Digitized and Online Primary Source Collections
Some sites with significant primary source materials
- Internet Archive
- HathiTrust (choose Harvard at the login prompt)
- Archives Unbound (Gale Primary Sources)
CURRENT AND HISTORICAL NEWS SOURCES
- Nexis Uni [c. 1980-present day; competitor product is Factiva]
- Factiva [c.1980-present day; competitor product is Factiva]
- ProQuest Historical Newspapers [time coverage varies; generally, from paper's beginning to late 20th or early 2000s]
- FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service), 1941-1994. Considered the principal record of U.S. political and historical open source intelligence for the period, it contains translated news, news broadcasts, and government statements from around the world.
- Pravda Archive 1959-1996 [a subset of the FBIS database]
- The March of Time (1935-1967)
- World Newsreels Online (1929-1967)
- British Movietone [AP Multimedia] (1895-1986)>
A portal to image collections from across the globe, including documentary photographs. Try GDR, for example, or west germany or postwar Germany (or something else). Like HOLLIS and like other databases, ARTSTOR has a rich set of filtering options to narrow and refine results.
Declassified government documents covering U.S. policy toward critical world events – including their military, intelligence, diplomatic and human rights dimensions – from 1945 to the present. Each collection is assembled by foreign policy experts and features chronologies, glossaries, bibliographies, and scholarly overviews.
This database brings together the most sensitive documents from all the presidential libraries and numerous executive agencies in a single, easily searchable database, including: intelligence studies, policy papers, diplomatic correspondence, cabinet meeting minutes, briefing materials, and domestic surveillance and military reports.
Provides an in-depth look into the creation of the East German state, living conditions, and its people. Documents included in this collection are predominantly instructions to and despatches from U.S. diplomatic, and consular personnel regarding political, military, economic, social, industrial, and other internal conditions and events in East Germany.
A collection of primary sources for the study and understanding of the challenges facing the European peoples in the aftermath of World War II." Topics covered include the administration of refugee camps across Europe in Germany and documents related to the British Military Government in Germany.
THEMED DIGITAL COLLECTIONS
Primary Sources in HOLLIS
Primary sources abound in Harvard libraries--even those, like Widener or Lamont, that are neither "special collections" nor part of a dedicated information archive.
How can you search efficiently for them? Here are strategies to use in the catalog portion of our HOLLIS discovery system.
1. KEYWORDS FIRST, THEN RIGHT SIDE FILTERS
- Use dates strategically. The HOLLIS catalog is massive -- and old in the best sense. Publications produced during the era or time period you're studying may become visible that way. With smallish results, you can resort by date ascending to make the oldest items visible first.
- Use the Form/Genre limit to display materials by type. "Primary sources" will be identified with real granularity; they exist as everything from photographs to correspondence to diaries to clipping files and scrapbooks (for instance).
NB: this filter has been applied inconsistently by catalogers, so use it judiciously as a marker of what's available to you.
2. LOAD A KEYWORD SEARCH WITH SPECIAL WORDS AND PHRASES
- Add a century marker to a keyword search (18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, for example).
- Try adding the keyword sources to a keyword string. This trick will sometimes help you pull up primary materials that have been collected and republished in book form or that have been reformatted (as microfilm or microfiche or in digital form).
- Some other words to try are anthology, collected, reader, documentary, documents