Unlock the Past with AM Explorer

AM logo: Primary Sources Reimagined



AM Explorer is a comprehensive repository of digitized primary source databases covering the 15th to the 21st centuries.

Particularly relevant to students and scholars in the social sciences and humanities, the platform facilitates exploration across its extensive collections.

AM Explorer’s wide-ranging variety of sources and interactive tools invites researchers to engage thoughtfully with historical narratives.



Discover the advertising industry’s impact on consumer culture from the 1890s to the 1990s in J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America.

Sprint advertisement shows an office worker surprised by a room full of hippos.
US Sprint Communications Company: The biggest problem in working for a good old company is that it’s so hard getting them to budge. From Sprint Print Advertisements, 1988-1997 and undated collection.  © TMobile USA, Inc.

Join the circus, explore entertainment and delve into amusements from the 19th century in the Victorian Popular Culture collection.

Colorful Barnum & Bailey poster shows a roaring tiger illustration
Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth…Tiger, c.1916, © Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin

While navigating AM Explorer, you can conduct refined searches, filtering results based on theme, time period, and geography. You can browse our list to see the unique collections on the platform and better understand the nature and scope of each distinct collection.

Explore the realities and myths associated with westward expansion in America from the early 18th to the mid-20th century, with the American West collection.

Cover of book with photo of Jesse James
Jesse James, my father. Written by Jesse James, Jr. The first and only true story of his adventures ever written. From the American West Collection.

In addition to search capabilities, AM Explorer provides interactive tools within some collections, such as chronologies, contextualization features, and maps. Many collections have features such as handwritten text recognition, data visualization tools, and video and oral histories.

Follow world trade patterns, routes of discovery, ocean currents and more from the early 1900s with interactive maps in the Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration, and Cultural Exchange collection.

World map with countries color coded and arrows showing trade routes
World trade patterns map from the Global Commodities collection.

Start browsing today and expand your horizons with AM Explorer. Visit Ask Us for help navigating this expansive tool.

This post was written by Breanna Webb, Electronic Resources Management Librarian. Breanna works with librarians and vendors to make sure you can access the online resources you need for your research at SMU.

Header Image: The Voice of the people. [Pamphlet]. The Library Company of Philadelphia. From the Popular Medicine in America collection, 1800-1900.