Primary Sources Online
- Harvard Digital CollectionsHarvard Digital Collections provides free, public access to more than 6 million objects digitized from our collections - from ancient art to modern manuscripts and audio visual materials.
- Archives of American ArtArchives of American Art is a Smithsonian repository of primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America, including many digitized documents and images. Browse digital items at the link above or search use filter "digitized items" to locate viewable items online.
- Digital Cicognara LibraryThe Digital Cicognara Library contains early literature on art, architecture, and archaeology.
- Digital Public Library of AmericaThe Digital Public Library of America contains over 37 million digital items, including photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more from America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions across the United States.
- Documents of Latin American and Latino ArtExplore over 8,000 Documents of 20th and 21st-century art in Latin America, the Caribbean, and among US Latino communities.
- EuropeanaEuropeana.eu contains approximately 6 million digital items captured from paintings, sound recordings, films, and texts from Europe's galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. Included are works of art, maps, photos, books, newspapers, letters, diaries, archival papers, music and spoken word, videos, films, newsreels, and TV and radio broadcasts.
- Facsimile FinderFacimile Finder offers videos showing facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts.
- GallicaGallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) containing books, journals, newspapers, printed music, engravings, maps, photographs, sound recordings, and more.
- Library of Congress Digital CollectionsLibrary of Congress Digital Collections include a range of material documenting the American experience from photographs to architectural drawings to maps to written correspondence, sound recordings, and more.
- MoMA Exhibition HistoryMuseum of Modern Art exhibitions from 1929 to the present may include scans of catalogs, installation views, and archival documents.
- New York Public Library Digital CollectionsNew York Public Library Digital Collections contain over 800,000 digital images from a wide variety of primary sources including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and streaming video.
- Old Maps OnlineOld Maps Online indexes over 400,000 historic maps from various archives and libraries.
- Eighteenth century collections online (ECCO)ECCO provides access to full-text searchable digital images of a wide variety of books published during the 18th Century on topics ranging from literature to science, including fine art, architecture, and more.
- Nineteenth century collections online (NCCO)NCCO is a primary source collection of nineteenth century materials sourced from various libraries and archives. It includes monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages. Collections on color theory and photography may be of particular interest.
- Primary sources, Russian Avant-garde, 1904-1946This collection represents works of all Russian literary avant-garde schools. It comprises almost 800 books, periodicals and almanacs most of them published between 1910-1940. The collection includes books illustrated by artists such as Malevich, Goncharova and Lisitskii.
- Romanticism : life, literature & landscapeThis is a digitized collection of manuscripts, correspondence, paintings and drawings from literary, artistic, and political figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Primary collections feature William Wordsworth, Mary Wordsworth, Coleridge, de Quincy, Turner, Gainsborough and many others. Most of the sources are from The Wordsworth Trust.
Finding Primary Sources in Libraries and Archives
- ArchiveGridMore than a thousand of libraries, museums, and archives in the U.S. and worldwide have contributed over 5 million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can see detailed records and digital images for many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, or order copies.
- HOLLIS for Archival DiscoveryUse HOLLIS for Archival Discovery to discover primary sources including letters, photographs, film and video, print items, digital materials, and objects in Harvard's special collections and archives.
- Archive FinderArchive Finder is a database which describes over 206,200 collections of primary source material from thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It provides powerful searching integrated with detailed subject indexing to assist researchers in uncovering historical collections.
- Archives of American ArtArchives of American Art is a Smithsonian repository of primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America, consisting of more than 20 million letters, diaries, scrapbooks, manuscripts, financial records, photographs, films, and oral histories of artists, dealers, collectors, critics, scholars, museums, galleries, associations, and other art world figures. In addition to selected digitized material, microfilm copies of selected materials may be requested via Interlibrary Loan. See the Fine Arts Library for details.
- Art Theorists of the Italian RenaissanceFull-text database containing a collection of treatises on art and architecture from the period 1470-1775. The first and second editions of Vasari's Lives of the Artists (1550 and 1568) are included in full, with full English parallel translation. Additional texts range from Alberti's De Pictura to lesser-known works such as Vespasiano's Le Vite. Where possible these texts are provided in Latin, Italian and English. Architectural treatises such as Palladio's I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura are reproduced complete with original diagrams and illustrations.
- Census of Antique Works of Art Known in the RenaissanceThe Census was established in 1946 at the Warburg Institute in London. It began as an index system, with antique monuments and their Renaissance documentation noted on index cards. An interdisciplinary research database containing documentation centering on the reception of antiquity, a focus of Renaissance studies, began development in the 1990s. The database contains antique monuments known in the Renaissance together with the related Renaissance documents in the form of texts and images, and related information about locations, persons and periods as well as bibliographic data. The Census is a useful research tool not only in the field of art history and archaeology, but also for any discipline focussing on the afterlife of the antiquity. The Census contains the following visual and textual sources: drawings, sketchbooks, paintings, engravings, sculpture, medals, applied arts, inventories, guide-books, artist biographies, archival documents, etc. In addition, personal name, place name and dates are searchable. Bibliographical references are included.
- Harvard Art Museums ArchivesThe Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.