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Finding Digitized Primary Sources

A Guide for Digital Research in History and Literature

Primary Source Databases

(For primary sources about relations between the U.S. and other countries, see the "Modern World" and "European Studies" tabs.)

GENERAL & PRE-TWENTIETH CENTURY
Images of America: A History of American Life in Images and Texts
American History, 1493-1945 (The Gilder Lehrman Collection)
Revolution and Protest Online
The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution
The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791
Religions of America
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Colonial North America at Harvard Library
Colonial America (Correspondence between the British government and the American colonies)
Revolutionary War and Early America
Warfare in North America, c. 1756-1815: British Perspectives
Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement and Colonial Encounters
The American West
Images of the American Civil War: Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera
Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines
The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries
Accessible Archives: The Civil War Newspapers, personal narratives, regimental histories, pamphlets, and abolitionist literature
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 -- 29,000 works about the Americas published throughout the world, 1500 to early 1900's
Society, culture & politics in Canada : Canadiana pamphlets from McMaster University, 1818-1929
Overland Journeys: Travels in the West, 1800-1880
Empire Online
The Virginia Company Archives
Age of Exploration
Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration, and Cultural Exchange
China, America and the Pacific: Trade and Cultural Exchange
Progressive Era: Reform, Regulation, and Rights (1872-1934) and Voices of Reform (1875-1945)
Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1930
Oral History Online
Law and Society Since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library
The Gilded Age
Tocqueville's Democracy in America: Editions, Translations, Sources, Interpretation
Guide to the Spanish-American War (Library of Congress)

TWENTIETH CENTURY:
North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories
U.S. Declassified Documents
Digital National Security Archive
Cold War Intelligence Online: The Secret War Between the U.S. and the USSR, 1945-1991
U.S. intelligence on Asia, 1945-1991
James Meredith, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Integration of the University of Mississippi
Country Intelligence Reports on USSR
The First World War
Progressive Era: Reform, Regulation, and Rights (1872-1934) and Voices of Reform (1875-1945)
Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1930
Understanding Hate in America: White Nationalism and the Press in the 1920s
America in World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts
Cold War: Voices of Confrontation and Conciliation
Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975
The Texas Tech Vietnam Center
Vietnam War Bibliography
The Russian Civil War and American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, 1918-20
U.S. Relations with the Vatican and the Holocaust, 1940-1950
Policing the Shanghai International Settlement, 1894-1945
The Hindu Conspiracy Cases: Activities of the Indian Independence Movement in the U.S., 1908-1933
Market Research and American Business, 1935-1965
ACLU Papers 1912-1990
Socialist Party of America Records
Commercial and Trade Relations Between Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the U.S., 1910-1963
The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960 to 1974
Disability in the Modern World
The Pentagon Papers
Civil Rights and Social Justice Collection (Hein Online)

PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS
George Washington Papers
Thomas Jefferson Papers
James Madison Papers
Alexander Hamilton Papers
The Adams Papers
Founders Early Access: Additional Papers of Washington, Madison, Adams, & Jefferson
Presidential Recordings: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
John F. Kennedy Assassination Collection

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY:
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive
Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007
Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries (1700-1896)
Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Law and Order in 19th Century America
Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915
Black Abolitionist Papers
Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century
NAACP Board of Directors, Annual Conferences, Major Speeches, and National Staff Files
NAACP Major Campaigns -- Legal Department Files
NAACP Major Campaigns -- Education, Voting, Housing, Employment, Armed Forces
NAACP Major Campaigns -- Scottsboro, Anti-Lynching, Criminal Justice, Peonage, Labor, and Segregation and Discrimination Complaints and Responses
Black Thought and Culture: African Americans to 1975
Black Women's Suffrage Collection (Digital Public Library of America)
Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade
Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation, and Freedom: Primary Sources from Houghton Library
The Quest for Labor Equality in Household Work : National Domestic Workers Union, 1965-1979

WOMEN'S HISTORY:
North American Women's Letters and Diaries
Women and Social Movements in the United States 1600-2000
Everyday Life and Women in America: c. 1800-1920
Margaret Sanger Papers
Women Organizing Transnationally: The Committee of Correspondence, 1952-1969
Black Women's Suffrage Collection (Digital Public Library of America)
Women's Issues and Their Advocacy Within the White House, 1974-1977
Women's Magazine Archive
The Vogue Archive
U.S. Women's and Girls' Magazines Web Archive
International Women’s Periodicals, 1786-1933: Social and Political Issues
A Daring Experiment :Harvard and Business Education for Women, 1937-1970
Women's Studies Archive: Women's Issues & Identities
Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires Since 1820
Women and Social Movements, International: 1840 to Present
Witchcraft in Europe and America
The Dolley Madison Digital Edition
Women and the Law
Women's Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library: Voting Rights, National Politics, and Reproductive Rights

SEXUALITY & GENDER:
In Response to the AIDS Crisis
LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940
LGBT Thought and Culture
Gender: Identity and Social Change
Sex and Sexuality: Documents from The Kinsey Institute

NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY:
Indigenous Peoples of North America
American Indian Histories and Cultures
American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971
American Indian Correspondence: Missionaries' Letters, 1833-1893
The American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism
The Meriam Report on Indian Administration and the Survey of Conditions of the Indians in the U.S
The War Department and Indian Affairs, 1800-1824
North American Indian Thought and Culture
Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment
American Indian Law Collection

AMERICAN CULTURE:
Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture 1790-1920
Leisure, Travel and Mass Culture: The History of Tourism
Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History: Women's Travel Accounts
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings
Ethnographic Sound Archives Online
Victorian Popular Culture
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest
Food Studies Online
Food and Drink in History
Twentieth Century Advice Literature: North American Guides on Race, Sex, Gender, and the Family
Historical Catalogs of Sears, Roebuck and Co. (in Ancestry.com, click on Search > Card Catalog > Title SEARS)
Underground and Independent Comics

GENERAL:
The Making of the Modern World
Revolution and Protest Online
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture 1790-1920
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings
Ethnographic Sound Archives Online
Empire Online
The Virginia Company Archives
Age of Exploration
Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration, and Cultural Exchange
Oral History Online
LGBT Thought and Culture
Food Studies Online

AFRICA:
Evangelism in Africa: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1835‐1910
European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: French Colonialism in Africa from Algeria to Madagascar, 1910-1930
European Colonialism in the Early 20th century: Italian Colonies in North Africa and Aggression in East Africa, 1930-1939
European Colonialism in the Early 20th century. Political and Economic Consolidation of Portuguese Colonies in Africa, 1910-1929
European Colonialism in the Early 20th century : German Colonies to League of Nations Mandates in Africa 1910-1929
Liberia and the United States: Nation-Building in Africa, 1864-1918 and 1918-1935
Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966 (British Colonial Office and Foreign Office Papers)
Ghana and Togo under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1843-1957
Nigeria and Cameroon under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1887-1960
Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980
Apartheid Through the Eyes of South African Political Parties, 1948-1994
Middle East and North Africa: Global Perspectives, 1958-1994
African Diaspora, 1860 to present
Black Short Fiction and Folklore: From Africa and the African Diaspora

MIDDLE EAST:
Evangelism and the Syria-Lebanon Mission: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1869-1910
U.S. and Iraqi Relations: U.S. Technical Aid, 1950-1958
U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009
Middle East and North Africa: Global Perspectives, 1958-1994
Afghanistan and the United States, 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department
Afghanistan in 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War
The Cyprus Crisis in 1967

EAST ASIA:
Japan at War and Peace, 1930-1949: U.S. State Department Records on the Internal Affairs of Japan
Meiji Japan: The Edward Sylvester Morse Collection
China: Culture and Society: The Watson Pamphlet Collection, Cornell University
The Minutes of the Shanghai Municipal Council
German Foreign Relations and Military Activities in China, 1919-1935
China, Trade, Politics and Culture, 1793-1980
British Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980
China, America and the Pacific: Trade and Cultural Exchange
 

SOUTH & SOUTHEAST ASIA:
Evangelism in India : correspondence of the Board of Foreign Mission, 1833-1910
Sukarno and the Army-PKI Rivalry in the Years of Living Dangerously, 1960-1963
European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century : Colonialism and Nationalism in the Dutch East Indies, 1910-1930
The Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920
East India Company
India from crown rule to republic, 1945-1949 :records of the U.S. State Department
India, Raj and Empire
India-Pakistan Conflict: Records of the U.S. State Department, February 1963-1966
Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980
Area Studies: India
The International Women's Movement: The Pan Pacific / Southeast Asia Women
South and Southeast Asian Literature: Classic and Postcolonial Writers in English, 1825 to Present
Early Experiences in Australasia: Primary Sources and Personal Narratives, 1788-1901
"No Limits" (Australian talk show on disability) in Disability in the Modern World

EASTERN EUROPE:
Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System
World Communism: Pamphlets from McMaster University
East Germany from Stalinization to the New Economic Policy, 1950-1963
Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda
Czechoslovakia from Liberation to Communist State, 1945-63: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files
Commercial and Trade Relations Between Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the U.S., 1910-1963
Socialism and National Unity in Yugoslavia, 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department
The Russian Civil War and American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, 1918-20
World War I and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1918
Illiustrirovannaia Rossiia Digital Archive, 1924-1939
Stalin Digital Archive

WOMEN'S HISTORY:
Women's Studies Archive: Women's Issues & Identities
Women and Social Movements, International: 1840 to Present
Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires Since 1820
Women's Movement in Russia (Ruthchild Collection at the Davis Center)

THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT:
The Making of the Modern World
Oral History Online
Revolution and Protest Online
1821 Digital Archive: The Greek Revolution of 1821
Paris Peace Conference and beyond, 1919-1939
Conditions & Politics in Occupied Western Europe, 1940-1945
Patriotes aux Armes! The Underground Resistance in France, Belgium, Holland, and Italy 1939-1945
Occupation and Independence: The Austrian Second Republic, 1945-1963
National Socialism, Holocaust, Resistance and Exile 1933-1945
Post-War Europe: Refugees, Exile, and Resettlement, 1945-1950
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive
Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires Since 1820
Women and Social Movements, International: 1840 to Present
Psychological Warfare and Propaganda in World War II: Air Dropped and Shelled Leaflets and Periodicals
Witchcraft in Europe and America
La France Pendant la Guerre 1939-1945: Résistance et Journaux de Vichy
Journaux de la Revolution (Newspapers of the French Revolution, 1848)
L'Affaire Dreyfus (The Dreyfus Affair in the Making of Modern France)
La Guerra Civil Española (The Spanish Civil War Collection)
World War II, Occupation, and the Civil War in Greece: 1940-1949: U.S. State Dept. Records
The Economy and War in the Third Reich, 1933-1944
Alexander III and the Policy of "Russification," 1883-1886 (Russia correspondence of the British Foreign Office)
German Folklore and Popular Culture: Das Kloster
The First World War
Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings
Vogue Italia, 1964 - current
Food Studies Online
Illustrated Magazines of the Weimar Republic
Underground and Independent Comics

BRITAIN AND IRELAND:
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Prize Papers Online: American Revolutionary War and Fourth Anglo-Dutch War ("Prizes" were ships the British Navy captured at sea during these conflicts; the papers consist of interrogations of captive crew members.)
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets
State Papers Online: Early Modern Government in Britain and Europe
Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement and Colonial Encounters
Industrial Mobilization in Britain and the Ministry of Munitions, 1915-1918
Mass Observation Online (social research on everyday life in Britain)
19th Century U.K. Periodicals
The Papers of Joseph Chamberlain
The Papers of Neville Chamberlain
The Papers of Sir Austen Chamberlain
LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940
LGBT Thought and Culture
Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History: Women's Travel Accounts
Gender: Identity and Social Change
Defining Gender, 1450-1910: Five Centuries of Advice Literature for Men and Women
Queen Victoria's Journals
Women, War, and Society 1914-1918
Women in the UK National Archives
Women Writers Online
International Women’s Periodicals, 1786-1933: Social and Political Issues
British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries, from 1500-1950
Allied propaganda in World War II and the British Political Warfare Executive
Confidential Print (papers of the British Foreign Office and Colonial Office) on North America (1824-1961), Latin America (1833-1969), Africa (1834-1966), and the Middle East (1839-1969)
The Nixon Years, 1969-1974: Complete FCO 7 and FCO 82 Files from the National Archives, Kew
The Grand Tour: British Travel on the Continent
Romanticism: Life, Literature, and Landscape
The Romantic Era Redefined
Empire Online
Victorian Popular Culture
Food and Drink in History
British Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest
Area Studies: India
Age of Exploration
East India Company
London Low Life: Street Culture, Social Reform, and the Victorian Underworld
Literary Manuscripts: 17th and 18th Century Poetry From the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds
Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers in the British Isles, 1500-1700
Northern Ireland: A Divided Community, 1921-1972
The Dublin Castle Records, 1798-1926
Irish Women Poets of the Romantic Period
Disability in the Modern World