Skip to Main Content
We are working to upgrade the research experience by making ongoing improvements to our Research Guides.
You may encounter changes in the look and feel of the Research Guides website along with structural changes to our existing guides. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please let us know.

Primary Sources: America (U.S.A.) History

A quest for new trade routes, wealth, and territorial expansion drove early exploration of North America. European explorers such as Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Jacques Cartier ventured across the Atlantic Ocean in the 15th and 16th centuries, encountering indigenous peoples and diverse landscapes. Their expeditions paved the way for subsequent colonization efforts by European powers, leading to profound cultural exchanges, conflicts, and the establishment of permanent settlements. Explorers navigated treacherous waters, mapped coastlines, and sought resources like gold and spices, shaping the course of history on both sides of the Atlantic and laying the groundwork for developing the modern Americas.

The Early Exploration of North America Primary Source Subject Guide presents a curated collection of firsthand accounts, maps, and documents illuminating the exploration of the continent. From the journeys of European explorers to encounters with indigenous peoples, this guide offers insight into the diverse perspectives and experiences that shaped the early exploration of North America. Through various primary sources, readers gain a deeper understanding of the motivations, challenges, and cultural exchanges that occurred during this pivotal historical period.

Book Sources: Early Exploration of North America 

  • Click the title for location and availability information.


Online Sources: Early Exploration of North America