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History and Literature: A Guide to Research Resources

Primary sources: letters, diaries and a variety of original documents

America's Historical Imprints
Full-text collection of source material documenting the history and culture of the United States, 1760-1900

Digital Collections at the Library of Congress
A gateway to the Library of Congress’s vast resources of digitized American historical materials.

American History in Video
provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries. This release now provides 3,149 titles, with videos from new partner Pennebaker-Hegedus Films, additional videos from Ken Burns and PBS and from The History Channel, and dozens more years of Universal Newsreel, equalling approximately 766 hours.

Archive of Americana
Full-text collection of source material documenting the history and culture of the United States, including: Early American Imprints, Series I and II; America’s Historical Newspapers (Early American Newspapers, Series I, II, III); American State Papers, 1789-1838; U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980; and American Broadsides and Ephemera.

British History Online
A collection of printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval, early modern, and modern history of the British Isles. Covers the 11th through the 19th centuries.

Early Modern Letters Online
An online catalogue of correspondence in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Users can search by the name of the sender or recipient of a letter, as well as the place of origin or destination and other characteristics. The database provides summaries of the letters' content and, in some cases, images of the letters themselves.

Empire Online
Empire Online provides access to images of original documents and printed materials relating to the British Empire in Africa, Australasia, the Americas, Oceania, and South Asia.

Making of America (University of Michigan)
A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

Making of the Modern World
Provides full-text searching of more than 61,000 works of literature on commerce, finance, social conditions, politics, trade and transport,1450 through 1850, from the vast collection of material in the Kress Collection of Business and Economics at the Baker Library, Harvard Business School and the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature at the University of London Library.

Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online (1700-1960)
Unified search platform for cross-searching the letters, diaries, and personal narratives contained in the Alexander Street Press databases North American Women’s Letters and Diaries; North American Immigrants’ Letters and Diaries; British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries; The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries; Black Thought and Culture; Manuscript Women’s Letters and Diaries; and Oral History Online.

The above mentioned diaries and letters may be searched as discrete databases, as well:

North American Women's Letters and Diaries. Colonial period - 1950

British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries. Colonial period - 1950

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories. 1800 - 1950

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries.

Women and Social Movements in the United States: 1600-2000
Books, documents, images, scholarly essays, commentaries and bibliographies, documenting aspects of American women's public lives and political activities.

Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment. Letters, diaries, memoirs, 1534-1860

Parisian Ephemera Collection
19th and 20th-century printed ephemera from and about Paris in French, English, and German. Includes maps, guidebooks, exhibition plans, souvenir picture books, postcard collections, and theater and music-hall programs.