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Primary Documents Online - United States

United States - Primary Resource Links  
The Burning of McPhersonville, South Carolina 1865
 William Waud. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain
1776 to 1965
Some links are available only to MSU students
>1000 cartoons from 1960s-1970s: Vietnam, civil rights, Watergate
A chronological directory of sites containing American historical and political documents. 
Heterogeneous collection of sources in American history from the beginning to the late-18th century.
Browse the contents or search using Google Custom Search.
Subtitle: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement. From Eric the Red to mid-19th century accounts of American mountain men. Some Canadian content.
Documents from the Socialist Party of the USA, Communist Party of the USA, etc.
Public papers, documents, addresses, executive orders, and press conferences of the presidents
A commercial site, and not very comprehensive
More than 70 source documents from the National Security archives on this seminal military use of atomic weapons Two Collections
University of Michigan archive collecting documents from the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1954
News stories: 1836-1922 
Congressional, presidential judicial, regulatory documents, etc.
Links to images, text, and audio files of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.
Colonial period to the present: look for documents by choosing "era" from the left sidebar, then "Documents" from the topbar. 
Georgia's history in books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, & video. 
Texts, images, and audio files of southern history, literature, and culture. Sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, & songs
EADA is a collection of documents from 1492-1820. It is two databases: the Archive (search the EADA Database) and the Gateway (search the Early Americas Web Gateway)
The "17th Century" page on this site lists a handful of brief annotated documents.
See also buttons to other document lists: 18th century, 19th century, Civil War, Old West, 20th century - mainly American content.
File:Lincoln Memorial.jpg
Lincoln Memorial
Image courtesy Jeff Kubina
Wikimedia Commons. No changes, CC License
Photos, documents, newspapers, and media links to the Library of Congress collection and to other external sites
Small collection of documents from colonial & US history organized chronologically: 17th - 20th centuries
Four collections of use for American history research: Expeditions & Discoveries; Contagion; Immigration; & Women Working.
Searchable archive of politically significant 20th C American audio materials
An educator’s directory to internet resources. See the “Many Pasts” link to open >1000 primary documents
Choose tabs relating to American history
US Presidential papers & images from 1723-1836
File:1835 Great Fire of New York.jpg
The Great Fire of New York 
Nicolino Calyo 1835
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain
Black American political & entertainment news; browse from 1950s
The National Archives is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act.
Primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
On the Modern History page choose from the sidebar: Colonial North America, American Independence, US Civil War, US Power, US Society.
Education site for resources about primary sources, activities for educators and students
On the Toolbox Library tab search for primary documents 1492-1912
Access to declassified records about U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, intelligence policy 
A teaching resources site that uses "100 Milestone Documents"
Parallel Histories (Spain, the United States, and the American Frontier)
A collection of 19th Century American papers and collections.
Organized alphabetically by author.
Small collection of key documents from the period 1775-1870
Court records, letters, sermons, diaries, etc. scanned in their original form and in readable transcription.
File:SalemWitchcraftTrial large.jpg
Witchcraft at Salem Village
 From WA Craft's 1876 book: 'Pioneers in the Settlement of America'
Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain
Slave and slaveholder populations in Texas 1837-45
Documents related to the 1911 deaths of women in a NYC sweatshop
Use tabs to identify primary documents
Media archive of newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, military records, and population & agricultural censuses
Historical addresses from Cooper Union's Great Hall, covering large portions of American history.
Some of the collections are not available to anyone except Cornell University users
Diaries, memoirs, pamphlets, magazines from Harvard University collections on the roles of American women in the economy
A collection of documents on the war in the Pacific, and Pearl Harbor in particular
"War bonds, rationing, enlistment, security, and morale are all topics treated" in this collection of poster art. Provides a fascinating and illuminating look at the use of images in war time.
File:Avenge december 7.jpg
Avenge December 7
US Office of War Information Poster, 1942 
Reference is to the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

Historical Newspapers: American

United States - Historical News

File:1792 AmericanApollo Oct12.png

October 12 1792 issue of the Boston newspaper American Apollo
 Published by Belknap & Hall
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain
Free access to the Daily Eagle (1841-1955) and to the society magazine Brooklyn Life (1890-1931) from the Brooklyn Public Library
600,000+ pages from California news sources (1846-1922)
Free access to millions of pages of American historical news sources.
Search the directory of newspapers names here
600,000+ pages from Colorado news sources from 1859-1923
A University of Illinois collection of US farm weeklies from the late 19th & early 20th centuries
Spanish language news publications from the American south-west and Mexico. Search by keywords or browse titles.
More than a million pages of Jewish news from different countries, time periods (1843-1987), and in several languages.
ICON (International Coalition on Newspapers)
Historic and recent news from around the world. Search by country. Not all titles are fully scanned; not all titles are available for free (look for the exceptions with the $-sign)
This collection contains 300,000+ pages of news, but also contains images, oral histories, books and maps.
Five newspapers from this Pennsylvania county, most content is from the 19th century.
The page includes many other “collections” in the sidebar besides newspapers. Search by keyword or browse the papers
Text from a collection of state newspapers from the period 1831 – 1877 (coverage is not comprehensive). Pennsylvania State University
Almost 1400 issues of the Dispatch available for the Civil War period – 1860-1865.
More than a million pages of news from nearly 100 Utah newspapers
 File:Fleischmanns Yeast newspaper ad.png
Fleischmann's Yeast ad in the Times Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia. February 7, 1913 
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

Media History: Primary Resources

Media History Digital Library

More than a million digitized pages of text and images from media trade papers and fan magazines.
Search using the "Collections Gateway" in the right sidebar.
Image (left) from the Fan Media Collection
Image (right) from the Global Cinema Collection

Gale / Cengage Collection

"Points to the Past" is an enormous collection of primary resource materials (nearly 200,000,000 pages of digitized content) that is available to you in full text. The collection includes maps, photos, newspapers, pamphlets, sermons, poems, and other resources. NOTE: This material is made available through BC Government funding and is accessible only from within British Columbia.

There are more than thirty collections of documents in the set. One of them - the "Gale NewsVault" - contains ten sub-collections of newspaper resources such as:
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals: Empire
  • 19th Century U.S. Newspapers
  • Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003
  • Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive 1902-2005
  • Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2006
The collection is predominantly related to records in British and North American history.
See all of the collection titles here.

Print Primary Sources: Series Titles

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       Titles from the Bedford Series in History & Culture
The Library has several book series (both print and e-Book) that collect primary documents. Each series is made up of individual titles.
Series titles include:
Bedford Series in History and Culture
Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life & Thought 
Canadian History Through the Press 
Classics of Western Spirituality 
Documentary History of American Life 
Documentary History of the Jews in Italy 
John Harvard Library 
Loeb Classical Library 
Manchester Medieval Sources 
Records of Civilization
Rupert’s Land Record Society 
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Popular Patristics 
Sources of Civilization in the West 
Sources of Early Christian Thought 
Sources of History 
Sources of Medieval History 
Translated Texts for Historians 
To browse the topics in each series use the "title" search option. Another way is to use the catalogue’s “Advanced search” option: enter the name of the series title (e.g. Bedford Series in History and Culture) and select the drop-down option “series (any word)”. This search will display all the titles in that series (there are 10 titles in the Bedford Series).