Thanks to the Texas State Library's TexShare program, you now have access to two online historical archives: American Indian Histories and Cultures, and The American West. These resources are useful for school projects, armchair historians, lesson planners, and serious researchers. They're well-organized, easy to search or browse, and full of primary sources and rare images.
American Indian Histories and Cultures is a unique resource that makes available many rare and significant documents from the Edward E. Ayer Collection at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Spanning four hundred years since the earliest contact between Native Americans and Europeans, document types include manuscripts, artworks, speeches and petitions, diaries, correspondence, linguistic and ethnographic studies, photographs, maps, photographs, rare printed books and American Indian newspapers.
The American West is from the Everett D. Graff Collection at the Newberry Library. You can explore tales of frontier life, pioneers, Wild West shows, the Gold Rush, vigilantes, and outlaws through a mixture of original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources. There are hundreds of items for the study of Texas history as well.
Map of 1871 Texas courtesy of Newberry Library, Chicago.