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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.

– Page Directory –

A Brief History of the Old Northwest, or the Great Lakes region

Biographies and Memoirs

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

Cultural History

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

Documents & Collections

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

History of the Great Lakes States

Economic History

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

Explorers & Travelers

Journeys and voyages by historical explorers and travelers. Modern travel guides.


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

General History

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

Local History

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

History of the Great Lakes States

Maps & Gazetteers

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

Native Americans

Books and articles about American Indian history, tribes & culture.


History journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.

Politics & Government

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


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

History of the Great Lakes States

Social History

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

War & Military

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.

Abraham Lincoln

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

History of Ships and Boats on the Great Lakes

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

Settlers Guides

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

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