*Free Online Primary Sources
*"It is important--and ethically necessary--to provide full credit to the creators and publishers of documents, and to allow future scholars to find the source quickly and correctly. Citing a primary source is also crucial to critical thinking and analysis because it requires thinking carefully about where the source came from, who made it, and in what context the student first discovered it." -Library of Congress
This site contains over 13,000 audio and video files from public television and radio programs from the last 60 years. Tip: select Browse the Collection or Curated Exhibits. The exhibits on presidential elections and the civil rights movement are highly recommended.
Collections of primary sources, historical documents, literary texts, and works of art thematically organized with notes and discussion questions
This database starts with ancient and medieval documents and moves into present times. In addition to categories that address specific historical periods, the Avalon Project includes links to human rights documents as part of Project Diana
Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, the sets use letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more.
This website features sources on European history. It offers selected transcripts, facsimiles and translations on different historical periods .
Designed for high school and college teachers and students,
History Matters serves as a gateway to web resources and offers other useful materials for teaching U.S. history.
A good resource for global history. This site categorizes documents from the Reformation to Post-World War II Religious Thought.
Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated as often as possible; usually each weekday.
Easy to use reference catalog for accessing the collections of the Library of Congress. Tip: under Refine your Search, scroll to Access Condition. Select Available Online. If you are focusing on a specific event or person from a certain time period, narrow results by century, then decade, then year.
Life Photo Archive is a good platform to search for millions of photographs stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google. Add "source:life" to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive i.e. computer source:life
National Archives online directory of U.S. Federal records.
This large digital collection contains historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and media related to African American history and culture.
Search for artifacts and archival records in the collections of the National Museum of American History.
Features thousands of primary source documents from the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany.
This site covers the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world. Under the tab "collections and text" you can browse from thousands of resources all archived in digital format. Click here for a short tutorial.
Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress, since 2004 TPS-Barat has provided free, engaging, inquiry-based learning materials that use Library primary sources to foster understanding and application of civics, literacy, history, math, science, and the arts.
User-friendly site from the world's largest museum complex and research organization.
Spartacus Educational is a great resource for global history. It contains free encyclopedia entries that directly connect to primary source documents, making it a perfect tool for educators looking to give students a starting point in their research.
Constructed and maintained by the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, the Digital Archive contains newly declassified historical materials from archives around the world—much of it in translation and including diplomatic cables, high level correspondence, meeting minutes and more. The historical documents presented in the ever-expanding Digital Archive provide fresh, unprecedented insights into recent international history. By making new sources available and easily accessible, the Digital Archive serves to deepen and enrich international scholarship, history education, and public policy debate on important global issues and challenges.
A collection of over 14,000 items from libraries, museums, and other institutions from across the world. Representing 193 countries and spanning 10,000 years, the sources are rich and diverse. Tip: use the Explore button in the upper-left of the page.