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HIST 4301 (Dr. Paul Clark): Senior Seminar on Imperialism

Finding Primary Source

The other boxes on this page offer a few suggestions and possibilities for primary source research but are only the beginning.

To discover primary sources generally, try these approaches:

  • Scour the bibliographies and notes of relevant secondary sources such as articles, books, and dissertations on your topic. They are necessarily drawing on relevant primary sources. We may or may not have access then to those primary sources.
  • Search in our catalog or in WorldCat and include these subject terms: Personal narratives, Facsimiles, Diaries, Correspondence, Sources. Alternately, try including document* as a key word for mentions of "documents" or "documentary" in the title or description.


Key Microform Collections

Hakluyt Society Publications
Documents on microfiche from and about the European exploration of the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia from the 1300s through 1600s, including letters, journals, official reports, memoirs, affidavits, instructions, minutes, despatches, and early published works.
An extremely helpful bibliography is online. That web page lists the First, Second, Third, and Extra Series; our holdings include up through number 107 of the Second Series.
British Parliamentary Papers
Debates (accounts of verbal proceedings), proposed legislation, reports, policy statements, treaties, and more.
1731 to 1979 on microcards in Gov Docs dept.
Take a look at this detailed overview for more.
Texas as a Province and Republic 1795-1845
An excellent microfilm collection of valuable primary source material relating to the early growth of Texas, including its time as Spanish province, its colonization by Americans, its revolution, and its annexation by the United States.
A detailed bibliography is on the Reference shelves of the Microforms room.
Camden Society publications
Valuable and useful documents out of English history, largely from the 1400s through 1800s. Includes letters, diaries, songs, ecclesiastical documents, poems, notes of Parliamentary proceedings, wills, expense accounts, early published works, and other materials. Microfiche.
A print bibliography, whose title begins "A Centenary Guide...," is on the Reference shelves of the Microforms room (at Z5055.G6 R66) and is essential for navigating the collection. The guide describes four different series, of which we have the first two.
Early English Text Society
Documents and literature mostly from 1100 through 1500. Much poetry and other literary works but also sermons, liturgies, and many other religious works, as well as medieval church records and registers of abbeys and nunneries. Also included are some wills and some royal proclamations.Microfiche.

Digital Collections and Sources

Hong Kong Government Reports Online
A full-text image database providing online access to pre-World War II issues of four major government publications, namely, Administrative Report, Hong Kong Sessional Papers, Hong Kong Hansard and Hong Kong Government Gazette. It contains a wide range of information, such as official notifications, proceedings of the Legislative Council, statistics, and reports of government departments and special committees, which are essential to students and scholars in conducting research on Hong Kong.
Manchurian Legacy : Memoirs of a Japanese Colonist
An e-book available to us through our EBSCO collection.
Bexar Archives Online at UT's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
Documents the "military, civil, and political life of the Spanish province of Texas from 1717 to 1792" with "over 5,000 original documents (23,000 pages) that have been digitized from microfilm. Researchers may browse, by year, the originals and translations, or compare an original and its translation side-by-side. Full-text searching of the translations is also supported.
Early Americas Digital Archive
Text of documents written in and about the Americas between 1492 until the 1800s. Maintained by Martyland Institute of Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland. Advanced Search via the "Archive" button.

More on Primary Sources

For more on primary sources from Cornette Library, please see our detailed guide.