Primary Sources for Student Research
Collections of Materials at CSULB and Local Universities
US: Documents for the Study of American History, University of Kansas,
US: Economic History
The website of economic historian John McCusker, looks like it has some extremely useful conversion charts and online calculating tools that might be of use/interest to you or your students. You may already know eh.net, but I think you’ll like this “How much is that?” feature: http://eh.net/hmit/ It’s very easy to use.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has put a wealth of records on-line. The holdings include the Foreign Relations Papers of the United States (FRUS), the Congressional Record , military records, subjects dealing with science, census information, some presidential library material, etc. The address is www.archives.gov/aad. Students should then to go “Access to Archival Data Bases.”
American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
Library of Congress, American Memory.
This expansive archive of American history and culture features photographs, prints, motion pictures, manuscripts, printed books, pamphlets, maps, and sound recordings going back to roughly 1490. Currently this site includes more than seven million digital items from more than 100 collections on subjects ranging from African-American political pamphlets to California folk music, from baseball to the Civil War. Most topical sites include special presentations introducing particular depositories or providing historical context for archival materials. Visitors can search collections separately or all at once by keyword and type of source (photos and prints, documents, films, sound recordings, or maps). In addition, the Learning Page provides well-organized help for using the collections, including sample teaching assignments. WWW.History includes individual annotations for many of the current collections.
American Studies Crossroads Project
American Studies Association.
This impressive site presents a rich array of primary and secondary material designed to foster electronic learning. The site’s “Reference and Research” section furnishes an annotated, searchable gateway to hundreds of links dealing generally with American history and life, including SiteScene, a biweekly journal that reviews websites, texts of recent articles published in American Quarterly; abstracts of American Studies dissertations from 1986 to 1999, organized alphabetically by author; and links to image and document archives. Three additional sections–entitled “Community,” “Curriculum,” and “Technology and Learning”–offer a wealth of material concerning developments in the field of American Studies and teaching with new technologies, including essays, syllabi, bulletin boards, and newsletters.
Making of America
University of Michigan.
This site is a “digital library” of thousands of primary documents in American social history from the Antebellum period through Reconstruction. The result of a collaborative project between the University of Michigan and Cornell University, begun in 1995, it currently offers more than 3 million pages of text from 11,063 volumes and 50,000 journal articles. Includes 10 major 19th-century journals–like Appleton’s from 1869 to 1881, the Southern Literary Messenger from 1835 to 1864, Ladies Repository from 1841 to 1876, and DeBow’s from 1846 to 1869 — as well as novels and tracts important for understanding the development of American education, sociology, history, religion, psychology, and science. A recent addition includes 149 volumes on New York City, some from the early 20th century. Searchable by word or phrase, the site provides a complete bibliography of books and journals, organized by author. Well-designed and executed, this is an excellent collection of material.
Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University.
This exhibit, curated by Carl Smith, a professor at Northwestern University, commemorates the 125th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire (1871). Offers an array of primary sources selected from materials in the Chicago Historical Society and arranged into two sections. “The Great Chicago Fire” examines the fire through five chronological chapters, while a second section, “The Web of Memory,” focuses more specifically on the ways in which the fire has been remembered. This section is organized into six chapters, each devoted to a particular theme, including eyewitness accounts, popular illustrations, journal articles, “imaginative forms such as fiction and poetry and painting,” and the legend of Mrs. O’Leary. Both sections furnish galleries of images and artifacts, primary texts, “special media” such as songs, a newsreel, and an “Interactive Panorama of Chicago, 1858,” and chapter-specific, authoritative background essays that explore the social and cultural contexts of this catastrophe. Also includes a bibliography of 20 sources. A well-designed site that provides a wide range of diverse sources useful for studying Chicago in late 19th century and the ways that the story of the catastrophe subsequently has been told.
Documenting the American South
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Libraries.
This database presents nearly 1,400 primary documents about the American South in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Culled from the premier collections at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC), the database features seven major projects. First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920 offers approximately 140 diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives, and concentrates on women, blacks, workers, and American Indians. (See separate History Matters entry for more details.) “North American Slave Narratives” also furnishes about 250 texts. And the “Library of Southern Literature” makes available an additional 51 titles in Southern literature. “The Church in the Southern Black Community, Beginnings to 1920,” traces “how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.” “The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865” documents “non-military aspects of Southern life during the Civil War.” “The North Carolina Experience, Beginnings to 1940” provides approximately 575 histories, descriptive accounts, institutional reports, works of fiction, images, oral histories, and songs. “North Carolinians and the Great War” offers approximately 170 documents on effects of World War I and its legacy. The projects are accompanied by essays from the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, and are searchable by author, keyword, and title. They reflect a larger effort, begun in 1995, to digitize the Southern collections at UNC.
Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935
Begun by Jim Zwick in 1994, while a doctoral student at Syracuse University, this innovative site of important texts on American imperialism and its opponents presents approximately 800 essays, speeches, pamphlets, political platforms, editorial cartoons, petitions, and pieces of literature, such as Mark Twain’s anti-imperialist writings and the text of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” accompanied by 50 contemporary reactions. Arranged by document type and searchable by keyword, the materials also include information concerning bulletin boards and electronic discussion networks. The site is regularly updated.
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
Edward L. Ayers, Anne S. Rubin, William G. Thomas, University of Virginia.
Conceived by Edward Ayers, Hugh P. Kelley Professor of History at the University of Virginia, this site is a massive, searchable archive relating to two Shenandoah Valley counties during the Civil War period–Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania–divided by 200 miles and the institution of slavery. Thousands of pages of maps, images, letters, diaries, and newspapers, in addition to church, agricultural, military, and public records–census, tax, Freedmen’s Bureau, and veterans—-provide data, experiences, and perspectives from the eve of the war until its aftermath. Offers both a narrative “walking tour” and direct access to the archive. Also presents bibliographies, a “fact book,” student essays and projects, and other materials intended to foster primary-source research. “Students can explore every dimension of the conflict and write their own histories, reconstructing the life stories of women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families.” Includes a section titled “Memory of the War” that presents postwar writings on battles, soldier and camp life, reunions, obituaries and tributes, and politics. Also includes material omitted from Ayres’s recent book about the communities, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, along with digitized texts of cited materials. This is an important and innovative site, particularly valuable to historians of 19th-century American life.
New Deal Network
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Institute for Learning Technologies, Teachers College, Columbia University.
A database of more than 20,000 items relating to the New Deal. A “Document Library” contains more than 900 newspaper and journal articles, speeches, letters, reports, advertisements, and other textual materials, treating a broad array of subjects relevant to the period’s social, cultural, political, and economic history, while placing special emphasis on New Deal relief agencies and issues relating to labor, education, agriculture, the Supreme Court, and African Americans. The “Photo Gallery” of more than 5,000 images is organized into five units–“Culture,” “Construction,” “Social Programs,” “Federal Agencies,” and miscellaneous, including photos from 11 exhibitions and five series of photo-essay, and images of disaster relief and public figures. The site additionally offers featured exhibits, many with lesson plan suggestions. Presently, the features section includes “The Magpie Sings the Depression,” a collection of 193 poems, articles, and short stories, and 275 graphics from a Bronx high school journal published between 1929 and 1941 with juvenile works by novelist James Baldwin, photographer Richard Avedon, cultural critic Robert Warshow, and film critic Stanley Kauffmann; “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt” with selected letters written by young people to the first lady; “Student Activism in the 1930s,” which contains 38 photographs, graphics, and editorial cartoons, 12 American Student Union memoirs, 40 autobiographical essays, and a 20,000-word essay by Robert Cohen on 1930s campus radicalism; 17 selected interviews from American slave narratives gathered by the Works Progress Administration; and an illustrated essay on the history and social effects of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Includes approximately 100 annotated links to related sites. Of great value for teachers, students, and researchers interested in the social history of the New Deal era.
Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia
Jerry Goldman, Northwestern University.
Features audio files, abstracts, transcriptions of oral arguments, and written opinions on more than 3,300 Supreme Court cases. Includes more than 2,000 hours of audio of arguments in selected cases going back to 1955 and all cases since 1995. Users can access cases through keyword searches or a list of 14 broad categories, including civil rights, due process, first amendment, judicial power, privacy, and unions. Also provides easy access to the 20 “most popular cases”–such as Roe v. Wade (abortion), Gideon v. Wainwright (right to counsel), Plessy v. Ferguson (segregation), Grutter v. Bollinger (racial preferences in school admissions decisions), and Bush v. Gore— determined by numbers of hits to the site. Also offers images and biographical outlines for every justice who has served on the Court. “The Pending Docket” provides briefs of pending cases, along with links to relevant opinions; additional material on selected cases; a summary highlighting cases decided in the previous session with a breakdown of the voting of individual justices; and a forum for discussions of selected recent cases. The site also includes a “virtual tour” of the Court building; links to all the written opinions of the Court since 1893; and audio of speeches by a handful of justices. Of great value for those practicing law and studying its history.
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Resources for Teachers
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Library of Education and ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology.
An annotated gateway to thousands of online lesson plans, curriculum units, and other teaching resources in subjects such as history, art, religion, social studies, economics, and gender studies. Organized according to six sections: Education News; K-12 Instruction; Health Resources; Teacher Development; Lesson Plans; and Teaching with Technology. Furnished by ERIC, “a federally funded, nationwide information network designed to provide you with ready access to education literature.” Linked to the main ERIC site Educational Resources Information Center, which offers resources in 15 additional clearinghouses, all feeding into “the largest education-related database in the world–containing more than 1,000,000 records of journal articles, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, and books,” to which some 33,000 new records are added annually. Both the main site and this one specializing in teaching resources are searchable. They are of exceptional value to teachers in all disciplines. U.S. history teachers will find more than 20 gateway sites for lesson plans that use the Web to help students explore topics and periods in American history. Materials also encourage students to appreciate the value of studying the past through activities that involve them personally, such as connecting family history with larger narratives and conducting oral histories with older people they know.
George Washington Papers, 1741-1799
American Memory, Library of Congress.
This collection of approximately 65,000 documents written by or to George Washington is the largest collection of original Washington documents in the world. It includes “correspondence, letter books, commonplace books, diaries, journals, financial account books, military records, reports, and notes accumulated by Washington from 1741 through 1799.” The site is searchable by keyword, and the range of documents make it an extremely rich source. Unfortunately, many of the documents are available only as page images–often with difficult to decipher handwriting–rather than as transcribed text. Transcripts, however, do exist for all of the diary pages and for additional selected documents. The site includes a number of helpful features: a timeline with annotations to relevant documents; a 1,500-word essay on Washington’s letter books; an essay entitled “Creating the American Nation,” with annotations on eight selected documents spanning Washington’s lifetime; a 8,500-word essay on his diaries; an 11,500-word essay on the publication history of Washington’s papers; and a 4,500-word essay on Washington’s career as a surveyor and mapmaker. “Because of the wide range of Washington’s interests, activities, and correspondents, which include ordinary citizens as well as celebrated figures, his papers are a rich source for almost every aspect of colonial and early American history.”
Digital Scriptorium, Duke University.
This well-developed, easily navigated site presents images and database information for more than 7,000 advertisements printed primarily in the United States from 1911 to 1955. Material is drawn from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History at Duke University. The advertisements are divided into five main subjects areas: Radio (including radios, radio parts, and radio programs); Television (including television sets and programs); Transportation (including airlines, rental cars, buses, trains and ships); Beauty and Hygiene (including cosmetics, soaps, and shaving supplies); and World War II (U.S. Government, such as V-mail or bond drives). The ads are searchable by keyword, type of illustration, and special features. A timeline from 1915 to 1955 provides general context for the ads with a chronology of major events. “About Ad Access” provides an overview of advertising history and the Duke collection, as well as a bibliography and list of advertising repositories in the U.S. Excellent archive of primary documents for students of consumer and popular culture. Listen to the audio review:
Douglas Linder, Professor of Law, University of Missouri, Kansas City.
This exceptional legal history site was created by law professor Douglas Linder. It includes fascinating treatments of 35 of the most prominent court trials in American history, including: Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925); Rosenberg Trial (1951); Leopold and Loeb Trial (1924); Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692); Scottsboro Trials (1931-1937); Bill Haywood Trial (1907); My Lai Courts Martial (1970); Nuremberg Trials (1945-49); Dakota Conflict Trials (1862); Mississippi Burning Trial (1967); Chicago Seven Conspiracy (1969-70); Johnson Impeachment Trial (1868); O.J. Simpson Trial (1995); The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (1895); Hauptmann (Lindbergh) Trial (1935); Sweet Trials (1925-1926); Amistad Trials (1839-1840); Sheriff Shipp Trial (1907-1909); Susan B. Anthony Trial (1873); the Sacco and Vanzetti Trial (1921); and the Black Sox Trial (1921). Each trial site includes a 750-1000-word essay on the historical background of the case, links to biographies (roughly 500 words) of key figures in the trials, and approximately 15-25 primary documents related to each trial, including transcripts of testimony, media coverage, depositions, and government documents. Most cases also contain images, links to related websites, and a bibliography of scholarly works. There are also links to biographies of five “trial heroes,” including famous trial lawyer Clarence Darrow, and a “Constitutional conflicts” site that offers 29 important constitutional topics for class discussion, such as gay rights, student searches, and the electoral college debates. Each topic includes a 250-300-word introduction to the issue and links to roughly ten related primary documents and court opinions. These topics are designed for classroom use and include issue questions for discussion. Another link explores the Supreme Court and includes items such as biographies of past and present justices, a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building, and a term calendar. Three interactive learning sites on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers are also offered. This exceptional site can serve as a valuable resource for studying many aspects of legal and constitutional history. Listen to the audio review:
Do History: Martha Ballard’s Diary Online
Film Study Center, Harvard University.
This site, developed by the Film Study Center at Harvard University, is an experimental, interactive case study that explores the remarkable 18th-century diary of midwife Martha Ballard. It examines how historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich pieced together the diary within a broader historical context to write the book A Midwife’s Tale and offers a behind-the-scenes tour with filmmaker Laurie Kahn-Leavitt on the making of the film version, also called A Midwife’s Tale. The site offers two versions of the 1400-page diary, facsimile and transcribed full-text; the latter is searchable by keyword and date. An archive offers images of more than 300 documents on such topics as Ballard’s life, midwifery, birth, medical information, religion, and Maine history. It is searchable by document type, topic, author, and title. Also included are maps of North America (1795), Maine (1799), and Hallowell, Maine (1794); images of Augusta and Hallowell Maine; and a walking tour of Hallowell, Maine. A timeline traces Maine’s history from the first attempt to settle the coastline in 1607, through Ballard’s lifetime (1735-1812), to the 1997 release of the film A Midwife’s Tale. Interactive exercises offer students the opportunity to transcribe and “decode” portions of the diary, and a “Magic Lens” makes it appear as if Ballard’s handwriting is instantly transcribed. A drop-down menu offers suggestions on ways to use the site for conducting research on genealogy, midwifery and herbal medicine, and diaries, as well as for using primary sources. Of particular interest is a section on teaching with this Website, which includes 15 ideas for classroom activities and suggestions on how to customize the activities for different grade levels, as well as links to the teacher guides developed for the PBS film. Two “Doing History” exercises allow visitors to build a story around Ballard’s notes about two controversies. The “On Your Own” section helps “beginning historians” organize and conduct research with ten 500-750 word essays describing the stages of a research project and offering step-by-step instructions on cultivating such research skills as reading 18th-century writing, reading probate records, searching for deeds, and exploring graveyards. There are also links to five additional Websites with further how-to information, a bibliography of over 125 related scholarly works, and 50 related websites. This rich site provides students and teachers with an ideal case study of the work involved in “piecing together the past.”
Wright American Fiction, 1851-1875
Committee on Institutional Cooperation; Indiana University Digital Library Program.
An ambitious attempt to digitize “every novel published in the United States from 1851 to 1875,” this collection of texts is a work-in-progress. At present, the site offers 2,887 texts by 1,394 authors. Of these, 778 have been edited and SGML encoded so that users may access chapter and story divisions through table of contents hyperlinks. The remaining 2,109 texts have not been proofed, but still can be perused either as facsimiles of original pages or in unedited transcriptions. Most valuable is the ability to perform word searches on the whole database. A most valuable site for those studying American literature and popular culture of the 19th century.
The History of Jim Crow
Richard Wormhiser, Bill Jersey, Sam Pollard, WNET.
This site for educators was produced as an online companion to The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, a four-part television series that tells the story of the African-American struggle for freedom during the era of segregation. The site consists of five sections, including television, history, geography, American literature, and teacher resources. “Television” provides teachers with guides to four part, from the end of the Civil War to the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The history section contains six historical essays (each between 5,000 to 7,000 words), including the introductory essay “Terror to Triumph,” and five themed essays focusing on creating, surviving, resisting, escaping, and transcending Jim Crow oppression from the late-19th-century to the Civil Rights movement. Additional shorter essays, most between 600 to 1,300 words, cover topics such as the lynching of Emmett Till and Jackie Robinson. “Geography” features ten interactive maps that give “a multi-layered look at the impact of Jim Crow on the social and political landscape of the nation.” The map themes include African-American press, Jim Crow laws inside and outside the south, and most gripping of all, the riots and lynching map that portrays a representative selection of the thousands of recorded acts of violence that occurred across the United States from 1889 to 1918. The American literature section presents interdisciplinary lesson plans designed to illustrate the connection between Jim Crow and 20th-century American writing. This section also contains an American literature book list for middle school, high school, and college-level students, including units on Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The final section, teacher resources, offers more than 25 lesson plans, an interactive encyclopedia, an image gallery with historical photographs, and first hand narratives from people who experienced life under Jim Crow. This well organized and wonderfully equipped site is an invaluable resource for history and literature educators.
National Postal Museum
Divided into six galleries, this website features 21 online exhibits. The first gallery, Binding the Nation, includes six exhibits such as “The Post and the Press” and “Moving West” that explains how the postal service contracted with stagecoach lines to transport mail across the frontier. The second gallery, Customers and Communities, uses a series of exhibits to examine the development of mail delivery to the growing urban and rural populations in the 20th century. For example, through a virtual tour of the “Mail by Rail” visitors learn about the revolutionary Railway Mail Service. Moving the Mail is the third gallery, with three exhibits, and Art of Cards and Letters, the fourth gallery, spotlights the important role mail has held as a medium for personal communications, including “Undercover: The Evolution of the American Envelope.” The fifth gallery, Artistic License comprises six exhibits and the last, the Philatelic Gallery, includes exhibits entitled “Rarities Vault” and “Inverts.” This gallery also features changing exhibits featuring special objects from both the Museum and private collections, including an online version of “Mail to the Chief,” a collection of original drawings by Franklin Roosevelt of the many stamps he designed. There are also two research guides online for the Benjamin B. Lipsner Airmail Collection and for the 1847 Federal Postage Stamp Correspondence. An Activity Zone offers materials for young students and free downloadable curriculum guides (grades K through college level) are available for teachers. The 24 online articles from EnRoute, the National Postal Museum’s membership magazine, complete this rich site.
Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People
This exhibit documents African Americans, freed and escaped slaves, who fought for the British during the Revolutionary War. This website tells the story of black Loyalists who were evacuated to Nova Scotia with illustrated vignettes, short biographies, a timeline, and descriptions and maps. “Our Story,” one of five main sections, presents a short history of the experiences of the Black Loyalist in Nova Scotia. Divided into seven subsections, including Revolution, Exile, Arrival, Prejudice, Faith, Suffering, and Exodus, it discusses the significance of Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, the role of black communities in Nova Scotia, the prejudicial treatment African Americans endured, the role of churches, the Sierra Leone Company, and voyage to Freetown. “People” contains short biographies of 23 prominent Black Loyalists, religious leaders, and other influential settlers. “Communities” offers detailed descriptions and maps of four Black Loyalist communities. Perhaps the best component “Documents,” designed to help users develop a sense of what life was like for Black Loyalists. Original documents have been transcribed, including several autobiographical accounts of the life of Black Loyalists written by both blacks and whites in Nova Scotia. There is an excellent collection of court records, official proclamations, personal letters, bills, survey records, land sales, and other official documents. John Clarkson‘s first person account (nearly 200 pages) of his voyage to Nova Scotia to recruit Black Christian settlers for Sierra Leone is one of the many excellent documents available. An interactive timeline offers a broad perspective and the resource page includes lists of secondary sources and related websites.
American Memory Learning Page
American Memory, Library of Congress.
Designed to provide support for elementary-, middle-, and high-school history teachers, this site makes the entire American Memory collection at the Library of Congress available for classroom learning. Using the more than 7 million digital sources available through American Memory’s 100 collections, the creators have written and collected 140 lesson plans for teaching American history. Organized chronologically and thematically, the lesson plans are detailed suggestions for classroom activities. Each has a recommended age group and uses primary sources collected by students or teachers from American Memory. Especially useful are the included guides on using primary sources, using American Memory resources, and using digital or internet sources in the classroom. A “Professional Development” section offers online workshops and tutorials to improve teachers’ digital literacy. An excellent resource for the classroom, this site would be useful to both student and teacher.
Resources Available: .
Website last visited on 2005-04-25.
American Memory http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/
From the Library of Congress, the American Memory project is a collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress Americana collections. There are over 70 collections included in the project. Go the American Memory website and search a particular topic or browse through the collections.
American Studies Web: Historical and Archival Resources http://www.georgetown.edu/crossroads/asw/archives.html
An extensive list of links to historical studies, archival resources and general history resources in the field of American history.
The National Endowment for the Humanities maintains this site with links to best history, language arts and social sciences sites. In addition to primary sources, there are online lesson plans and other digital learning materials.
SunSITE Digital Collections http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Collections/
From the Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE, this guide links to other Berkeley SunSITE digital projects such as a virtual tour through UC Berkeley’s history (Days of Cal at http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CalHistory/) and the Free Speech Movement website ( http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/FSM/.
Other Digital Text Collections (Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE) http://Sunsite.berkeley.edu/Collections/othertext.html
Links to digital text collections available on the Web. Subject areas include history, literature, philosophy and music.
The American Civil War Homepage http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war
A general site on the American Civil War that includes links to images and photographs from the Civil War as well as links to important Civil War documents.
American Memory http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/
From the Library of Congress. The American Memory project consists of more than 70 collections including photographs and prints of the Woman Suffrage Movement, American Life Histories from the Federal Writers’ Project (1936-1940) and Jackie Robinson and other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.
American Radicalism http://digital.lib.msu.edu/onlinecolls/collection.cfm?CID=1
An online collection of digital texts and images from the American Radicalism collection at Michigan State University. Among the many subject areas included are the Hollywood Ten, Black Panthers, Birth Control, I.W.W., Wounded Knee and Students for a Democratic Society.
CIS History Universe http://cisweb.lexis-nexis.com/histuniv/
A collection of selected primary and secondary sources in US History, specifically African American Studies and Women’s Studies. Included are full text of laws and court cases, autobiographies, and manuscript materials.
Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/
Sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this is an electronic collection that provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture. Five different projects make up the site: Southern literature; first-person narratives; slave narratives; the Southern Homefront, 1861-1865; the church in the Southern Black Community.
The Emma Goldman Papers http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/
Digitized collections from the Emma Goldman Papers Project at UC Berkeley. This collection includes letters, images and a newsreel clip from 1934.
History Matters http://historymatters.gmu.edu/home.html
More than 144 first person narratives of average Americans in extraordinary times. Strong in the WWI period. A project of the Center for Social History and the New Media, and George Mason University. Also includes lesson plans and teacher resources in US History.
Making of America http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/index.html or http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/MOA/
A collection of approximately 1,600 full-text books and 50,000 journal articles from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) http://www.nara.gov/nara/searchnail.html
Do a “NAIL digital copies search” to find online images of many NARA documents. Very strong in 20th century pictures and documents on US themes.
The New York Public Library Digital Library Collection http://digital.nypl.org/
In addition to finding aids (guides to archival and manuscript collections), the NYPL Digital Library Collections contains texts and images from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
US Historical Documents Online http://w3.one.net/%7Emweiler/ushda/list.htm
Primary source documents from American history starting with Columbus and going through to the Civil Rights Act of 1991. While this is a private webpage, the quality is high.
The Valley of the Shadow: Living the Civil War in Pennsylvania and Virginia http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/vshadow/vshadow.html
A project that interweaves the histories of two communities on either side of the Mason-Dixon line during the era of the American Civil War. It incorporates a narrative and electronic archive of the sources on which the narrative is based.
World War II Resources http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/
Primary source materials on all aspects of the war.
Avalon Project at the Yale Law School. Documents on Law, History and Diplomacy. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm
A Century of Lawmaking for A New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html
Historical Text Archive. History of the U.S. http://historicaltextarchive.com/
University of Oklahoma Law Center. A Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents. http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/