This is the "America by era" page of the "Web Collections of Digitized Primary Source Documents" guide.
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Web Collections of Digitized Primary Source Documents  

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

America by era Print Page

Multiple eras

  • Their Own Words - A collection of books, letters, and personal accounts reflecting our shared heritage.
    From Dickinson College in PA, "a digital collection of books, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, dating from the latter eighteenth through the early twentieth century, that reflects the history of the United States. This collection currently contains more than 34,500 individual pages of text and corresponding transcriptions, covering a variety of topics, including: colonial American politics; U.S. politics, government, and foreign relations; historical biography and autobiography; slavery and abolition; the American Civil War; the temperance movement; foreign travel; economics; medicine; philosophy; and theology."
  • Chronicling America - Historic American Newspapers (The Library of Congress)
    Search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
  • The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC)
    Over 10,000 digitized photos showing U.S. Army from Civil War through current era. Also several hundred printed items, including official documents, digitized letters, diaries, and memoirs.

Revolutionary America and Early Republic

  • Adams Electronic Archive : Correspondence between John and Abigail Adams
    Over 1,100 letters spanning 1762-1801 written by John and Abigail Adams to each other. Digitized images of original documents and also transcriptions of them.
  • The James Madison Papers - (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
    72,000 digital images of 12,000 manuscripts of James Madison's "correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous [items]" from 1723-1836.
  • Founders Online: Home
    "George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Over 119,000 searchable documents, fully annotated, from the authoritative Founding Fathers Papers projects" of the National Archives.
  • Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800
    "no mere digitization of a single archival collection; rather...a heroic effort to reassemble a body of documents believed lost in 1800," [per Choice mag] when a fire destroyed the War Department's "records of its early existence, when the federal government struggled to define its role in the new nation and the War Department was responsible for 70 percent of the federal budget" (Choice mag again). Assembled and maintained by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media. Still growing but expected to include 55,000 documents, fully accessible to scholars and students. Searchable and browsable.

Colonial America

  • Early Americas Digital Archive
    Text of documents written in and about the Americas between 1492 until the 1800s. Maintained by Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland. Advanced Search via the "Archive" button.
  • Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive
    Digitized images of and transcriptions of documents from various sources.
  • Cornell University Witchcraft Collection
    104 titles online out of 3,000 in print. Monographs and primary sources from the 16th and 17th century documenting the history of the Inquisition and the persecution of witchcraft.

19th Century U.S.

20th Century U.S.

  • The Civil Rights Digital Library
    "digital video archive of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement" and digitized archival materials "on the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s" in over 140 collections held by 91 entities in the U.S. [as per site's About and Choice mag review]. Go through the "Collections A-Z" link to find primary sources.
  • The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
    "both a physical location and a web site...a major repository of material related to the US war in Vietnam" (Choice mag). "The Virtual Vietnam Archive currently contains over 3 million pages of scanned materials. Types of material include documents, photographs, slides, negatives, oral histories, artifacts, moving images, sound recordings, maps, and collection finding aids." Many materials are non-copyrighted, digitized, and available for download. (site info) Some materials must be used on site in Lubbock. Altogether a tremendous resource for researching the Vietnam War.
  • FBI --The Vault
    More than 6,700 digitized FBI files on topics and people of historical interest.
  • Presidential Timeline documents gallery
    Interactive gateway to holdings of the 12 presidential libraries. Developed by UT Austin's College of Education in partnership with the presidential libraries. Includes timeline of major political and personal highlights for each president, selected exhibits, and a gallery with hundreds of presidential documents, letters, photos, and audio & visual clips. A text version for documents facilitates printing.

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