Environmental History Introduction
This Web page provides lists of resources or links to resources that explore environmental history. Environmental history is the historical study of the role and place of nature in human life; or, the interaction of humans and nature through time.
|Reference||Journals||Databases and Indexes (identify journal articles)|
|Key Books||Bibliographies on the Web||Web Sites|
Reference materials are quite useful for finding background information and can be a great starting point for learning names, dates, terms, etc. The online encyclopedias are available to CSU affiliates only (some links go to the catalog record; click on access online version).
- The Atlas of Global Change. GE149 .G4813 1998 Reference
- The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History. GF501 .M47 2002 Reference
- Encyclopedia of Global Change: Environmental Change and Human Society. 2 vols. GE149 .E47 2002 Reference Also EGCECHSonline.
- Encyclopedia of Human Ecology. 2 vols. GF4 .E53 2003 Reference
- Encyclopedia of the Biosphere. 11 vols. GF75 .B5613 1999 Reference
- Encyclopedia of World Environmental History. 3 vols. GF10 .E63 2004 Reference
- Environment: A Revolution in Attitudes. EARAonline via the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
- Environmental Disasters: A Chronicle of Individual, Industrial,and Governmental Carelessness. GE 140 .D383 1998 Reference
- Environmental Encyclopedia. EEonline via the Gale Virtual Reference Library. See a definition of "environmental history."
See a lengthy definition of "environmental history" in the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas NDHIonline to CSU affiliates via the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
If you are new or not an expert historical researcher quite yet, read through this page: Learning to Do Historical Research: A Primer for Environmental Historians and Others. William Cronon. University of Wisconsin-Madison. The page has key stages of the research process and a survey of different types of documents.
Click on hyperlinked titles to see full record in library catalog, which will include the call number, location, and status (checked out or not checked out). If a title is missing or checked out, CSU affiliates might want to check the Regional Catalog Prospector for a copy.
- Ted Steinberg. Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History.
- Graeme Wynn. Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History.
- Carolyn Merchant. The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History. Also CGAEHonline to CSU affiliates.
- Michael Williams. Americans and Their Forests: A Historical Geography.
- Stephen Pyne. Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire.
- David Christian. Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Also MOTonline
- Joachim Radkau. Nature and Power: A Global History of the Environment.
- Robert B. Marks. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative.
- John Richards. The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World. Also UFEHEMWonline to CSU affiliates.
- Alfred Crosby. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900.
- J.R. McNeil. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century World.
- Michael Williams. Deforesting the Earth: From Prehistory to Global Crisis.
- Stephen Pyne. World Fire: The Culture of Fire on Earth.
Books are an important source for information. The subject headings listed in this section can be used to find books related to environmental history topics in any library catalog which uses Library of Congress Subject Headings. Do a subject search using the terms below to identify books in SAGE and the Regional Catalog Prospector (the Colorado Union Catalog). Books may be requested from Prospector by CSU affiliates. "Human Ecology History" is the main "environmental history" subject heading (there is no "environmental history" subject heading in the library catalog). Be sure to look at related subjects (often linked to just above the searched term).
Human Ecology History
Below are some journals useful to research on environmental history.
- Agricultural History (Agricultural History Society). 1927- . S 1 .A16 AHonline to CSU affiliates. Printed in the current journals section, Movable Shelves and Storage 1927-1981,1983-2004
- Agricultural History Review. 1953- . S 3 .A3 AHRonline to CSU affiliates except for most recent 5 years. Printed in the current journals section, Storage, and Movable Shelves 1953-1980,1988-1989,1992-
- Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 1911- . G 3 .A8 AAAGonline to CSU affiliates. Printed in the current journals section and Storage (a few in Movable Shelves) 1911-1946,1948-1999; Journal Room currently has 2003-2006
- Environment and History. 1995- . EaHonline 1995- to CSU affiliates.
- Environmental History. 1996- . GF 1 .E1815 EHonline to CSU affiliates. Printed in the current journals section and Movable Shelves 1996-
- Environmental History Review. 1990- . EHRonline to CSU affiliates.
- High Country News. 1970- . (CSU owns HCN 1971-1980, 1986- ) HC 68 .H5 Current issues in the current journals section; older issues in Storage and Oversz
- High Country News. Web site.
- Indian Country Today. 1993-2011. AN .I53 ICTonline to CSU affiliates. Printed in the current journals section Newspaper section, until Microfilm copy received 1993-
- Indian Country Today - The Nations' Leading Native American Indian News Source. A different entity from printed newspaper--thus the Web and print versions each include information not found in the other medium.
- Journal of Historical Geography. 1975- . GF 1 .J65 JHGonline to CSU affiliates. Printed in Storage 1975-1976,1986-1989,1991-1994,1996-2000
Identify additional titles of interest (at least one title listed above) by doing a subject search in the library catalog for:
Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- Periodicals
Bibliographies on the Web
Check the library catalog for books, book chapters, and government documents. Use the citation finder or to find out if CSU has an electronic or print copy of articles. CSU affiliates may request items not owned via this means from Interlibrary Loan. See Web Sites below for additional Web materials.
Online Bibliography on Latin American Environmental History. Lise Sedrez, general editor. California State University Long Beach.
An "attempt to track the emerging field of environmental history in a way that weaves meaningful connections across disciplines. We not only offer our searchable online bibliography Refworks, but link to newsletters, conferences, and current field research. In this sense, the project has a life of its own; your suggestions keep the boundaries fluid and responsive to newest scholarship." Search by keyword. RefWorks software.
What is Environmental History. University of California, Berkeley.
Listing of approximately eighteen articles and books that define environmental history. Also on the site bibliographies of specific interest to California and the United States environmental history divided by regions. Other resources are available from the EH site.
The ASLE Online Bibliography, 2000-2010. Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. PDF. 202 pages.
Annotated bibliography. Articles, blogs, books, conference proceedings, etc.
A Basic Guide to Resources on Environment History. Aaron Skabelund. January 2001. Columbia University.
Page has an Introduction about Japanese environmental history; English Language Bibliographies and Materials; and Japanese Bibliographic Materials and Scholarship.
Bibliography of American Environmental History. Mark Stoll.
Arranged by topic: General; Human Impact on the Environment (Indians; Colonial; Water; Fish and Wildlife; Agriculture and Food; Urban; War and Environment; New England and Midwest; The South; The West and Great Plains; California; Oceans and Climate); Biography; History of Ecology; History of Ideas about Nature; Literature, the Arts, and Nature; Conservation and Environmentalism; Women and the Environment; Race and Environmental Justice; Environmental Organizations; Energy, Oil, and Nuclear Issues; Pollution, Pesticides, and Toxic Waste; Parks, Monuments, and Tourism; Forests and National Forests. No annotations.
Environmental History. Norumbega bioregion: Changes in the land. Davistown Museum. Maine.
Ostensibly under construction, this is a very extensive site that covers a wide range of topics.
Environmental Politics and Policy: A Bibliography for Teaching and Research. Dave Robertson. University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Covers a wide range of topics. Some items link out.
Environmental History Resources. Jan Oosthoek. Centre for Environmental History. Australian National University.
"The site presents topics as wide ranging as public health, conservation, preservation of nature, smoke abatement, municipal housekeeping, occupational disease, air pollution and water pollution, and generally the historical interaction between culture and nature. The emphasis of the site is on Europe, in particular the area around the North Sea basin but with a keen eye on linking this with the wider world."
Identify bibliographies in the library catalog by doing a subject search for: Human Ecology Bibliography
See Web Sites below for additional Web materials.
Databases & Indexes
These indexes may also be accessed remotely by CSU affiliates (also via the "Research Databases" page).
JSTOR. Full text articles at least 3-5 years old (varies by journal).
Scholarly journals from a large number of biological sciences, botany & plant sciences, ecology, general sciences, geography, history, area studies, political science, as well as other subject areas. Full text.
America: History & Life. 1964- . U.S. and Canadian history.
A large number of entries with environmental history. If doing research to do with United States on this topic, start here. (Search Historical Abstracts for Europe and England.)
Historical Abstracts. 1954- .
Covers the Western world. If doing research on Europe, England, Scotland, or Ireland, start here. (Search America: History & Life for U.S. and Canada.)
AGRICOLA. Years vary.
Contains bibliographic records from the U.S. National Agricultural Library--journal articles, book chapters, monographs, theses, patents, software, audiovisual materials, and technical reports related to agriculture.
CAB Abstracts. 1973- .
Covers "research and development literature in the applied life sciences, including agriculture, forestry, human nutrition, veterinary medicine and the environment."
Digital Dissertations & Theses. 1861- .
Many full text 1997- . Abstracts and citations to dissertations from around the world. Terminology for earlier years will need to be flexible.
Ecology Abstracts. 1969- .
Finds specific geographic instances of environmental changes.
Envirofacts Data Warehouse. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1975- .
Full text. Has reports, papers, and more. Current history.
Environmental Engineering Abstracts. 1990- .
Some relevant titles to do with recent adaptations of the environment.
Finds specific geographic instances (habitats) of environmental changes.
Book article entries aimed at a younger audience up through junior/community college, but could have some useful background information. Also includes "more than 61,100 historical documents; more than 66,000 biographies of historical figures; more than 110,200 historical photos and maps; and more than 80 hours of historical video."
Find scholarly resources here. A search for "environmental history" finds over 4400 results. Over 200 are specifically about environmental history (use topic filter on left-hand side).
Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. United States focus.
Endangered species program lists. Animals and plants. Sorted geographically and by type. Latin terms provided.
Web of Science. Varies.
Find scholarly resources here. A search for "environmental history" finds over 2700 results. Over 900 are specifically from history; over 400 from environmental studies (use Web of Science Categories filter on left-hand side).
Find information about specific species of animals.
Academic Search Premier. Years vary.
Catch-all database. Look here last, if needed, or to find mainstream articles aimed at a lay audience.
Ethnic News Watch. 1990- .
Find articles from non-mainstream news sources. "Environment" includes urban areas. "[B]ilingual (English and Spanish) and comprehensive full text database of newspapers, magazines and journals from ethnic, minority and native presses."
New York Times Historical 1851- .
Up to most recent month on New York Times ProQuest Microfilm or own Web site for current). Find images of articles from the newspaper. Terminology for earlier years will need to be flexible and possibly quite imaginative in order to find relevant materials on this topic.
The following sites have materials of interest to those doing research in environmental history. See Bibliographies on the Web for additional material.
Environmental Politics and Policy: A Bibliography for Teaching and Research. Dave Robertson, University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Broken down by: Basic Texts and Overviews / Journals / Maps / Environmental History / Political Ecology / Economics and Sustainability * The Tragedy of the Commons / Science, Technology, & Risk / Philosophical Views and Commentary / Environmental Politics in the United States / U.S. Regions / The U.S. Conservation Movement / U.S.-Foreign Comparison / Federalism / Congress / Presidents / Bureaucracy * U.S. Army Corps of Engineers * Tennessee Valley Authority / Courts & Law / Media / Public Opinion / Environmental Interests / Greens / Labor, Unions, Employment & Environment / Business / Energy * Coal * Oil * Solar Power * Nuclear Power * Electricity / NEPA / Air Pollution / Global Warming / Water Resources * Missouri River * Mississippi River * Great Lakes * Wetlands * Oceans / Water Pollution / Toxics and Toxic Waste / Superfund / Nuclear Waste / Solid Waste / Land Use & Private Property / Sustainable Metropolitan Growth & Urban Sprawl / Forests / Public Lands / National Parks / Race & Environmental Justice / Endangered Species & Biodiversity / Animal Rights / International & Comparative Problems and Policy Making / Population. See if link to Selected Environmental Politics Web sites is still available. (Active May 2011.)
Arcadia in Development: Online Explorations in European Environmental History. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) and the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH). Environment & Society Portal.
This site offers "encyclopedia-like articles, images, and links about any site, event, person, organization, or species as it relates to both nature and human society. While initial contributions come from ESEH members and will focus on the field of European environmental history the project will eventually expand to include non-ESEH contributors and cover all world regions."
Associations, Organizations, Etc.
The society was founded "to promote the interest, study and research in the history of agriculture." Their journal Agricultural History, which started in 1927, is listed above.
ASEH "increases understanding of the important role played by the environment throughout human history, from the earliest period to the crucial issues of our own time and across the world’s diverse societies and ecosystems."
There is some information available on the Web site to non-members. One section, AAG Projects for Improving Education, Professional Development, and Outreach in Geography has materials divided by: Professional and Organizational Development; Internationalization Projects; Curriculum Materials; and Outreach, although these look like promotional materials that one would need to purchase, although there are sample activities available online. Online access to journals is for members only.
Australian Forest History Society. Australian Forest History Society Inc.
Site has lists and links of and to its own selected publications, conference proceedings, Australian forest history, etc. The publications listed include out of print items (available items are linkable online), so finding some of the listings may be tricky (check your own library for holdings first; if not available, try Interlibrary Loan).
Center for Environmental History. Austria.
See links for additional Web sites; these are divided by institution, resource, and persons. Most are in German (linked to title page is English version of the page).
This organization is "involved in exploring, examining, and understanding land and landscape issues." There is a Land Use Database is a "collection of source material and processed information on unusual and exemplary land use in the United States." A limited number of items from that database are available to non CLUI affiliates. Search by keyword or click on state for items related to that state; click on keywords on the right-hand side to narrow the search. Click on images to both enlarge them and obtain additional information. From detailed page click on (show on map) for satellite map location and/or additional offsite information. Browse by: Transportation, Water, Cultural, Industrial, Mining, Waste, Military, Nuclear/Radioactive, or R&D.
Centre for Environmental History and Policy. University of Stirling Research Centre for Environmental History and Policy.
See menu drop-down "Resources" for a few short reports and links to relevant topics (books and articles empty on 7-3-8). From a U.K. research center.
CESU is "a network of cooperative units established to provide research, technical assistance, and education to resource and environmental managers." A map of the U.S. shows what areas each of the 18 units cover. Each unit has its own Web site. The few CESU materials and Administrative resources available online are brochures, fact sheets, reports and other items.
Energy History. Joint Center for History and Economics. Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University and Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. All content (c) 2016-2017.
"The project explores how the historical study of energy use and transformation can widen perspectives on economic, social, and environmental processes in the past. It also serves as a forum for the historical discussion of energy in all its forms in a global and comparative context, and supports a series of workshops, lectures and events.
"This site provides a hub for information on energy history. It archives the data assembled by a number of quantitative projects on energy history." Links go to Energy Data and Papers; Recent Research; People; Events; Publications; Linked Projects; and Past Projects (as of 1/16/18).
Institute for Environmental History (about).
See list of resources and links under the AHRC Centre for Environmental History.
Click on links for a lengthy list of water-related associations, foundations, etc. Web sites.
Public Works Historical Society. American Historical Association.
"The Public Works Historical Society was chartered in 1975 by the American Public Works Association to prepare a history of public works in America to coincide with the United States bicentennial." Site of the society is down as of October 2016.
The mission of this museum is "to document the historical, environmental, and scientific aspects of Rocky Flats, and to educate the public about Rocky Flats, the Cold War, and their legacies." Click on "Links" to see links to: Rocky Flats sites; Nuclear-Related Museums, Department of Energy Nuclear Sites/History, Nuclear Weapons Data/Research, and Other Nuclear Sites.
Environmental History Web Sources
The Aldo Leopold Archives. University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
"Aldo Leopold is considered by many to have been the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century. Leopold's legacy spans the disciplines of forestry, wildlife management, conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, restoration ecology, private land management, environmental history, literature, education, esthetics, and ethics. He is most widely known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, one of the most beloved and respected books about the environment ever published. The Leopold Collection houses the raw materials that document not only Leopold's rise to prominence but the history of conservation and the emergence of the field of ecology from the early 1900s until his death in 1948." Use the folder-arranged Detailed Contents List, Search the full text, or Search Photographs to identify digital content. CSU owns A Sand County Almanac located at QH 81 .L56 1968b Morgan, and A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River located at QH81 .L562 1970 Morgan and Current Awareness.
National Conservation Training Center History. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Conservation Archives is a "Collection of Conservation Images and Artifacts From the Fish and Wildlife Service." The collection appears to be growing; see historic images, documents, and films.
Canyons, Cultures and Environmental Change: An Introduction to the Land-Use History of the Colorado Plateau. John D. Grahame and Thomas D. Sisk, eds. 2002.
"This website provides an introduction to the environmental history of the Colorado Plateau. It summarizes a vast body of research from multiple disciplines." Clickable maps bring up information about the Colorado Plateau. an area that covers 130,000 square miles found in the four-corner states (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah). Descriptive text cites experts and historical accounts.
Environmental History. Fred Milton on behalf of the European Society for Environmental History. WWW Virtual Library.
Arranged by Organisations, Research Centres, Projects and networks, Journals, Teaching resources, Personal websites, and Geographical (Africa, Australia, Finland, Germany, and New Zealand). The site is maintained by someone in the UK, thus the spellings of organization and centers.
Environmental History Network (Australian & New Zealand). The Fenner School of Environment and Society. ©
The Australian National University. News, definitions, networked community of interested parties, and links & resources (online).
Environmental History on the Internet. Jessica Teisch and others.
Supports work of Carolyn Merchant. University of California, Berkeley. Simple listing with name of site and URL. However, divided into categories: Introduction to the Field of Environmental History; Environmental History Societies and Related Associations; Environmental History Resources (umbrella sites); Environmental History Teaching Resources; Sample Course Syllabi in North American Environmental History; General Environmental Education; Online Bibliographies/Book Resources; Online Discussion Lists; Government Agencies; Environmental Organizations; Examples of Local Environmental Histories; Environmental Justice; Environmental Ethics and Philosophy; and Animal Links.
Environmental History Timeline. Environmentalhistory.org.
Timeline of environmental history. Starts with 1200BC and goes to the future. Eras list essential reading. (This may be linked to indirectly somewhere else on this page.)
The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920. American Memory. Library of Congress.
This site "documents the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage, through books, pamphlets, government documents, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and motion picture footage drawn from the collections of the Library of Congress." Primary historical resources. Search the collection or browse by subjects, authors, or titles. Scroll down on main page to browse chronologically. Selected items only.
Henry Ford, Charles Kettering and the Fuel of the Future. Wm. Kovarik. Radford University.
Leaded gasoline scandals of the past. Links to papers and articles online (not all active). List of myths.
The Forest History Society Databases. Forest History Society.
Databases are: Forest History Society Image Database, Environmental History Bibliography Database, Guide to Environmental History Archival Collections Database, Forests in Fiction Collection Catalog, and Environment of South and Southeast Asia Bibliography Database. The database's contents are described on the page.
Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day: The Making of the Modern Environmental Movement. © Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
Provides "access to the riches of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Gaylord Nelson Collection. . . . the Collection contains thousands of personal and official papers for the years 1954-2006 of former Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day and Counselor of The Wilderness Society." Drop down menus provide direct access to topics or sections of the online content and documents. See about this Website for additional information.
History. National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior.
A number of reports and histories in PDF (not all work and some are actually in other formats) at least one 20+ megabytes in size (224 pages). Links on left side to Park Histories, Historical Themes, Maritime Heritage Program (this goes off of the National Park Services site), Research and Education, and Oral History. Links to the Past covers History & Culture.
Environmental History Bibliographies. Jan Oosthoek. University of Edinburgh. Possible duplicate entry.
NiCHE. Network in Canadian History & Environment.
"NiCHE promotes new ways of supporting collaboration among Canadian environmental historians and colleagues in adjacent fields. It also works to ensure that this research is accessible to policymakers, natural scientists, and the Canadian public." Under Research there is a North American Environmental History course syllabus (see reading assignments) and summarized blog feeds to do with environmental history. Under links see links to online resources (some off-site and also at least one in French).
Notes on the State of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson. Brooklyn, N.Y., Historical Printing Club, 1894. E-version 1998-99. University of Virginia Library.
Twenty-three queries. Descriptions of various aspects of the State of Virginia: rivers, mountains, etc.
Requires a zip code to access. Provides "live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. We also provide image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Images of Serial patents (land titles issued between 1908 and the mid-1960's) have been added to this web site. Images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810, are added to the site state-by-state as each state's documents are completed." Search land patents (search by state and name of patentee or warrantee) and surveys (search surveys by state, county, township nr. [and direction N or S], range nr. [and direction E or W], meridian, survey type, surveyor, contract/group nr.). Not all states are available. A page of Frequently Asked Questions answers what a land patent is, among other topics. An Overview: Surveys, Plats, and Field Notes page provides explanations. Directions to search for land patents are: " Start by selecting the State. You do not have to fill in all fields, but provide at least one additional field. Click the Search Patents button." Search also by location, and identifier.
Rachel Carson Centennial Blog. Friends of the National Conservation Training Center as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"This blog was active during 2007 as part of the Rachel Carson 100th birthday celebration." Every month a guest moderator led a discussion of one of Carson's works. While no longer active, the comments and discussion may still be read.
Resources (ESEH) . European Society for Environmental History.
Links to bibliographical database project (the "ESEH bibliography is a collection of literature concerning European environmental history since 1976, comprising over 2000 titles so far") arranged by groupings of years and by year; Publications is a link to the society's Notepad Newsletter; Links has links to relevant sites, arranged by country; Listserv (H-Environment Discussion Network); and Publishers & New Publications, which has "Information about new environmental history publications and publishers."
Theodore Roosevelt Association. Conservationist: Life of Theodore Roosevelt.
"According to the National Geographic, the area of the United States placed under public protection by Theodore Roosevelt, as National Parks, National Forests, game and bird preserves, and other federal reservations, comes to a total of approximately 230,000,000 acres." Links show lists of areas created by Roosevelt: 150 National Forests, 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 5 National Parks, 18 National Monuments, 24 Reclamation Projects, 7 Conservation Conferences and Commissions, and As Governor of New York.
Western Waters Digital Library. Greater Western Library Alliance. (Colorado State University is a member.)
"The Western Waters Digital Library (WWDL) contains government reports, classic water literature, legal transcripts, water project records, personal papers, photographic collections, and video materials about the Columbia, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande river basins." Search text, images, video, audio, or all formats. Browse by category: subject, people, places, or signature collections; or collection guide--the guides have descriptive text available online. Under Other resources find more information about a few of the collections and also links to other water Web sites. There is an advanced search option.
Projects: Spatial, Modeling
AIMES. Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System. FutureEarth.
""AIMES is an Earth System synthesis and integration project. It builds on the foundation of the Global Analysis, Integration and Modelling (GAIM) task force."
Spatial History Project. Stanford University.
"The project brings together scholars working on projects at the intersection of geography and history using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research." A few of these are available directly on the site. Project descriptions are provided. Visualizations give a brief overview. This looks like a project that is just starting to take off.