History Newsletter June 2017


If you are limiting a HOLLIS search to Subject terms indicative of primary sources, HOLLIS+ works better than HOLLIS Classic.

Subject: marriage history
Subject: sources OR archives OR correspondence OR diaries OR interviews OR manuscripts OR notebooks OR narratives

HOLLIS Classic includes the Summary field in its searches along with the Subject field.  HOLLIS+ just searches the Subject field. You need the caps in OR in HOLLIS+

Curvy quotation marks (“”) are ignored in HOLLIS+ (and don't work at all in WorldCat).  So DO NOT copy quotation marks from a Word document. Enter new ones.

A National Library of Medicine call number browse has been added to HOLLIS+.

The Library is planning a much needed replacement for HOLLIS+ and HOLLIS Classic which will both disappear in something over a year.  The Library is working to be sure that all HOLLIS Classic features are available in the new system.

New News and Magazine Sources


ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Newsday‎  (1940 - 1988) is a newspaper serving Long Island, NY.


These new full text magazine sources do not yet have separate entries in the E-Resources list.  Find them by going to Academic Search Premier and hitting Choose Databases above the search boxes. Deselect Academic Search Premier. Databases not entirely in alphabetical order.

  • Architectural Digest Archive  1920-2011
  • Bloomberg Businessweek Archive 1929-2000
  • Forbes Archive 1917-2000
  • Fortune Magazine Archive 1930-2000
  • Life Magazine Archive 1936-2000
  • Nation Archive 1865-
  • National Review Archive 1955-
  • New Republic Archive 1914-
  • People Magazine Archive 1974-1/2001
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine Archive 1954-2000
  • Time Magazine Archive 1923-2000

High-Lighted E-Resource: Browzine

Browzine is a great tool for keeping up with the literature of the main journals in your field. It makes browsing journal table of contents easy, whether on your desktop, tablet, or phone.

How to use:

  • Search: If you know the names of the publications you want to keep up with, you can search for them.
  • Browse: Use the options on the left-hand side of the interface to narrow the range of journals within a given field. For example, in History, you can choose to view journals that specialize in particular time periods, geographic regions, or sub-topics of history, such as labor history or women’s history.
    • Sort & Select: Once you’ve reached a manageable number of journals, you can sort the journals alphabetically or by their scientific journal ranking (SJR). You can also select journals whose tables of contents you want to browse through. You will always be guided to the most recent issue of the journal, but you will have the option to view other issues of the journal also. Journal issues are browsable for about the past 10 years.
    • Save: If you find a journal you’d like to keep track of, you can create an account and choose to save the journal to your Bookshelf. You may save up to 64 journals, across 4 bookcases. You may also save individual articles for later reading. If you wish to actually read the full-text, Browzine will route you through Harvard’s online access to the relevant journal or article you want.
  • App: If you want to use Browzine on a tablet or smartphone, click the App menu heading in the Browzine interface and follow the directions for installation.

Future features:

  • Email alerts: Several users have requested an email alert when a new issue of a journal you’ve saved to your bookshelf is available, and the feature is under review by Browzine.
  • Abstracts: Browzine hopes to add article abstracts to the browsing experience later this year.

Non-Harvard E-Resources

On the lives of fugitives: Runaway slave advertisement databases

Mapping Early American Elections (1787-1825) builds on the New Nation Votes (NNV) collection of electoral returns. Allows visualization and mapping.

The Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL Lab) at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has made available online a substantial subset of its digital holdings of  geo-referenced versions of historical and modern maps and satellite imagery. Change Search All to CAMEL. More information

The International Tracing Service (ITS) holds records of over 17 million World War II era displaced persons. More information: “Major Holocaust Document Collection Digitized," Hamodia, Jan. 16, 2017.

Finding Digital Primary Sources

There is no one way to find digitized primary sources by topic (say, women slavery) on the Internet. Most of the search engines do not allow limitation to manuscript/archival material, and such material is often swamped by digitized books and open access scientific publications. We offer strategies for minimizing this problem. Image limitation is more frequent.  Each of the following resources will yield material not findable in the others. This is a progress report of our work on finding digitized primary sources. Additional ideas welcome.

WorldCat (the OCLC Union Catalog) includes numerous digitized collections of primary sources. There are several methods, none of which is perfect, of isolating this material.  Always find the proper Subject terms for your topic and search using those as well as any keywords.  Use Advanced search.

Most of the results are likely to be ebook versions of books rather than digitized archival/manuscript material.  The default results order is by number of holding libraries.  Ebooks held by numerous libraries will be toward the top of the list.  Therefore, jump down in the list until you get to resources held by only one or two libraries in order to avoid the ebook records.  Here you should find the records of digitized collections in the free Web mixed in with other results.  On the top right of the search page open Options and reset Record list size to 100.  This speeds going through large results sets.  Though clumsy, this method of sorting through the results is the most consistent way to get the relevant items. A search in OAIster, below, will avoid these ebook records but miss some other digitized material in WorldCat.

Sample searches showing Advanced Search search boxes:

Keyword: "slave insurrections"
Subject: archives or correspondence or diaries or scrapbooks or sources or manuscripts
Material Type Phrase: Internet Resource

Keyword: “slave insurrections"
Title: papers or records or letters or documents or collection
Material Type Phrase: Internet Resource

Keyword: African American Women Authors
Material type phrase: Updating website

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century

Subject: marriage history
Subject: sources or archives or correspondence or diaries or interviews or manuscripts or notebooks or narratives
Limit type to: Internet Resources

Willie Harris collection 1950s-1970s consists of photographic prints documenting social customs, religious life, weddings, organizations, and other affairs of African American men, women, and children in Baton Rouge, La. between the 1950s and 1970s.

Subject: women slavery
Material type phrase: Internet resource
Limit type to: Archival Material (digitized archival material is sometimes but not always tagged as Archival Material)

Yields: Virginia Norfleet circa 1900. reminiscences

The latter two searches will yield a mix of digital collections and digitized finding aids.


OAIster exists as a tool within WorldCat to search specifically for online open access academic material from over 1100 repositories. When a search in WorldCat, limited to Internet Resources, retrieves too many commercial ebooks, then a search of the OAIster database may be useful to narrow the results to open access material.

OAIster includes such a vast range of resources (digitized books and journal articles, manuscript/archival material, images, audio and visual files, data sets, and theses) that digitized archival and other primary sources are often lost in the abundant results of a broad topical search. So it is best to use a narrow term or proper name. Thus searching “Act-Up” yields archival letters. OAIster often searches digitized collections down to item level. Sometimes the collections containing the items are not found as collections in OAIster but do occur in WorldCat. It is possible to limit a search to "Archival Material", but we have not found this to be useful.

The Digital Public Library of America searches online material emanating from numerous US libraries.  As in OAIster, one cannot effectively limit to archival/manuscript sources, so broad topical searches are difficult.  Specific searches work much better.  Searches for proper names often yield individual items (photographs, letters) within collections.

OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) uses a very simple Google search to search its over 1650 repositories worldwide. Includes all kinds of digital material. Cannot limit to particular types of material. Does not use OAI-PMH protocol, unlike several others, so gets different results. Searches at item level and in some cases full text. Searches the Internet Archive.


Advanced Google Searches

General Google searches may yield very many results, and it may take much sifting through the results in order to find relevant items. Using Google Advanced Search with specific search terms can help yield more focused results.

Within Google Advanced Search, use the “all of these words” and the “this exact word or phrase” to enter keywords for your subject, for example:

all these words: Botanists
any of these words: archives manuscripts correspondence diaries scrapbooks sources letters

all these words: Botanists
any of these words: "digital archive" "digital collection" "online collection" "digital library"

For any of these searches, you can use the “site or domain” box to search within just .edu, .org, or .gov sites.

Over 2000 repositories use a system called CONTENTdm in publishing their digital collections. You can search a broad term plus CONTENTdm and retrieve only digital collections. Thus: slavery contentdm yields about 35,000 collections and items.

Google Primary Sources Search

Google has created a customized search for primary sources. The results list can be a bit disconcerting by identifying items in isolation without giving you an idea of the broader collection in which they are located.  The primary source search often gets different results from the Advanced Search described above.

New E-Resources


ARTstor is a major resource for photojournalism.  They have recently added 35,000 additional images from Magnum Photos

Oxford encyclopedia of the bible and law

HeinOnline Religion and the Law

Women and Social Movements, Modern Empires Since 1820 iincludes personal writings by women related to the Habsburg Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and United States Empires, and settler societies in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

United States

Making of Modern Law: ACLU Papers, 1912-1990

Music Magazine Archive

ProQuest Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations 1789-present

Rock's Backpages (1950s- ) includes articles, interviews, and reviews from music writers, journalists, and critics, from Billboard, Cashbox, Rolling Stone, Melody Maker, and many smaller local publications (city papers).

Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century

Dave Leip's atlas of the U.S. presidential elections, 1948-2016

Franz Boas Papers, 1862-1942 offers personal papers of the American anthropologist

HeinOnline Tax Foundation Archive Publications

Law & Society since the Civil War consists of 11 collections from the Harvard Law School Library including the personal papers of Supreme Court justices (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter) , federal judges, Law School professor and others together with the Sacco-Vanzetti case papers.

ProQuest Congressional has a search for government social media postings

Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915 Plantation Records

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database   includes records from over 35,000 individual slaving expeditions between 1514 and 1866.


Deutsche Geschichte im 20. Jh.: Nationalsozialismus, Holocaust, Widerstand und Exil 1933-1945 Online

The archives of Cuba =: Los archivos de Cuba  descriptions of the holdings of Cuban archives including smaller less well known collections.


SEApapers Provides access to scholarly works produced in and about Southeast Asia.  Focus is on Brunei Darussalam, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.