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THIRTEEN years' experience in the teaching of American history to college and graduate students has led to the preparation of this book. Some of the material has been printed in tentative form for the use of our own classes; for instance, the General Readings (Part I, § 56) and the Topical References (Parts II and III) are revised and enlarged from lists which have been tested in everyday use. Since American history is so widely taught, we have hoped that other teachers and other students might find available these lists of references, and also some suggestions on methods of teaching, derived from actual experience in Harvard University, or known to work successfully in other colleges or secondary schools.
In Part I we have therefore placed in type a body of information for teachers, students, readers, and librarians. This includes a set of lists of related books, which may serve investigators, purchasers of libraries, instructors, and workers; among them are selected lists of state, town, county, and city histories; national, colonial, state, and local records and statutes; biographies, writings of statesmen, reminiscences, newspapers, and periodicals ; books of travel, novels, poems, and other illustrative matter. References to most of these books, and to many others of equal value, will be found under the appropriate topics in Parts II and III. The rest of Part I is devoted to descriptions of proved methods of class exercises, of reading history, of written work, and of oral and written tests.
No one can be better aware than the authors of the inadequacy of this work; the immense mass of rich material on American history cannot be condensed into a single volume; and doubtless much has been omitted that ought to go in, or inserted that might
Iwell be left out. It is to be remembered, however, that the plan of the work does not admit of complete bibliographical information on any topic. It has been our endeavor to select out of the available material that likely to be most immediately useful to the searcher into political, social, constitutional, and economic history. For the antiquarian and the genealogist we have not been able to provide. We have, however, noted as many as possible of the more elaborate bibliographies, to serve as guides to more complete information; and we have ventured to save space in some cases by referring to bibliographies or other material previously prepared by the same hands.
Included in the Index is an alphabetical list by authors of all the works to which reference is made; but only that page is entered on which the book is first mentioned. An asterisk indicates that the title is printed in full, with place and date of publication.
All the titles and references and index entries have been carefully verified; but errors have doubtless crept in, and the authors will be grateful for any indication of mistakes, and for any suggestions how the Guide may be made more useful to those interested in our country's history.
Acknowledgments to authors of serviceable books stand on every page; but we cannot send this volume to press without stating our peculiar obligations to our friend and master, Dr. Justin Winsor, the profound scholar whose researches have opened up the rich mines of literature in American history, and whose greatest work, the Narrative and Critical History of America, has been freely drawn upon throughout our labors.
CAMBRIDGE, JULY 1, 1896.
ALBERT BUSHNELL HART.