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Harriet Tubman

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Harriet Tubman, seated portrait, taken in 1868 or 1869.

Portrait of Harriet Tubman (1820-1913), American Abolitionist, by Benjamin F. Powelson, Auburn, New York, USA, 1868, from Wikimedia Commons

Getting Started

Begin your research by brainstorming keywords - the words and phrases you’ll use to search for books, articles, websites, government documents, and other resources. These may include names of people and places or historical concepts like eras and movements. A librarian can suggest “subject headings” to find the most relevant resources.

Example Keywords & Catalog Subject Headings

Harriet Tubman
Underground Railroad
Abolition

Genealogy, African American and Western History Resources

The Western History & Genealogy department focuses on Colorado and the West. These materials do not check out and are available to view on Floor 5 of the Central Library when the library is open. During the current closure, Western History and Genealogy Staff are still available to assist by phone and email and can provide scans of collection items for your project. Email history@denverlibrary.org and include "National History Day" in your subject line, or call 720-865-1821 Tues-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. or Sat, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Blair Caldwell African American Research Library archives and reference collections focus on African American history and culture in Colorado and the West. Materials from the archives do not check out and are available to view on Floor 2 of the library when the library is open. During the current closure, Blair-Caldwell Library staff are still available to assist by phone and email and can provide scans of collection items for your project. Email askblaircaldwell@denverlibrary.org and include "National History Day" in your subject line, or call 720-865-2401, Tues-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. or Sat, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Database/Online Resources

Library databases are online collections of information, organized for research. Databases contain articles, eBooks, images, maps, primary sources and more. If you don’t have a library card, register online for immediate access to these resources.The following recommended databases are available on our Research and Teen Social Studies pages.

U.S. History (Gale in Context)

Provides a complete overview of our nation’s past that covers the most-studied events, decades, conflicts, wars, political and cultural movements, and people from reference sources, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted web sites.

Available in library or with library card.

Prospector: Materials from Other Colorado and Wyoming Libraries

​​As a Denver Public Library customer, you can also borrow materials from other libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. Use Prospector to request materials that DPL does not own.

Internet Sources

Before using information you find on the internet for assignments and research, it is important to establish that the information comes from a reliable and appropriate source. The following websites, from government, academic and nonprofit organizations, have been evaluated for authority, accuracy, content and currency.

Sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Library of Congress's Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection.
1869 biography of Tubman by Sarah H. Bradford
1869 revised biography of Tubman, also by Sarah H. Bradford
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report discussing espionage during the Civil War, including Tubman's participation

Contact the Reference Services department for help with your research project