Many of the subscription databases available through the library will contain primary sources, so checking other ones specific to your topic area may allow you to locate additional sources
Not every item in the database is a primary source
There are a number of ways to search a database, the tips are just a starting place and other methods may work better for you, so please feel free to try other searching or browsing options if you don't get the results using the suggested tips.
Also see the Newspapers tab in this guide for newspaper databases
Throughout the 19th century, pamphlets were an important means of public debate, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day. 19th Century British Pamphlets, created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK), contains the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in research libraries in the United Kingdom.
The digitization of more than 26,000 pamphlets from collections in seven universities in the UK spanning more than one million pages brings together a corpus of primary sources for the study of sociopolitical and economic factors impacting 19th-century Britain.
Provides diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture. Collections Include: African American Newspapers (late 1800s-early 1900s); African American Newspapers in the South, 1870-1926; The AMAROC News: America’s Occupation of the Rhineland, 1919-1923; America and World War I: American Military Camp Newspapers; American County Histories; Anatomy of Protest in America Series (1701-1928); The Civil War; Women’s Suffrage Collection and more!
The early history of African American poetry, from the first recorded poem by an African American (Lucy Terry Prince's 'Bars Fight', c.1746) to the major poets of the nineteenth century, including Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.
Access crucial documents covering the lives of African Americans during the rise of segregation and Jim Crow.This collection covers many topical categories such as the growing body of work by African- American writers; the portrayal of African-Americans in art and literature; religion; race; early histories of slavery; the Civil War; Reconstruction; and others. This archive contains varied perspectives on subjects including but not limited to:African-American Civil Rights; African-American Women; Political Restoration of the South; Social Conditions in the South; Separate but Equal; The Race 'Problem'; Theorizing the Origins of Race; Minstrel Shows and Satire; Race Relations and Southern States; White Supremacy Movements and Groups; Back-to-Africa Movement; Suffrage/Right to Vote; and Lynching.And on organizations such as: African Methodist Episcopal Church; Baptist Associations; Ku Klux Klan; and Presbyterian Church.
Access crucial documents covering the lives of African Americans in the years following the Civil War.This collection covers many topical categories such as Reconstruction by state; works by African- American writers on race, slavery, and civil rights; the portrayal of African Americans in the Arts; early histories of the Civil War and slavery; and others. This archive contains varied perspectives on subjects including but not limited to:African-American Activism; Causes of the Civil War; Political Restoration of the South; Legal Status of African Americans; Congress and Radical Reconstruction; Discrimination and Segregation; Theorizing the Origins of Race; Minstrel Show Music, Scripts, etc.; Education in the South; African-Americans in Office; Back-to-Africa Movement; Suffrage/Right to Vote; Lynchings and Massacres; And on organizations such as: Baptist Church; Freedmen's Bureau; Ku Klux Klan;Presbyterian Church; The Confederacy; Republican Party
Subscriber: VIVA/CNUFull text articles, article abstracts and bibliographic citations of reviews and dissertations on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistoric times to the present. Includes links to some full-text articles in other databases such as JSTOR.
This collection contains 2,009 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of diaries, letters and memoirs. Particular care has been taken to index this material so it can be searched more thoroughly than ever. Each source has been carefully chosen using leading bibliographies. The product includes 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of Maryland Planter William Claytor. The collection also includes biographies, an extensive bibliography of the sources in the database, and material licensed from The Civil War Day-by-Day by E.B. Long.
Subscriber: CNUCross-disciplinary source spanning the 20th century (1900-1999.) Each volume in the set includes full or excerpted primary sources representing the seminal issues, themes, movements and events from a decade. Includes oral histories, songs, speeches, advertisements, TV, play and movie scripts, letters, laws, legal decisions, newspaper articles, cartoons, recipes, and more.
Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS has been in existence longer than Library of Congress, and unlike Washington-based archives, it survived the British invasion of 1812. It has the single largest collection of American periodicals of this period. The AAS library today houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed through 1876 in what is now the United States.
Subscriber:VIVAAllows 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.
Archival Resources of the Virginias (ARVAS) is a consolidated database which provides information about the vast array of manuscripts and archival materials housed in historical societies, libraries, museums, colleges and universities across Virginia and West Virginia. The continuous addition of new and updated finding aids makes this a great tool for discovering primary source materials documenting the history, culture, and people of these two states.
ARTStor will be moving to the JStor platform in August of 2024
See https://www.jstor.org/artstor for more information.
A digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences. Other subject areas include music, religion, anthropology, literature, world history, American Studies, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, and more.
A repository of digital resources, contributed by member libraries, that provides access to digital images of woodcuts, photographs, slides, papyri, coins, maps, postcards, manuscripts, lithographs, sermons, shape-note tune books, and various forms of Christian art, architecture, and iconography. The creation of CDRI was made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation; it is now an ongoing ATLA program.
Black Thought and Culture is a landmark electronic collection of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders—teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures—covering 250 years of history. In addition to the most familiar works, Black Thought and Culture presents a great deal of previously inaccessible material, including letters, speeches, prefatory essays, political leaflets, interviews, periodicals, and trial transcripts. The ideas of over 1,000 authors present an evolving and complex view of what it is to be black in America.
This collection includes the immediate experiences of approximately 500 women, as revealed in over 100,000 pages of diaries and letters. Particular care has been taken to index this material so that it can be searched more thoroughly than ever before. The collection now includes primary materials spanning more than 300 years. Each source has been carefully chosen using leading bibliographies. The collection also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography of the sources in the database.
HeinOnline’s Civil Rights and Social Justice database brings together a diverse offering of publications covering civil rights in the United States as their legal protections and definitions are expanded to cover more and more Americans. Containing links to more than 500 scholarly articles, hearings and committee prints, legislative histories on the landmark legislation, CRS and GAO reports, briefs from major Supreme Court cases, and publications from the Commission on Civil Rights, this database allows users to educate themselves on the ways our civil rights have been strengthened and expanded over time, as well as how these legal protections can go further still. A varied collection of books on many civil rights topics and a list of prominent civil rights organizations help take the research beyond HeinOnline.
Subscriber: CNU offers an historical overview of these ever-changing disciplines and their various expressions in American and English law over time. Collecting Bureau of Justice statistics, memoirs of retired Scotland Yard investigators, congressional hearings on drug control policies, accounts of prison life in days long past and much more, this collection explores how criminal justice has changed in America and the effect criminology has had on those changes. It collects government documents as well as rare or hard to find pamphlets, memoirs, and books written by ordinary law enforcement officers and not-so-famous criminals. To help users navigate the content spanning these two wide-reaching disciplines, all titles in this collection have been subject coded into 16 subject areas: Attorney General, Crimes and Criminals, Criminal Statistics, Criminology, Drug Enforcement, Government Law, Investigation and Forensics, Juvenile Justice, Law and Procedure, Law Enforcement, Organized Crime, Penology, Reform and Recidivism, Reminiscences, Sex Crimes, and Victimology.
A landmark online collection that fills the gap in academic literature about the community and contributions of people who experience disability, with a comprehensive and international set of resources to enrich study in a wide range of disciplines from media studies to philosophy. It includes primary sources, supporting materials, archives, documentaries, and interviews. The content is essential for teaching and research not only in the growing discipline of disability history and disability studies, but also in history, media, the arts, political science, education, and other areas where the contributions of the disability community are typically overlooked.
Subscriber: CNUoffers 350,000 fully searchable issues from over 710 historical American newspapers. Covering 1690-1876, this online collection provides access to the nation’s early periods through the full text of essential newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia.
Over 180,000 titles (200,000 volumes) which includes books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides and more. Based on the English Short Title Catalogue Works published in the UK during the 18th century plus thousands from elsewhere, Primarily in English - also includes other languages.
Subscriber: VIVAEnglish Drama contains more than 3,900 plays in verse and prose from the late thirteenth century - the likely date of the Shrewsbury Fragments - to the early twentieth. It offers exhaustive coverage of the prodigious dramatic literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, as well as Restoration plays, medieval morality plays and mystery cycles, and nineteenth-century closet dramas, including works by major dramatists such as Ben Jonson, Aphra Behn, William Wycherley, Oliver Goldsmith, Richard Sheridan, Oscar Wilde and J. M. Synge
Subscriber: VIVAAdding a further 20,000 poems to the original collection, English Poetry, Second Edition contains over 183,000 poems. Essentially comprising the complete canon of English poetry of the British Isles and the British Empire from the 8th century to the early 20th, its works are drawn from nearly 4,900 printed sources and represent more than 2,700 poets. The newly-added works represent both the literary heritages of Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries and the poetic legacies of English writers only recently brought back to scholarly attention.
EBSCO Publishing, in cooperation with the John Carter Brown Library, provides this index of resources about the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. A wide range of subject areas are covered; from natural disasters to disease outbreaks and slavery.
Always on the cutting edge, Films On Demand‘s platform provides users with the content, tools, speed, and performance that today’s online experience demands. With films from top producers including A&E, PBS, BBC Learning, National Geographic, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, HBO Documentary Films, PBS NewsHour, Open University, Bill Moyers, California Newsreel, Annenberg Learner, TED, Films for the Humanities & Sciences, and more.
A rare view of what rush hour in London looked like in 1897. The dramatic and suspenseful newsreel announcing the crash of the Hindenburg zeppelin. President Ronald Reagan’s challenging speech at the Brandenburg Gate. Throughout modern history, cameras have recorded public events, wars, cultural phenomena, and government programs. This collection is a treasure trove of archival and historical films from multiple sources.
The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress are used by Congress, historians, political scientists, and jurists to understand the most important and productive Congress in United States history. Containing all of the contents of the celebrated twenty-two-volume letterpress edition from Johns Hopkins University Press, this digital edition is fully searchable.
Contains more than 500 titles dealing with this topic. "Included are periodicals, key compiled federal legislative histories, relevant congressional hearings, CRS Reports, Supreme Court briefs, and more. Links to nearly 500 scholarly articles, an extensive bibliography, and a balanced selection of external resources to further research this subject are also provided. Research the National Firearms Act, the United States v. Miller and District of Columbia v. Heller decisions, and other key aspects of this subject."
Subscriber: CNUAn online image-based collection of law and law-related materials. It includes law journals, the CFR, English Reports, Federal Register, Treaties and Agreements, Legislative history, a US Presidential Library and more.
Subscriber: CNUHeinOnline allows you to search or browse all 176 volumes of the English Reports, Full Reprint along with its "Index of Cases" and "Index Chart." This collection encompasses the decisions of the English Courts prior to the commencement of the Law Reports in 1865. It represents reprints of 275 separate series of reports, arranged by the English Courts: House of Lords, Chancery, Rolls Court, etc. The English Reports, Full Reprint contains over 100,000 cases reprinted verbatim and spans the years 1220 to 1867.
Subscriber: CNUIncludes The Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories Database and the Legislative History Title Collection (full-text legislative histories on some of the most important and historically significant legislation of our time.)
Subscriber: CNUThis database is a "modern approach to legal history" and provides primary source documents with their publishing history - translations, revisions, updates, and annotations - available full text. The goal "is to present a complete constitutional history for every country."
Subjects: HistoryVendor: EBSCOSubscriber: VIVA/CNUFull text articles, article abstracts and bibliographical citations of books and dissertations on the history of the world, except the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present.
Subjects: HistoryVendor: EBSCOSubscriber: VIVA/CNUFull text articles, article abstracts and bibliographical citations of books and dissertations on the history of the world, except the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present.
A collection of 2,800 full-length African American videotaped oral histories that is continually growing. It includes video and fully searchable transcripts created by The HistoryMakers through their interviews with African American leaders across a broad range of disciplines and subject areas, including Art, Civics, Education, Law, Religion, STEM, and more. These testimonies illuminate the stories of African American men and women living in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries who have made important contributions to America and the world.
This module consists of 26 collections from the holdings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the first North American historical society and the first library to devote its primary attention to collecting Americana. The collections digitized by ProQuest from the holdings of the Massachusetts Historical Society focus on the Colonial Era, the Revolutionary War, and the Early National Period, with some collections extending into the Civil War era. Among the collections on the Colonial Era, one notable collection is the Pre-Revolutionary Diaries, 1635-1774. This collection consists of 276 diaries written by 112 people. Taken together, these diaries provide a rich portrait of life in America before the American Revolution. Highlights of the Revolutionary War and Early National Period are the Benjamin Lincoln Papers, Revere Family Papers, Elbridge Gerry Papers, and Artemas Ward Papers.
Subscriber: CNU Primary Source documents related to World War II including Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Map Room Files, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Records of the War Department Operations Division, U.S. Navy Action and Operational Reports, Records of the Office of War Information,Papers of the War Refugee Board, and Top Secret Studies on U.S. CommunicationsIntelligence During World War II. These records are supplemented with smallercollections documenting U.S. planning and participation in World War II.
Indigenous Peoples of North America provides users with a robust, diverse, informative source that will enhance research and increase understanding of the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada. Researchers will explore the impact of invasion and colonization on Indigenous Peoples in North America, and the intersection of Indigenous and European histories and systems of knowledge through the use of manuscripts, monographs, newspapers, photographs, motion pictures, images of artwork, and more. These are the primary sources that take students beyond the facts and figures of history and into a deeper understanding of Indigenous Peoples.
"explores and analyzes hundreds of hot topics in politics, business, government, crime, law, energy, education, health, family, science, foreign policy, race, rights, society, and culture. Updated weekly, with a wire-service newsfeed providing the latest headline stories, Issues & Controversies offers in-depth articles designed to inspire thought-provoking debates and research papers. Since its inception in 1995, Issues & Controversies has been a core student and educator resource for understanding and writing about contemporary events and conflicts, as well as for debate prep. It also provides comprehensive coverage and analysis every year of the National High School Debate Topic."
"HeinOnline has organized and indexed this material to make it easy to navigate and use. Also included in this collection are books, hearings, other related works, and scholarly articles on this topic. "
Subscriber: CNUAn online database of full-content articles from various journals in many subject areas including, but not limited to African American studies, Ecology, Economics, History, Literature and Mathematics. Many journals start with the first volume and issue; there is usually a delay of several years for accessing current issues.
Archival runs of 26 of the most influential, longest-running serial publications covering LGBT interests. Includes the pre-eminent US and UK titles – The Advocate and Gay Times, respectively. Chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community. In addition to LGBT/gender/sexuality studies, this material also serves related disciplines such as sociology, political science, psychology, health, and the arts. Some publications may contain explicit content.
LGBTQ+ Rights charts the gay rights movement in America, showing the civil rights codified into law in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the inequalities that still exist today. Topics covered include the Defense of Marriage Act, the AIDS crisis, military service by gay and transgender service members, "bathroom bills," and more. A separate subcollection presents historical texts whose views some readers may find offensive today, showing the prejudicial beliefs that permeated society and helped form the laws of their time.
With material drawn from hundreds of institutions and organizations, including both major international activist organizations and local, grassroots groups, the documents in this collection present important aspects of LGBTQ life in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The archive illuminates the experiences not just of the LGBTQ community as a whole, but of individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions, political orientations, and geographical locations that constitute this community. Historical records of political and social organizations founded by LGBTQ individuals are featured, as well as publications by and for lesbians and gays, and extensive coverage of governmental responses to the AIDS crisis. The archive also contains personal correspondence and interviews with numerous LGBTQ individuals, among others. The archive includes gay and lesbian newspapers from more than 35 countries, reports, policy statements, and other documents related to gay rights and health, including the worldwide impact of AIDS, materials tracing LGBTQ activism in Britain from 1950 through 1980, and more.
Subscriber: VIVAProvides full-text access to over 1,500 general periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. Additionally it features: the full-text Magill Book Reviews; full-text reference books; the full-text from over 80,000 biographies; over 105,787 full-text primary source documents; an image collection of 293,480 photos, maps and flags. PDF backfiles for some publications go as far back as 1975.
Brings together thousands of diverse publications related to the history, glory, might, and daily nitty-gritty of administrating America’s fighting forces. Composed of books, congressional hearings, committee prints, legislative histories, CRS and GAO Reports, and more, this database allows users to research the functions of the federal government in administrating the armed forces and the issues confronting service personnel both on and off the battlefield, from women’s changing role in the military, hollow forces, the development of new weaponry, free speech rights, and navigating benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs after service.
Subscriber: CNUMusic and Dance Online delivers the largest, most diverse catalog of music content in the world for students, scholars, and patrons of the arts. The multimedia resource features works from thousands of respected partners, covers hundreds of genres from alternative to zydeco and from alternative dance to operatic arias, and encompasses a wide range of content formats - including scores, reference, and high definition audio and video.
This collection includes 2,162 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of information, so providing a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada between 1800 and 1950. Composed of contemporaneous letters and diaries, oral histories, interviews, and other personal narratives, the series provides a rich source for scholars in a wide range of disciplines. In selected cases, users will be able to hear the actual audio voices of the immigrants. The collection will be particularly useful to researchers, because much of the original material is difficult to find, poorly indexed, and unpublished; most bibliographies of the immigrant focus on secondary research; and few oral histories have been published.
This collection includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters. Particular care has been taken to index this material so that it can be searched more thoroughly than ever before. The materials have been carefully chosen using leading bibliographies, supplemented by customer requests and more than 7,000 pages of previously unpublished material. The collection also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography of the sources in the database.
Andrew Johnson's career is notable for more than his impeachment, with much to tell us about Civil War-era politics and the complexity of Reconstruction, through a trajectory that is one of the most compelling, and strange, in presidential history. This digital edition of Johnson’s papers collects the complete contents of the print edition’s sixteen volumes, is fully searchable, and is interoperable with other titles in the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction collection.
Sabin reaches into all aspects of American history and culture. It touches upon the political and religious life in North America and at times South America and the Caribbean. It features American and European views of the colonization of the Americas, the American Revolution, the days of the early Republic and Jacksonian period, the antebellum period, Civil War, era of Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction, the settlement of the West and the onset of the Gilded Age. Through published pamphlets, tracts, memoirs, congressional legislation, correspondence, broadsides, biographies, histories, fiction and poetry, eulogies, sermons and innumerable other genres, Sabin opens a window onto the Americas through which few get to glimpse.
Through its many monographs, the Archives of Sexuality and Gender: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century offers researchers a fascinating collection of historical material providing multiple perspectives on the study of sex, sexuality, and gender. The archive presents content in fourteen different languages, with a predominance in French, English, and German and including Old French, Old English, and Old High German. Three unique collections make up the archive: The Private Case from the British Library; Special Subject Units from Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica; and New York Academy of Medicine.
"This HeinOnline collection brings together, for the first time, all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Our cases go into the 20th century, because long after slavery was ended, there were still court cases based on issues emanating from slavery."
The liberation of Southern Africa and the dismantling of the Apartheid regime was one of the major political developments of the 20th century, with far-reaching consequences for people throughout Africa and around the globe. This collection focuses on the complex and varied liberation struggles in the region, with an emphasis on Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It brings together materials from various archives and libraries throughout the world documenting colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region.
"This collection features the complete Congressional Record Bound version, as well as the daily version back to 1980. It also includes the three predecessor titles: Annals of Congress (1789-1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837) Congressional Globe (1833-1873), and Congressional Hearings (early 1900s-present), as well as other important congressional material. Using the Daily-to-Bound Locator Tool, you can quickly find a page in the Bound volume from the Daily edition. "
Subscriber: CNUIncludes such titles as Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Public Papers of the Presidents, CFR Title 3 (Presidents), Weekly Compilation of the Presidential Documents, and other documents relating to U.S. presidents.
As the first module in the Women's Studies Archive, Issues and Identities traces the path of women's issues from past to present—pulling primary sources from manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, and more. It captures the foundation of women's movements, struggles and triumphs, and provides researchers with valuable insights, focusing on the social, political, and professional achievements of women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Along with providing a closer look at some of the pioneers of women's movements, this collection offers scholars a deep dive into the issues that have affected women and the many contributions they have made to society.Issues and Identities spans multiple geographic regions, providing a variety of perspectives on women's experiences and cultural impact. Within the archive can be found fascinating historical records from Europe, North and South America, Africa, India, East Asia, and the Pacific Rim with content in English, French, German, and Dutch.For scholars and amateur researchers alike, a rich history of women's experiences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries awaits within Issues and Identities.
"... brings together innovative scholarship, primary documents, books, images, essays, book and Web site reviews, teaching tools, and more. It combines the analytic power of a database with the new scholarly insights of a peer-reviewed journal. Published twice a year since 2004, the database/journal is edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin of the State University of New York at Binghamton, with an editorial board of leading scholars from around the country."
World Heritage Sites: Africa links visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites. The materials in World Heritage Sites: Africa serve researchers in African studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, Diaspora studies, folklore and literature, geography, and history, as well as those focused on geomatics, advanced visual and spatial technologies, historic preservation, and urban planning. The collection is also a tool for museums, libraries, NGOs, and government organizations that manage or oversee cultural heritage sites, as well as for experts and professionals engaged in the conservation and management of such sites.
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Also contains other primary source materials such as editorial cartoons, obituaries, and maps.
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Subscriber: CNUProvides an archival record of domestic and international news. It covers all major political, social, and economic events since November 1940 and is is updated weekly.