Are there resources out there that have that kind of history? For example, for the 1847 issue, is there any documentation of when these proofs were actually printed?
In a word: "yes." However, it is interesting that you chose that particular example.
In 1947 the late Clarence Brazer published a booklet entitled, A Historical Catalog of U.S. Stamp Essays & Proofs: The 1847 Issue
. In it he sets the essay and proof material then known for those stamps into chronological sequence.
As a teaser on your question, consider this sentence from p. 14
"Proof specimens were printed for various purposes from these 1847 dies at various times including 1858, about 1879 when the American, National, and Continental Companies combined, and as late as 1895 when albums of proof specimens were prepared for each of the directors of the American Bank Note Co." ( Here he added the note that he has some of those last items on paper watermarked "1895".)
Brazer's "Historical Catalog" was something he envisioned as a major project for a specialist society called "The Essay-Proof Society," a group he had helped found in 1942 at about the time he came out with his groundbreaking Essays for U.S. Adhesive Postage Stamps.
It was not the first such undertaking, but was by far the greatest. Attention was given to that enterprise - in a hit and miss fashion - from 1947 until 1993 when the Society ceased. That final date roughly coincides with Scott's introduction of an Essay section into the U.S. Specialized catalog (1992). Scott picked up on the "Catalog" aspect of Brazer's concept, but to this day the "Historical" aspect has never quite come together except as fragments in isolated articles and monographs. It is a vision that needs a society behind it.