There's A Brief History of the Stratocaster Part I and Part II that follows the evolution of the most popular Fender guitar of all.
This can be a tall order for someone less versed in guitar history, but we do have some resources here on Reverb to help you out.
For starters, there's the Reverb Price Guide which has thousands of entries with pictures and details on various guitars and other gear.
I will also mention briefly pot-codes as a resource (numbers on the internal potentiometers of the guitar).
These can definitely be useful in cases where no other numbers exist, but just tell when the pot itself was made.
Stagemaster Deluxe (neck-thru maple necks with basswood wings), and the Double Fat Tele Deluxe (all solid mahogany with set necks), with serial numbers starting with KC for Korean Cort, followed by 2-digit year.
There were also some KV (Korean Saehan(Sunghan)) serial numbers followed by 2-digit year.
The KC and KV forms are apparently associated with the change to Crafted in Korea.
So, post-1996 models only would have this form of serial number.
This also means that various parts used on a particular guitar may have come from different points in time, so no single number can absolutely define when the instrument was built.