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Finding Sources: in the Library and Online: Finding Statstics, Data, and Maps

This guide shows students where to begin and provides them with resources for finding all types of information.

Finding Primary Sources

Primary sources are generally the work of a creator, participant in, or direct observer of an historical event, research effort, or a work of art. Primary sources do not have to be used in their original form - they may be reproduced electronically, printed or published later and still be considered primary sources.

World and U.S. Population

Poll for Statistics, Data and Maps

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Maps Resources

David Rumsey Map Collection: The David Rumsey Collection was started nearly 20 years ago, and focuses primarily on cartography of the Americas from the 18th and 19th centuries, but also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, globes, school geographies, books, maritime charts, and a variety of separate maps, including pocket, wall, children's and manuscript.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection:  Extensive list of links to historical map collections online. From the Perry-Castaneda Library.


Medieval Maps and Images (from the Internet Medieval Sourcebook at Fordham University): Large selection of medieval map images from around the world.

World Digital Library: Maps: More than 300 map images, dating from 8000BC to 1949AD and representing at least 100 geographic areas, a free service from The Library of Congress.

Digital Sanborn Maps: Maps of Texas towns and cities dating from 1867.

‚Äč16th- Early 20th Century Maps of Africa: From Northwestern University, this site features digital copies of 113 antique maps of Africa and accompanying text dating from the mid 16th Century to the early 20th Century.

American Memory: Maps: Historical map collection from the Library of Congress.

image courtesy of Wikicommons

General Data and Facts

American FactFinder:  Provides population, housing, income, economic and geographic data, from the U.S. Census Bureau

Statistical Abstract of the United States (2012): The authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Historical Census Browser:  From the University of Virginia, census information starting with data 1790 taken from the volumes of U.S. Census of Population and Housing.

Gapminder:  Select world data from WHO, UN, World Bank, International Agency for Research on Cancer and journals such as Forbes with interactive charts and maps over time.

U.S. Census Bureau: Published by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Find the latest news and facts, interactive maps, and more.


65+ in the United States at the U.S. Census Bureau:  A look at the U.S. Population that is 65 and older.  Latest issue published in April 1996.

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U.S. Statistics

U.S. Government Statistics

Tip -- Most government agencies publish statistics, and most of these statistics are available online.  If you are looking for reputable statistics on a range of topics, official governmental agencies are a good place to start.

Education Statistics

Tip -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publishes a huge range of material. It is probably the best place to begin locating education statistics.

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Statistics About Texas

The following are some of the statistics available from various state and local agencies.

Tip -- Check various universities in Texas (such at UT Austin, Texas A&M, and Baylor) for statistics on local, national, and global topics. Many large research universities produce statistics and reports that researchers can use.

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International Statistics

  • United Nations Data Statistics produced by countries and compiled by the United Nations data system, as well as estimates and projections. Covers agriculture, education, energy, industry, labor, national accounts, population and tourism.

  • Statistics on Women and Men.

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