Open Educational Resources and History

United States History

United States History Text Resources

United States History to 1877 (C-ID HIST 130) and United States History from 1865 (C-ID HIST 140)

U.S. History (OpenStax); U.S. History (OpenStax) in LibreTexts
(CC BY)

U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.

The American Yawp; The American Yawp in LibreTexts (Note – as of 1-23-21 the version in LibreTexts is in need of updating)
(CC BY-SA)

The American Yawp is a free “evolving, collaborative” American history textbook for college-level history courses. All contributors are experienced college-level instructors who volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms. The editors are Joseph Locke (University of Houston-Victoria) and Ben Wright (University of Texas at Dallas).

Sage American History: A Survey of America’s Past
(CC BY-NC-SA)

Sage American History is divided into 30 chronological sections, colonial through modern times. This OER is designed for use by undergraduate college, community college, and high school teachers and students. It may be used without charge by any academic institution or individual as long as copyrights are respected. The course materials, developed by Henry J. Sage who teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, focus on the main events and characters of America’s past, recognizing that most students will take only one or two courses in American history.

American Environmental History (Allosso); American Environmental History (Allosso) in Open Textbook Library (provides various formats and reviews); American Environmental History (Allosso) in LibreTexts
(CC BY-BC-SA, except where otherwise noted)

For too long the environment has been considered little more than a neutral background to history. This text surveys findings of the new field of Environmental History about how the environment of the Americas influenced the actions of people here and how people affected their environments, from prehistory to the present.

United States History to 1877 (C-ID HIST 130)

American History I: Colonial Period to Civil War (Williamson and Aiello) (CC BY) This text from Dr. Franklin Williamson and Dr. Tom Aiello from Gordon State University contains all modular text content used in the LMS implementation of their American History I (HIST 2111) courses. American History 1 covers topics ranging from the colonial period to the Civil War. Original source includes Word versions of the text, lecture slides, and primary source exercises.

History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877 (Locks et al., 2013) (CC BY-SA)
This textbook examines U.S. History from before European Contact through Reconstruction, while focusing on the people and their history. Prior to its publication, History in the Making underwent a rigorous double-blind peer review, a process that involved over thirty scholars who reviewed the materially carefully, objectively, and candidly in order to ensure not only its scholarly integrity but also its high standard of quality. This book provides a strong emphasis on critical thinking about US History by providing several key features in each chapter. Learning Objectives at the beginning of each chapter help students to understand what they will learn in each chapter. Before You Move On sections at the end of each main section are designed to encourage students to reflect on important concepts and test their knowledge as they read. In addition, each chapter includes Critical Thinking Exercises that ask the student to deeply explore chapter content, Key Terms, and a Chronology of events.

Other Resources

The resources listed below may require supplementation in order to serve as a text for a course comparable to C-ID HIST 130 or 140. If you have used any of these resources as your sole text, please let us know.

African American History and Culture (Lumen Learning)
This courseware includes resources copyrighted and openly licensed by multiple individuals and organizations. Click the words “Licenses and Attributions” at the bottom of each page for copyright and licensing information specific to the material on that page.

Slavery to Liberation: The African American Experience (Farrington et al., 2019) (CC BY)
Slavery to Liberation: The African American Experience gives instructors, students, and general readers a comprehensive and up-to-date account of African Americans’ cultural and political history, economic development, artistic expressiveness, and religious and philosophical worldviews in a critical framework. It offers sound interdisciplinary analysis of selected historical and contemporary issues surrounding the origins and manifestations of White supremacy in the United States. By placing race at the center of the work, the book offers significant lessons for understanding the institutional marginalization of Blacks in contemporary America and their historical resistance and perseverance.

World History

World History to 1500 (C-ID HIST 150) and World History since 1500 (C-ID HIST 160)

Boundless World History (Lumen Learning)

This courseware includes resources copyrighted and openly licensed by multiple individuals and organizations. Click the words “Licenses and Attributions” at the bottom of each page for copyright and licensing information specific to the material on that page.

World History to 1500 (C-ID HIST 150)

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 (Berger et al.); World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 (Berger et al.) in LibreTexts (CC BY-SA)

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six University System of Georgia faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia.

It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding their educational experience beyond the textbook. It provides a new and free alternative to traditional textbooks, making World History an invaluable resource in our modern age of technology and advancement.

Western Civilization

Western Civilization I (C-ID HIST 170) and Western Civilization II (C-ID HIST 180)

Western Civilization: A Concise History Volume 1 (Brooks)
Western Civilization: A Concise History Volume 2 (Brooks)
Western Civilization: A Concise History Volume 3 (Brooks)
Western Civilization: A Concise History (Brooks) in LibreTexts (Note – as of 1-23-21 the version in LibreTexts may be in need of updating.)
(CC BY-NC-SA)
Western Civilization: A Concise History​ is an Open Educational Resource textbook covering the history of Western Civilization from approximately 8,000 BCE to 2017 CE. It is available in three volumes covering the following time periods and topics:

  • Volume 1: from the origins of civilization in Mesopotamia c. 8,000 BCE through the early Middle Ages in Europe c. 1,000 CE. Volume 1 covers topics including Mesopotamia,Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Islamic caliphates, and the early European Middle Ages.
  • Volume 2: from the early Middle Ages to the French Revolution in 1789 CE. Volume 2covers topics including the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the European conquest of the Americas, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment.
  • Volume 3: from the Napoleonic era to the recent past. Volume 3 covers topics including the Industrial Revolution, the politics of Europe in the nineteenth century, modern European imperialism, the world wars, fascism, Nazism, and the Holocaust, the postwar era, the Cold War, and recent developments in economics and politics.

Western Civilization I (C-ID HIST 170)

Western Civilization I (McKinney and Shapard) (CC BY-NC-SA)
This hybrid textbook and open course is a comprehensive set of teaching materials for Western Civilization I (until 1648). Files are compressed into .zip folder format by lesson here. You can also view the original open course through LibGuides at East Georgia State College. Topics covered include prehistory and ancient history by region, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation.

Western Civilization II (C-ID HIST 180)

European History (CC BY-SA) – A PDF with a date of 2015. This textbook offers a basic outline of Western Civilization from the Renaissance to modern times.

Are you a California community college faculty member and we have not identified a resource you are using for teaching history? If so, please let us know.

A sign that says “Welcome back America. That was weird.” With an image of a mitten-wearing Bernie Sanders in the corner, a reference to his appearance at the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash.

This page last updated September 29, 2021.