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.
HIST 3000: Christopher Conte: Finding Primary Sources
Special collections libraries and archives are the laboratories where historians do their work. This video about the USU Libraries Special Collections & Archives unit describes a local repository to which you have access. Note that often your best source of information for how to find materials in a repository is a librarian or an archivist. Please feel free to make and appointment to come to our repository on the lower level of the Merril-Cazier Library or contact any of our curators for assistance with your research. We also have tutorials that help you learn how to locate materials in our collections:
Of course, at this time it may be very difficult to get access to a physical repository. Happily, over the past decade, libraries and information providers have digitized vast numbers of primary sources. Watch the video below for tips on the wide variety of digitized sources available to you and how you might access them.
Suggested Primary Sources Available Online through the Merrill-Cazier Library (A# Required)
The USU Libraries have licensed access to a wide array of digitized full text/image primary sources. Here are a few of the most popular licensed archival collections. In addition, many libraries digitize their own collections and make those available freely online. If one of these doesn't support your research, I am happy to help you try to track down one that will work.
This archival collection allows users to search approximately 1.5 million pages of primary sources on social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, and to explore subjects such as LGBTQ history and activism, cultural studies, psychology, sociology, health, political science, policy studies, human rights, gender studies, and more.
Selection of materials for this milestone digital collection is guided by an advisory board consisting of leading scholars and librarians in sexuality and gender studies. Rare and unique content from newsletters, papers, government documents, manuscripts, pamphlets, and other types of primary sources sheds light on the gay rights movement, activism, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and more. Truly global in scope, Part I: LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940 features historical documents published in more than 35 countries, with over 15 languages represented.
Primary source documents of the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries from the earliest English settlements in North America.
The documents integrate those from the British National Archives (Privy Council and Related Bodies: America, West Indies, Colonial Papers, 1574-1757) as well as the Calendar of State papers, Colonial: North America and the West Indies 1547-1739. Full-color digital reproductions are included.
Primary source database primarily including documents from the United States and Europe related to slavery and abolition.
In addition to newspapers and books published in the U.S. antebellum era, the database includes manuscripts and documents. Utah State University currently owns the first two modules of this collection: Debates Over Slavery and Abolition and Slave Trade in the Atlantic World.
Digital collection providing access to a broad range of previously classified federal records spanning the twentieth and twenty first centuries.
The collection brings together the most sensitive documents from all the presidential libraries and numerous executive agencies in a single, easily searchable database.
Newspapers, Periodicals, and Books as Primary Sources
Many students think of newspapers, periodicals, and books as secondary sources. However, if they were produced at the time under study, they are also considered primary sources as they document contemporary thought. Many early printed materials have been digitized, and below is a small selection of searchable databases. Again, contact me if you are looking for something more specific.
Full text database ranging from 1740 to 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and other historically significant periodicals.
Full-text and full-image access to books, pamphlets, and broadsides printed in the United States from 1639 to 1819.
The database includes access to more than 75,000 titles from the following core bibliographies: American bibliography, a chronological dictionary of all books, pamphlets, and periodical publications printed in the United States of America from the genesis of printing in 1639 down to and including the year 1820, by Charles Evans; National index of American imprints through 1800; the short-title Evans, by Roger Bristol; Early American Imprints, Series I: Supplement from the Library Company of Philadelphia, 1670-1800; American bibliography, a preliminary checklist for 1801-1819, by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker; and Early American Imprints, Series II: Supplement from the Library Company of Philadelphia, 1801-1819
Early American Imprints is a foundation set for research involving early American history, literature, philosophy, religion, and more. Series I, Evans, and its supplement are definitive resources for information about every aspect of life in the United States during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Series II, Shaw, and its supplement encompass the first nineteen years of the nineteenth century.
Also see the Evans Early American Imprint Collection Text Creation Partnership, which will ultimately include 6,000 accurately keyed and fully searchable SGML/XML text editions from among the 40,000 titles available in the Evans Early American Imprints Collection: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/evans/.
Cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers.
Provides more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this unique collection is based largely on Clarence Brigham's "History and Bibliography of American Newspapers,1690-1820."
From the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare, this collection contains over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640) and Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and their revised editions, as well as the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection.
Digital collection offering a perspective on life in the western hemisphere, encompassing the arrival of the Europeans on the shores of North America in the late fifteenth century to the first decades of the twentieth century.
This collection covers more than 400 years and more than 65,000 volumes in North, Central, and South America and the West Indies, highlighting the society, politics, religious beliefs, culture, contemporary opinions, and momentous events of the time through sermons, political tracts, newspapers, books, pamphlets, maps, legislation, literature, and more.