IAS 45: Survey of World History

Finding Primary Sources overview

Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:

For specific search strategies, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

Early Modern Europe Databases

These databases include primary sources.

  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
    Contains over 150,000 items published in Great Britain and its colonies, including those in North America, during the 18th Century. The resource is thus a rich source of information about the American and French Revolution, scientific and medical advances, literature, law, religion, industry, and all aspects of life in the 18th century.
  • Electronic Enlightenment
    Searchable and browseable database offering extensive access to the web of correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the long eighteenth century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers. Coverage includes letters and documents, document sources such as manuscripts and early printed editions, scholarly annotations, and links to biographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, and other online resources.
  • Gallica
    The Bibliotheque Nationale de France's digital library provides free electronic access to one of the world's largest collections of digitized books, periodicals, documents, manuscripts, images and audio-visual resources. One can browse (Decouverte), search (Recherche), or explore thematic groupings of materials (Dossiers).
  • Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature
    Lists literary texts freely available on the Internet in Western European languages other than English.
  • Eighteenth Century Journals
    Consists of the full-texts of important and often rare journals and newspapers printed between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century in Great Britain. The collections cover all aspects of British life including history, science, music, society, literature and theater.
  • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    Indexes over 125,000 volumes of early works printed in England or in English. These works constitute a significant portion of items included in the English Short Title Catalog. It contains most of the works indexed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalog (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalog (1641-1700) and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection.

19th Century Primary Source Collections

  • House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
    Provides full-text access to thousands of 19th Century Parliamentary Papers. Includes all the "sessional papers" of the British Parliament: bills, reports of committees, papers presented by Royal Commissions and government departments, treaties and international agreements, command papers, and statistics.
  • Historical Newspapers Online
    Indexes newspapers covering all aspects of British life and world affairs in the 19th and 20th centuries. Contains four major historical resources: Palmer's Index to the Times which covers The Times (London, 1790-1905); The Official Index to the Times (1906-1980); The Historical Index to the New York Times (1863- 1922); and Palmer's Full Text Online (1785-1870).
  • C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
    Comprehensive coverage of nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives. C19 Index draws on the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole's Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.4 million books and official publications, 64,891 archival collections and 15.6 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers.
  • Periodicals Index Online (formerly PCI)
    Indexes millions of articles published in over 4,700 periodicals published between 1802 and 1995 in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. A sister database, Periodicals Archive Online, provides a full-text archive of some 475 journals.
Last Update: February 18, 2014 08:56