Digitized and Online Primary Source Collections

 

CURRENT AND HISTORICAL NEWS SOURCES


 

DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS 

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.

The collection 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.

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 SORTS AND RIGHT SIDE FILTERS

  • Work with date filter on the right side of a results screenThe 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. 
  • Limit your results to a Harvard Library special collection or archive (Schlesinger,  Harvard University Archives, etc.).
  • Once you've chosen the archive or special collections from the list, you can add additional precision by limiting again, this time, to Archives (under record type).
  • Use the Format 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 ABBREVIATIONS

  • 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  anthologycollected, readerdocumentarydocuments