It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Historical primary sources online: Theme-based digital archives
Multipart guide to VT Libraries' many digital archives, whether based on types of sources or thematic collections.
Materials in archival collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; religion; occupation and economic status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation.
Successfully searching digital archives often requires that your search terms match words used in the context, place, and time of their original writing or publication -- even though those historical words may disgust you.
Primary source collections vary a lot
The creators of digital collections don't follow many common rules about what they will include. Like conventional archivists, they must work within the limits of what sources are actually available, even though they -- and you -- may really want sources to fall into neat geographical or chronological packages. This page reflects the rough distinctions in use between archival collections that try to capture whole historical eras and those that organize sources by format, place, or theme. Use them as broad starting points. Then use the filters built into each database to locate sources that best fit your needs.
Cross-search within major providers' collections
All-at-once searching gives a good idea of what your search terms my pull up, but at the cost of giving you too much information to process at a sitting. Think of these tools as aids of planning where, how -- and when -- you'll search within each vendor's many offerings.
Cross-search all or selected Adam Matthew Digital primary source databases and access millions of digitized pages from a single search. (Advanced search.) Virginia Tech's set of AMD databases is one of the largest in the country. (View thematic and A-Z list of Tech's Adam Matthew databases.)
Gale Primary Sources portal searches books, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, and illustrations across Gale's British newspapers, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Collections Online , the Sabin Americana, Making of the Modern World, Indigenous Peoples of North America , and Smithsonian collections. Plus, when you search inside any of the Gale Primary Source databases, you can cross-search the others with the press of a button.
This database indexes citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, conference papers, reference works, and dissertations (in full text PDFs) across multiple historical and primary source databases on the ProQuest platform. Use the Databases link at the top of the screen to change which databases are searched. You can limit to peer-reviewed sources.
Readex AllSearchSearch across all of our Readex primary-source content: American imprints, books, and historical newspapers, including sources documenting African-American experiences.
HeinOnlineThe HeinOnline Portal permits cross-searching across a large and wide-ranging collection of primary and secondary sources in law and governance, historical and contemporary: topical collections of historical documents; legislative and administrative codes, government reports, treaties, constitutions, as well as a JSTOR-like archive of law reviews and legal treatises from the US, Canada, and the UK. Topical collections include Military and Government; Women and the Law; Pentagon Papers; Gun Regulation and Legislation in America; Slavery in America and the World, among others.
Collections broadly covering periods
Eighteenth Century Collections Online from GaleECCO provides full-text books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides, directories, Bibles, sheet music, sermons and advertisements in HTML and PDF. It delivers every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain during the eighteenth century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.
Nineteenth Century Collections Online from GaleNCCO indexes the full text of books, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, diaries, photographs, statistics, literature, government reports, treaties, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages as HTML and PDF, plus some image formats. Subject areas include British politics and society, religion, education, international relations, economics, and English, French, and German literature. 1789-1914.
C19 - Nineteenth Century IndexC19 is a gateway to primary sources from the Anglo-American world between the French Revolution and the end of World War I. Search in/across records compiled in several authoritative indexes to periodicals, book catalogs, and descriptions of archives and US and British government information. Many of the documents indexed in C19 are available in print or microform in Newman Library. C19 also provides access to portions of American Periodicals and British Periodicals full-text databases. 1770-1919.
C19 Index draws on the strength of established indexes such as the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole's Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.5 million books and official publications, 71,000 archival collections and 18.9 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers. C19 Index now provides integrated access to 12 bibliographic indexes, including almost a million records from the ongoing digitization of British Periodicals Collections I and II, plus the new Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism.
Place-centered collections: Americas
US (and UK) materials predominate in most topical primary-source collections listed in other boxes.
American History, 1493-1945 from Adam Matthew DigitalAmerican History, 1493-1945, provides digitized primary sources from the earliest settlers to the end of World War II. Content includes correspondence, diaries, government documents, business records, books, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, photographs, artwork and maps, and manuscripts.
American History in Video from Alexander Street PressAmerican History in Video provides a large and rich collection of video available online for the study of American history. 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. Videos cover the exploration period starting in 1492 through the late 20th century.
Colonial America from Adam Matthew DigitalColonial America provides digitized primary sources from the British National Archives' Colonial Office files and related documents. Content includes manuscripts, correspondence, military records, charters, government records, legal cases, trade accounting, and maps. 1606-1822.
American West from Adam Matthew DigitalFrom early topographical sketches and pioneers’ accounts, to photographs of Buffalo Bill and his ‘Wild West’ stars, explore the fact and the fiction of westward expansion in America from the early eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Browse a wide range of rare and original documents including printed books, journals, historic maps, broadsides, periodicals, advertisements, photographs, artwork and more.
Top-level Anglo-American discussions and briefing papers dominate these papers. There is also a wealth of material on social conditions, domestic reforms, trade, culture and the environment.
In addition, there is strong coverage of US policy decisions by the FCO and the British embassy in Washington; White House staff appointments and UN discussions; views on Europe; the deployment of F-111 aircraft on US airbases in the UK and Nixon’s battles over funding from Congress; visits to the US by Harold Wilson and Edward Heath; and the internal situation in the US and domestic reform. There are also detailed assessments of all the changes brought about by the presidential election of 1972, in which Nixon beat George McGovern by a record-breaking margin and in every state but one, only to resign two years later in the face of almost certain impeachment.
Virginia and its region
Virginia Memory from the Library of VirginiaPart of the online presence of the Library of Virginia, the commonwealth's archives and reference library, Virginia Memory provides exhibitions and digitized collections of historical print materials, manuscripts, public records, Virginia newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, fine art, and a selective archive of state-related websites.
The four primary components of Virginia Memory at launch in 2009 are as follows:
Digital Collections provides access to our traditional digital image collections available through our online catalog; our digital asset management tool, DigiTool; and partnership programs with the Library of Congress (Chronicling America) and the Internet Archive (Archive-It). We will highlight an older collection as a "Featured Collection," as well as newly created digital collections in "What's New?" on a regular basis.
Reading Room is where we post our newest type of digital content. Currently, we have three offerings, all of which are researched and written by Library staff.
This Day in Virginia History offers a document, image, or sound file with contextual information for each day of the year.
Virginia Chronology offers over 650 different events—42 of which have related digital images—that have occurred over the more than 400 years that have shaped the history of the commonwealth.
Virginiana presents articles written by Library archivists as they discover collections of interest during processing.
Exhibitions have been offered online for several years as virtual versions of physical installations at the Library of Virginia. All users, including educators and students, will find much of interest in this area. Exhibitions are also organized by topic.
Online Classroom is directed at students and educators with tips on incorporating primary source materials from our collections into the classroom. Lesson plans are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL).
Mountain People: Life and Culture in Appalachia from GaleThis collection consists of the diaries, journals, and narratives of explorers, emigrants, military men, Native Americans, and travelers. There are accounts on farming and mining communities, family histories, and folklore, providing a view of the region between Lexington, Kentucky and Winchester, Virginia, and from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Birmingham, Alabama, and the social, political, economic, scientific, religious, and agricultural characteristics of the region. 1700-1950.
For most people, Appalachia conjures up images of majestic mountains, old-time music, and a simpler way of life. Since its recognition as a distinctive region in the late 19th century, Appalachia has been a source of enduring myths and distortions regarding the isolation, temperament, and behavior of its inhabitants. Early 20th-century writers focused on sensationalistic aspects of the region’s culture, such as moonshining and clan feuding, and often portrayed the region’s inhabitants as uneducated and prone to impulsive acts of violence.
Interweaving social, political, environmental, economic, and popular history, this new Archives Unbound collection chronicles three and a half centuries of the Appalachian past. Along the way, it explores Appalachia’s contradictory images that have shaped perceptions of the region as both the essence of America and a place apart.
This collection begins its story in the colonial era and describes the bloody warfare as migrants from Europe and their American-born offspring fought and eventually displaced Appalachia’s Native American inhabitants. It depicts the evolution of a backwoods farm-and-forest society, its divided and unhappy fate during the Civil War, and the emergence of a new industrial order as railroads, towns, and mining industries penetrated deeper and deeper into the mountains.
Throughout the collection, a wide range of Appalachian voices enlivens the analysis and reminds us of the importance of storytelling in the ways the people of Appalachia define themselves and their region.
This new Archives Unbound consists of the diaries, journals, and narratives of explorers, emigrants, military men, Native Americans, and travelers. In addition, there are accounts of the development of farming and mining communities, family histories, and folklore. These accounts provide a view of the region, which spans three and a half centuries and provides information on the social, political, economic, scientific, religious and agricultural characteristics of the region.
Virginia Company Archives from Adam Matthew DigitalVirginia Company Archives provided digitized primary source documents from King James I chartered exploration and colonization company. Content included over 2000 Ferrar Papers business archives and related books on the history of the Virginia Company of London.
Documenting the American South (DocSouth)A digital publishing initiative that provides online access to primary sources such as texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes fourteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, maps, literary works, oral history interviews, and songs. 1500s-present.
Documenting the American South (DocSouth) includes fourteen thematic collections of primary sources for the study of southern history, literature, and culture.
The texts, images, and other materials come primarily from the premier Southern collections in the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These original Southern materials can be found in several library locations, including the Southern Historical Collection, one of the largest collections of Southern manuscripts in the country; the North Carolina Collection, the most complete printed documentation of a single state anywhere; the Rare Book Collection, which holds an extensive Southern pamphlet collection; and Davis Library, which offers rich holdings of printed materials on the Southeast.
Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture from GaleThis database provides full-text books, pamphlets, and other primary sources about the history and culture of Brazil, Portugal, and Spanish America. Topics include politics, literature, economics, indigenous peoples, religion, and geography. 1801-1983
London Low Life from Adam Matthew DigitalLondon Low Life is a full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London. It is designed for both teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond.
In addition to the digital documents, London Low Life contains a wealth of secondary resources, including a chronology, interactive maps, essays, online galleries and links to other useful websites.
Poverty, Philanthropy and Social Conditions in Victorian Britain from Adam Matthew DigitalPoverty, Philanthropy and Social Conditions provides digitized correspondence of the Poor Law Commission, Poor Law Board and Local Government Board on life and conditions in work houses and and the administration of the new poor relief system. Topics covered include sanitation, housing, charities, education, race, immigration, political movements, and trade. 1800s-early 1900s.
Mass Observation Online from Adam MatthewMass Observation Online provides primary documents from the Mass Observation organization, formed by anthropologist Tom Harrison, filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, and poet Charles Madge, and collected from 1937 to the 1950s.
The Cabinet conclusions are taken by the secretary of the Cabinet or one of their assistants and consist of summaries of all discussions in Cabinet, together with a note of decisions reached. Cabinet memoranda consist of all papers circulated to members of the Cabinet and to other ministers for information or as a basis for discussion. These classes provide a distillation of the work of all the other departments of government, ranging in subject matter from agricultural policy and trade to nuclear policy and issues of international diplomacy.
This collection also includes 165 files from the Prime Minister's Private Office (PREM 11). These provide an important supplement to the Cabinet records and cover all aspects of policymaking.
Place-centered collections: Asia and Africa
See also the "Colonization, globalization, international encounters" section.
China: Culture and Society from Adam Matthew DigitalSpanning three centuries (c1750-1929), this resource makes available for the first time extremely rare pamphlets from Cornell University Library’s Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia. The resource is full-text searchable, allowing for the collection to be comprehensively explored and studied.
In addition, China: Culture and Society features a host of secondary resources, including scholarly essays, an interactive chronology, mini guides, and editors’ choices from the collection.
With documents encompassing events from the earliest English embassy to the birth and early years of the People’s Republic, this resource collects sources from nine archives to give an incredible insight into the changes in China during this period.
China, America and the Pacific from Adam Matthew DigitalExplore an extensive range of archival material connected to the trading and cultural relationships that emerged between China, America and the Pacific region between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Manuscript sources, rare printed texts, visual images, objects and maps document this fascinating history.
Meiji Japan from Adam Matthew DigitalFrom the collection of Edward Sylvester Morse who preserved the household records of a samurai family and many accounts of the tea ceremony, Morse made notes on subjects as diverse as shop signs, fireworks, hairpins, agricultural tools, artists’ studios, music, games, printing, carpentry, the Ainu, gardens, household construction, art and architecture.
Documents include diaries, sketches, correspondence, scrapbooks and records of publications and lectures. As one of the first Americans to live in Japan, Morse was one of the earliest and most important mediators between American and Asian societies.
Colonization, globalization, international encounters
Making of the Modern World from GaleThe Making of the Modern World provides digital facsimile images of unique primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth. Full-text searching across millions of pages of works from the period 1450-1914 provides researchers unparalleled access to this vast collection of material for research in the areas of history, political science, social conditions, technology and industry, economics, area studies, and more.
The Making of the Modern World (MOMW) had its origins in the systematic building of collections of works of "economic literature." The English economist, Herbert Somerton Foxwell (1849-1936), built the two collections that afterwards become the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature and the Kress Library, and heavily influenced Edwin R. A. Seligman (1831-1939), the American economist and professor, as he assembled what would eventually become the Seligman Collection at Columbia University. Foxwell appreciated that in order to understand the way that the economy worked, one needed to know as much as possible about the world of which the economy was a part. He set a high standard. His collections and those of his successors incorporated material about every aspect of the world. So does MOMW.
The first iteration of The Making of the Modern World began with the mid-fifteenth century and ends in the mid-nineteenth century in accordance with Foxwell's protocols. The second iteration continues the collection to 1914, the start of the First World War. In effect MOMW now embraces the history of the world from the beginnings of the expansion of Europe to the end of European domination of that world.
MOMW abounds in astounding richness and diversity. Many works that are available in MOMW are digital facsimile copies of works that are unique. Multiple editions of a work permit the researcher and the teacher to trace the development of an author's thoughts and compare successive expressions of an author's ideas. The availability in one online database of translations of key works into other languages allows the researcher to understand the spread of key ideas across space and time. The multi-lingual nature of MOMW helps us comprehend the interactions among contemporaries of concepts and ideas as they developed in real time. The inclusion of important serial publications enriches our ability readily to explore a literature that expressed itself in a range of media. Clever and powerful search techniques, including the ability to full-text search across every word in the entire collection, make searches simple despite different languages, spellings, and fonts.
Empire Online from Adam Matthew DigitalThis resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of 'Empire' and its theories, practices and consequences. The materials span across the last five centuries and are accompanied by a host of secondary learning resources including scholarly essays, maps and an interactive chronology.
Age of Exploration from Adam MatthewAge of Exploration provided digitized primary sources from the earliest voyages of Vasco de Gama, through the spice trade, colonization of the Americas and Australasia, the search for the Northwest and Northeast passages, and the race for the poles. Content includes manuscripts and early printed materials, maps, diaries, ships' logs, speeches, films, correspondence, and biographies.
Migration to New Worlds from Adam Matthew DigitalMigration to New Worlds provides primary documents on the movement of peoples from Europe and Asia to the Americas and Australasia, primarily covering the 1800s to 1924. Content includes newspapers and magazines, correspondence and personal accounts; shipping papers and ship plans; photos, postcards, and posters; financial reports and legal papers; manuscripts; and maps.
Colonial State Papers from ProQuestColonial State Papers provides over 7000 hand-written documents and over 40,000 citations for documents on British colonial relations in American, Canada, and the Caribbean.1573-1739.
Frontier Life: Borderland and Colonial Encounters from Adam Matthew DigitalFrontier Life provides digitized primary source documents that arose from European movements to Africa, Australasia, and North America. Topics covered include agriculture and business; family life and religion; indigenous peoples and the natural world; government, politics, law, and the military; health, medicine, technology, and industry; and exploration and travel. 1600s-1800s.
These previously restricted letters, diplomatic dispatches, reports, trial papers, activists’ biographies and first-hand accounts of events give unprecedented access to the history of South Africa’s apartheid regime. The files explore the relationship of the international community with South Africa and chart increasing civil unrest against a backdrop of waning colonialism in Africa and mounting world condemnation.
East India Company from Adam Matthew DigitalEast India Company provides digitized primary sources related to the company and its broad powers and privileges. Contents include charters, treaties, statutes, meeting minutes, correspondence, personnel lists, factory and trading post records, military documents, account books and ledgers, and diaries. 1600-1947.
India, Raj & Empire from Adam Matthew DigitalIndia, Raj & Empire provided digitized primary sources from National Library of Scotland on the history of South Asia between the foundation of the East India Company in 1615 and the granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947. Content includes biographies, diaries, official and private papers, letters, sketches and paintings, and original Indian documents containing histories and literary works.
Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan provides digitized primary source material on south Asia. Content includes government reports, diplomatic dispatches, correspondence, maps, photos, statistical tables, and political, economic, and military assessments. 1940s-1980s.
Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981 from Adam Matthew DigitalForeign Office Files for the Middle East provides digitized primary source material covering governance and conflict in the Middle East and surrounding countries. Content includes government reports, correspondence and diplomatic dispatches, personality profiles, political summaries, economic analyses, maps, newspaper cuttings, and other print materials.
Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969Confidential Print: Middle East provides digitized primary sources from the British National Archives collections of confidential correspondence from the Middle East, Turkey, and the former Ottoman Empire. Content includes reports, descriptions of leading personalities, political summaries, economic analyses, maps, and dispatches and letters.
Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980 from Adam Matthew DigitalThe six parts of this collection make available all British Foreign Office files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan between 1919 and 1980. Due to the long-unique nature of the relationship between Britain and China, these formerly restricted British government documents, consisting of diplomatic dispatches, letters, newspaper cuttings, maps, reports of court cases, biographies of leading personalities, summaries of events and diverse other materials, provide unprecedented levels of detail into one of the most turbulent centuries of Chinese history.
Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966Confidential Print: Africa provides digitized primary sources from the British National Archives collections of confidential correspondence from colonial, Dominion, and Foreign Offices relating to Africa. Content includes reports, descriptions of leading personalities, political summaries, economic analyses, maps, and dispatches and letters.
Confidential Print: North America, 1824-1961This collection consists of the Confidential Print for the United States, Canada and the English-speaking Caribbean, with some coverage of Central and South America, and covers such topics as slavery, Prohibition, the First and Second World Wars, racial segregation, territorial disputes, the League of Nations, McCarthyism and the nuclear bomb. The bulk of the material covers the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.
Confidential Print: Latin America 1833-1969This collection consists of the Confidential Print for Central and South America and the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Topics covered include slavery and the slave trade, immigration, relations with indigenous peoples, wars and territorial disputes, the fall of the Brazilian monarchy, British business and financial interests, industrial development, the building of the Panama Canal, and the rise to power of populist rulers such as Perón in Argentina and Vargas in Brazil.
Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History from Adam Matthew DigitalThis resource brings together hundreds of accounts by women of their travels across the globe from the early 19th century to the late 20th century. Students and researchers will find sources covering a variety of topics including; architecture; art; the British Empire; climate; customs; exploration; family life; housing; industry; language; monuments; mountains; natural history; politics and diplomacy; race; religion; science; shopping; war.
Grand Tour from Adam Matthew DigitalThe Grand Tour was a rite-of-passage for many aristocratic and wealthy young men of the eighteenth century: a phenomenon which shaped the creative and intellectual sensibilities of some of the eighteenth century’s greatest artists, writers and thinkers. These accounts of the English abroad, c1550-1850, highlight the influence of continental travel on British art, architecture, urban planning, literature and philosophy.
This collection of manuscript, visual and printed works allows scholars to compare a range of sources on the history of travel for the first time, including many from private or neglected collections, including letters; diaries and journals; account books; printed guidebooks; published travel writing; paintings and sketches; architectural drawings and maps.
Leisure, Travel & Mass Culture: The History of Tourism from Adam Matthew DigitalLeisure, Travel & Mass Culture provided digitized primary source material on British and American working class tourism, educational travel, outdoor activities and wilderness travel, environmental impact of tourism, travel agencies, portrayals of race, and technology and tourism industry. Content includes promotional films, travel journals, magazines, correspondence, company records, guidebooks, maps, photos and posters, and scrapbooks. 1850-1980s.
Black Studies Center from ProQuestBlack Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, reference books, and much more.
It combines essential resources for research and teaching in Black Studies, including The Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, Index to Black Periodicals Full Text, Black Literature Index, and the Chicago Defender historical newspaper from 1912-1975.
Black Studies Center brings together essential historical and current material for researching the past, present and future of African-Americans, the wider African diaspora, and Africa itself. It is comprised of several cross-searchable component databases.
African American Communities from Adam Matthew DigitalAfrican American Communities provides digitized primary sources on racism and discrimination, integration, culture and identity, and the history of the civil rights movement. Content includes pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, correspondence and oral histories, official records and government reports, photographs, maps, and essays from scholars. Early 1800s-present.
Race Relations in America from Adam Matthew DigitalRace Relations in America provided digitized primary source documents from the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries covering desegregation, migration, the role of the church, race riots and racial tensions, protest marches, demonstrations, and legal cases of the Civil Rights Movement. Content includes audio recordings of speeches, photos, scrapbooks, surveys, case studies, posters, and photos. 1943-1970.
History VaultHistory Vault is a digital archive that provides access to millions of primary source, cross-searchable, full-text/full-image documents on the most widely studied topics in 19th and 20th-century American history; it includes government documents, personal papers and organizational records.
NAACP Papers: The NAACP's Major Campaigns--Education, Voting, Housing, Employment, Armed Forces and NAACP Papers: The NAACP's Major Campaigns--Scottsboro, Anti-Lynching, Criminal Justice, Peonage, Labor, and Segregation and Discrimination Complaints and Responses
American Indian Histories and Cultures from Adam MatthewExplore manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books dating from the earliest contact with European settlers right up to photographs and newspapers from the mid-twentieth century. Browse through a wide range of rare and original documents from treaties, speeches and diaries, to historic maps and travel journals.
This treasure trove of material provides digital images of collections from the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. All of the typescript and printed material is full-text searchable and contains a wealth of materials designed as supplementary resources; these include a chronology, interactive maps, essays by leading scholars, a selection of American Jewish Year Book articles, a visual resources gallery, biographies and links to other useful websites.
Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice from Adam Matthew DigitalBringing together primary source documents from archives and libraries across the Atlantic world, this resource allows students and researchers to explore and compare unique material relating to the complex subjects of slavery, abolition and social justice.
In addition to the primary source documents there is a wealth of useful secondary sources for research and teaching; including an interactive map, scholarly essays, tutorials, a visual sources gallery, chronology and bibliography.
American Slavery: A Composite AutobiographyAmerican Slavery contains both an overview of the collection of former slave narratives with related links (available without charge from the home page) and the collection of narratives themselves. Each narrative is delivered as a PDF as originally transcribed, with some interviews available as sound files. Searchable by name of narrator, interviewer, or master, the county or state where the narrator lived in slavery, the narrator's age or year of birth, or the location of the material in the print version (volume and page). 1920s-1940s (original interviews).
The American Slavery database contains two basic sections: the overview of the collection with related links, available without charge from the home page, and the collection itself. The overview includes a description of the original Library of Congress project, a history of the project, the introduction and appendices to the initial Rawick compilation, and selections from his analysis of the collection, From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community. Follow the 'About the Collection' link to access this material.
War and security
First World War: A Global Conflict from Adam Matthew DigitalFirst World War: A Global Conflict provides primary source material on the global nature of war, the contribution of soldiers from around the world, and events and battles in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Russia, plus peace negotiations, post-war relief work, and European rebuilding. Content include letters and diaries, photos and postcards, and an object gallery. 1914-1919.
Service Newspapers of World War 2 from Adam MatthewService Newspapers of World War Two contains an extensive range of both rare and well-known wartime publications for soldiers serving in major theatres around the world. Publications are included from many key nations involved in the conflict, such as the US, Canada, New Zealand, India, and the countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Both Allied and Axis publications are presented, offering a broad view of the war and the experiences of those on its front lines. 1939-1948.
Prof Ed Gitre, Virginia Tech history department, directed this large-scale, crowdsourced transcription project
Digital National Security Archive from ProQuestThe Digital National Security Archive provides primary documents on U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Subsets include the CIA Family Jewels Indexed information which reveals the CIA's most closely held secrets about their domestic intelligence activities they considered outside its charter, conducted at the height of the Cold War through 1973, and the Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary Update which includes unpublished records from U.S. and Soviet archives.
Answers await everyone—whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the more than 7,000 available databases. Here, you can unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.
Oral History Online from Alexander Street PressOral History Online is both an index of full-text interviews and other oral history narratives and free oral history information online. The narratives cover diverse subjects, including civil rights and race relations, labor history, African American history, women's history, immigration studies, political history, American Indian history, regional history, and more.
Artistic and literary cultures
ArtstorArtstor provides high quality images of visual media like paintings, photographs, architecture, sculpture, decorative arts, and other forms of visual culture. It provides tools to create, manage, and present collections of images. Prehistoric times-present.
Artstor's ever-increasing digital library includes more than 1.9 million high-quality images for education and research from a wide variety of contributors around the world. Dozens of collections from a wide variety of cultures across all major time periods have followed, including a collection of 190,000 old master drawings originally photographed at over 100 different repositories, 20 years of contemporary New York City gallery shows, archives of Islamic textiles, the restored Ghiberti "Gates of Paradise," African masks, medieval manuscripts, images of all exhibitions shown at MoMA, and many others.
Artstor facilitates research and education in numerous disciplines, including art and visual studies, architecture, religion, anthropology and archaeology, global studies, fashion and costume, classics, world history, and more. Our library is solely available for teaching, education and scholarship, with all images supported with comprehensive metadata and cleared for educational use.
Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings from Adam Matthew DigitalEthnomusicology priovides digitized audio recordings, videos, interviews, field notebooks, and journals that document musical traditions and how music interacts with different societies and cultures all over the globe, from Alaska to the Pacific Islands, West Africa to Indonesia, including religious music, secular music, celebrations and funerals. Mid 1900s-present.
Shakespeare in Performance from Adam Matthew DigitalShakespeare in Performance provided digitize prompt books of Shakespeare's plays and other plays performed by influential Shakespearean actors. It also includes playbills, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photos and sketches, prop lists, cue sheets, lighting plots, musical scores, and correspondence of actors, directors, and managers. 1590-1965.
Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape from Adam Matthew DigitalDiscover the working methods of Romantic poets and trace the evolution of celebrated verse in this powerful digital resource. Presenting the manuscript collections of the Wordsworth Trust, this digital collection offers students and researchers of the Romantic period unique access to the working notebooks, verse manuscripts and correspondence of William Wordsworth and his fellow writers, including Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Robert Southey.
All of the documents are digitized in color and include: verse manuscripts, printed manuscripts, prose manuscripts, printed verse, correspondence, diaries, travel journals, autograph albums, guide books, fine art and maps.
Victorian Popular Culture from Adam Matthew DigitalVictorian Popular Culture is a portal comprised of four modules, inviting users into the darkened halls, small backrooms, big tops and traveling venues that hosted everything from spectacular shows and bawdy burlesque, to the world of magic, spiritualist séances, optical entertainments and the first moving pictures.
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 from Adam Matthew DigitalPopular Culture explores the dynamic period of social, political and cultural change between 1950 and 1975. The resource offers thousands of color images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period in our recent history. Explore the interactive chronology to learn a wealth of fascinating facts, take a tour of visual resources, and watch video footage to experience the spectacular sights and sounds of the period for yourself.
Advertising America from Adam Matthew DigitalAdvertising America provides digitized primary source materials from the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency's archives. Content includes advertisements created by the agency's staff, correspondence, meeting minutes, creative briefs, newsletters, artwork and scripts, newsletters and memorandum, case studies, and research and reports. Late 1800s to 1990s.
Brands include Kellogg's, Kodak, Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Pan Am, French's, Scott Paper, US Marines, and White Castle.
Trade Catalogues and the American Home from Adam Matthew DigitalTrade Catalogues and the American Home provided digitized trade catalogues, advertising literature, historic documents relating to popular brands, and samples of materials like fabric and wallpaper. Topics explored include popular and material culture, social norms and attitudes, and the history of marketing and business. 1807-1980s.
Market Research & American Business, 1935-1965Market Research & American Business provides digitized primary sources on the history of motivational research and consumer behavior, market research reports, and personal papers of Ernest Dichter. Content includes marketing proposals, pilot studies, reports and memorandums, letters and correspondence, and research studies.
Global Commodities from Adam Matthew DigitalThis resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history. The commodities featured in this resource have been transported, exchanged and consumed around the world for hundreds of years. They helped transform societies, global trading operations, habits of consumption and social practices.
World's Fairs: A Global History of Expositions from Adam Matthew DigitalWorld's Fairs provides digitized primary sources on the history of international expositions. Topics to explore include globalization, city planning, diplomacy, and visual culture. Content includes correspondence, posters, personal accounts, guidebooks, case studies, maps, and government reports. 1829-present.
Food and Drink in History from Adam Matthew DigitalFood and Drink in History provided digitized primary sources that cover the links between food and issues like identify, politics, gender, race, and socio-economic status, and covers topics in agriculture, nutrition, and food production. It includes cookbooks, Seagram Company Archives on brewing, winemaking, and legal issues around alcohol, government documents, marketing reports, and diaries and correspondence of anthropologists. 1514-1980.
SIL also manages the web presence for selected Smithsonian publications:
Atoll Research Bulletin
Smithsonian Annals of Flight
Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
Smithsonian Contributions to Astrophysics
Smithsonian Contributions to Botany
Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology (1969 - present ; formerly Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology)
Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences
Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences
Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology
Smithsonian Folklife Studies
Smithsonian Studies in Air and Space
Smithsonian Proceedings and related publications from the SI Scholarly Press
Medical Services and Warfare from Adam Matthew DigitalMedical Services and Warfare provides digitized primary source material including military, scientific, professional, and personal perspectives on medicine during conflicts across the globe from 1850-1927. You can limit by conflict, types of healthcare, and document type.
Archives of Sexuality & Gender from GaleThe Archives of Sexuality & Gender provides primary sources on social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world. Includes LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 and Sex and Sexuality: 16th to 20th Century.
Sex and Sexuality from Adam Matthew DigitalSex and Sexuality provides digitized documents including published professional papers, correspondence between professional and private individuals, autobiographical accounts, official records, media coverage, and photographs encompassing all aspects of sex, sexuality and gender identity. Due to the nature of subjects in discussion, please be aware that this resource contains material of a sexually explicit and graphic nature. Content includes, but is not limited to, descriptions and imagery of sexual violence; non-consensual sexual activity; sexual activity including minors; genital mutilation; surgery, and suicide.
Gender: Identity and Social Change from Adam Matthew DigitalGender: Identity and Social Change provides primary sources for the study of gender history, women’s suffrage, sexual orientation and expression, the feminist movement, and the men’s movement. Content includes correspondence, newspapers and magazines, business reports, photos and artwork, polls, and organization papers. 1800s-present.
Defining Gender from Adam Matthew DigitalDefining Gender provides digitized primary sources on gender, leisure, and consumer culture from British archives in history, literature, sociology, education, and cultural studies. Content includes pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature. 1465-1917.
Women and Social Movements in the United States is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding about U.S. history generally at the same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The collection currently includes 100 document projects and archives with almost 3,950 documents and 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, written by some 2,150 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.
Women and Social Movements: Basic Edition contains the following resources:
100 document projects that interpret and present documents, most of which are not otherwise available online. Each document project poses an interpretive question and provides a collection of documents that address the question. Altogether these document projects provide more than 3,950 documents, almost 1,200 images, and 900 links to other websites. They demonstrate that historical analysis is an interpretive process based on documents. Viewers of the site are encouraged to participate in that interpretive process. We usually add six new document projects or archives annually.
About 800 publications with 48,000 pages of full-text sources pertaining to Women and Social Movements in the United States. These materials have been selected by the Editors for their relevance to the focus of the website. We add 5,000 additional pages of sources annually. For a listing of full-text sources, go to Browse Bibliography and click on Full Text Primary Sources.
A dictionary of social movements and organizations.
A chronology of U.S. Women's History.
Teaching Tools with lesson ideas and document-based questions related to the website's document projects.
Book and web site reviews published twice annually.
Regularly-published news from the archives about primary sources in U.S. Women's History.
The finding aid is the result of a five-year project by staff at The National Archives in the mid-1990s and enables researchers to quickly locate details of documents at TNA relating to women. This finding aid is far more detailed and extensive than anything available elsewhere online and has the benefit of ranging across all of the document classes TNA hold.
The original documents cover the campaign for women's suffrage in Britain, 1903-1928 and the granting of women's suffrage in colonial territories, 1930-1962.
West Virginia University Libraries partnered with the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at The University of Kansas and the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education for this prototype site Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
ArchiveGrid from WorldCatArchiveGrid indexes descriptions of archival material (such as we keep in our Special Collections) in libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. Contact information for the source archive is provided.
ArchiveGrid is a collection of nearly two million archival material descriptions, including MARC records from WorldCat and finding aids harvested from the web. It's supported by OCLC Research as the basis for our experimentation and testing in text mining, data analysis, and discovery system applications and interfaces. Archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives are represented in ArchiveGrid.
ArchiveGrid provides access to detailed archival collection descriptions, making information available about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials. It also provides contact information for the institutions where the collections are kept.
ArchiveGrid data is primarily focused on archival material descriptions for institutions in the United States. This reflects the contribution patterns for descriptions of materials under archival control in WorldCat, which make up the majority of descriptions in ArchiveGrid.
Access to Archival Databases (AAD)Provides access to records preserved permanently by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Out of the nearly 200,000 data files in its holdings, NARA has selected approximately 475 of them for public searching through AAD. These data were selected because the records identify specific persons, geographic areas, organizations, and dates. The records cover a wide variety of civilian and military functions and have many genealogical, social, political, and economic research uses. 1800s-present.
Virginia Tech Special Collections Archive SpaceVirginia Tech Special Collections ArchivesSpace contains descriptive records for manuscript collections, record groups, and digital materials, as well as for our art, artifact, map, photograph, oral history, and textile collections. Depending on the type of material, the level of detail in a record can vary.
Virginia Heritage DatabaseFormerly known as Virginia Heritage, 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. Some finding aids include links to digitized materials or born-digital content, but in most cases you will need to visit that institution to view the materials. 1607-present.