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History – Primary Sources

Recommended Databases

African American Newspapers, Series I

Chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience, African American Newspapers, Series 1, features 280 newspapers from 35 states, including many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles. These titles published for or by African Americans constitute valuable primary sources for researchers exploring such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history; ethnic studies and more.

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American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection, 1684-1922

This important primary source database is a collaboration between the American Antiquarian Society (founded 1812) and Gale. It contains the page images of more than 6,500 American magazines and journals. The periodicals focused on American concerns and were predominantly published in the United States or Canada, though some were published overseas by Americans living abroad. The collection offers multiple perspectives on the thought, culture, and society of North America through the eyes of those who lived it, showing how history affected citizens from all walks of life.

Free via WWW – World Wide Web

American Decades – Primary Sources

Spanning American history in the 20th Century, this source offers access to more than 2000 primary source materials including selected speeches, letters, legal decisions, government documents, lyrics, advertisements, literary scripts, recipes, scrapbooks, cartoons, and many other types of material. Entries are in chronological order and are supplemented with introductory notes, comments on the significance of the document, and suggestions for further reading.

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Early American Newspapers, Series I

Early American Newspapers (EAN), Series 1, 1690-1876 consists of 730 digitized historic American newspapers dating from the advent of the newspaper medium in 1690 through 1876. This critical primary source collection will be useful to anyone interested in researching, for example, the North American British colonies, the formation of the Atlantic World, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic including Antebellum slavery, among many other historical topics.

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FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1996

FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1996 offers researchers primary source accounts of international economic, environmental, military, political, and social events. It contains first-hand news coverage translated by experts from the original language (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Russian and others) into English. Media represented include foreign radio and television news broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements. These are the reports American diplomats and other U.S. decision makers relied on to understand major events as they unfolded around the globe.

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Historical New York Times

(1851-2008) Provides full text access to the New York Times up to three years ago. Historical New York Times provides information on a wide variety of topics including national and international news, biographies, social and economic issues, the arts, literature, music, the sciences, business, and much more. The database may be searched by author, dates, keywords, and title. Editorials, reviews, obituaries, photos, illustrations, and ads are included. Individual articles or the whole page may be viewed.

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Human and Civil Rights: Essential Primary Source

International in scope, this title contains primary source materials from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries. Broad topics include the development of human rights, slavery and genocide, imprisonment, health and housing, labor and working conditions, civil and political rights, and others. Also included are a chronology and a bibliography.

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North American Women’s Letters and Diaries

Primary source material about personal and historical events written by women who lived in North America from 1675 to 1950. Materials include letters and diaries previously published in other sources as well as materials from unpublished manuscript sources. The collection includes approximately 150,000 pages of letters including 7,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, from more than 1,000 sources, including journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings.

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Readers’ Guide Retrospective 1890-1982 (H.W. Wilson)

(1890 – 1982) Readers’ Guide Retrospective is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America. Subjects covered include Aeronautics, African-Americans, Aging, Archeology, Astronomy, Automobiles, Biographies, Business, Children, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Fine Arts, Food, Foreign Affairs, Gardening, Health, History, Hobbies, Home, Journalism, Leisure Activities, Literature, Medicine, Music, News, Nutrition, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Radio, Religion, Science, Sports, Technology, Television, Travel.

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Times Literary Supplement [TLS] Historical Archive [1902-2012]

TLS Historical Archive (1902-2012) is a primary source database of historical reviews of major books of fiction and nonfiction published in every language and on every topic. It provides a unique record of developments in literature, politics, and the arts. TLS reviews are highly valued by literary scholars, but also by historians and other academic researchers. Some of the greatest literary critics and writers (e.g., Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and T.S. Eliot) of their time wrote reviews for this publication.

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Times [of London] Digital Archive [1785-2019]

The Times [of London] Digital Archive (1785-2019) is an online, full-text facsimile of more than 200 years of The Times, one of the most highly regarded resources for eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century news coverage. This historical newspaper archive allows researchers an unparalleled opportunity to search and view the best-known and most cited newspaper in the world online in its original published context.

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