Primary source databases
Primary sources allow researchers to get as close as possible to original ideas, events, and empirical research as possible. Such sources include creative works, first hand accounts of events, and the publication of empirical observations or research.
Resource is restricted to current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.
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Freely accessible database, available to anyone without restriction.
Sponsored by VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia.
Resource provides open access publishing opportunities and open access publications.
Resource provides self archiving opportunities and open access documents.
- 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.
- America's Historical Imprints from ReadexAmerica's Historical Imprints is a digital collection containing virtually every book, pamphlet, and broadside published in America over a 200-year period. It is comprised of a vast range of publications, including advertisements, almanacs, bibles, broadsides, catalogs, charters and by-laws, contracts, cookbooks, elegies, eulogies, laws, maps, narratives, novels, operas, pamphlets, plays, poems, primers, sermons, songs, speeches, textbooks, tracts, travelogues, treaties, and more. Scanned pages available as JPEG, TIFF, and PDF.Also known as Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800 and Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819. Contains virtually every known book, pamphlet and broadside published in America between 1640 and the first two decades of the 19th century—more than 75,000 printed items in all. Based on renowned bibliographies by Charles Evans and Roger Bristol and by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker.
- American History, 1493-1945 from Adam Matthew DigitalAmerican History, 1493-1945 provided 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 JourneysAmerican Journeys indexes the full text of more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later. Read the words of explorers, Indians, missionaries, traders and settlers as they lived through the founding moments of American history. Includes more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives. 1000s-1840s.
- Ancestry Library EditionAncestry Library Edition is an academic version of ancestry.com. Contains coverage of the U.S. and the U.K., including census, vital, church, court, and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada and other areas. A collection of more than 4,000 databases and 1.5 billion names including U.S. federal census images and indexes from 1790 to 1940; the Map Center containing more than 1,000 historical maps; American Genealogical Biographical Index (over 200 volumes), Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage (over 150 volumes), The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1630, Social Security Death Index, WWI Draft Registration Cards, Federal Slave Narratives, and a Civil War collection.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Daily Life through HistoryA collection of encyclopedic articles and primary documents on the Ancient Worlds and Mesoamerica, from Mesopotamia to Victorian England. Includes color and black-and-white images, illustrations, and maps, chronologies, bibliographies, glossaries, and lesson plans for teachers.
- 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.
- Early Modern England: Society, Culture and Everyday Life 1500-1700 from Adam Matthew DigitalEarly Modern England provides digitized books; legal, tax, military, and church records; letters and wills; and letters from this period.
- 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.
- EEBO: Early English Books Online from ProQuestEarly English Books Online contains scanned page images (GIF and TIFF) of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Coverages includes all subject areas with strong coverage in the humanities, performing arts, and education. Each is full-text searchable.
- 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.
- Library of Congress Digitized CollectionsThe Library of Congress's digitized American historical materials are organized into more than 100 thematic collections. Original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Collections may be browsed individually, searched individually (including full-text searching for many written items), or searched across multiple collections. 1400s-present.The original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Each online collection is accompanied by a set of explanatory features designed to make the materials easy to find, use, and understand. Collections may be browsed individually, searched individually (including full-text searching for many written items), or searched across multiple collections.
- 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.
- Archival Resources of the VirginiasVirginia Heritage indexes finding aids (collection descriptions) to manuscripts and archival materials held by libraries across Virginia. These finding aids may link to digitized versions of these materials, but the majority of these collections have not yet been digitized. 1607-present.
- Last Updated: Dec 15, 2022 12:43 PM
- URL: https://guides.lib.vt.edu/find/databases/primary-sources
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