


Books and articles about denominations and churches, religious movements, missionaries.


Books and articles about everyday life, women, crime, ethnic groups, slavery and anti-slavery, African American history, immigrants, utopian communities, and social issues.

Vintage Documents

Legislative acts, letters, official papers, treaties, and state constitutions. Collections of government documents, manuscripts, portraits, private papers, court records, etc.

Vintage Maps

Maps from the 1600s through the early 1900s, and links to online historical map collections. Gazetteers, or geographical directories.

Abraham Lincoln

Life of Abraham Lincoln. Biographies, novels; his written works and speeches.

Ships and Boats

Books and articles about shipping on the Great Lakes and rivers.

Pioneer Guides

Hand-books and guides for prospective settlers, “Emigrants’ Guides”, and geographical descriptions.

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