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HIST 1200-107: Wealth and Poverty in Modern India (Fall 2017): Primary Sources

A guide to library research

Useful Tips

Browse footnotes and bibliographies of books, encyclopedias, and articles for information about primary sources. 

Search the Library Catalog for primary sources--both unpublished manuscripts and modern editions in print and online, sometimes in translation, of original primary sources. Use the advanced search with terms like:

personal narrative


Guide to the Sources of Asian History. (series by country) (Kroch Library Asia Reference and stacks)This series is part of a UNESCO project, Guide to the sources of the history of nations, begun in 1959. Includes Sri Lanka and Pakistan and other nations. Use a keyword search in the online catalog (guide sources asian history + country of interest) to find specific titles.

Online Collections

Primary Source Collections Online

Recommended: 19th century British Pamphlets
How to search: in JSTOR click on "Advanced Search" and choose "Item type" = pamphlets. This set includes seven individual collections held at universities within the UK, many of which are whole collections that belonged to individual politicians or political families. These are: Bristol Selected pamphlets, Cowen Tracts, Earl Grey Pamphlets collection, Foreign and Commonwealth Office collection, Hume Tracts, Knowsley Pamphlet collection, and LSE Selected pamphlets.

The Indian Papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-general Carnac 1752-1774, a large collection of manuscript sources (in European and South Asian languages) from the private collections of two prominent British empire-builders in India, from the National Library of Wales, now part of the digital collection British Online Archives.  

India, Raj & Empire Drawing upon the manuscript collections of the National Library of Scotland, this searchable online resource provides access to digital facsimiles of diaries and journals, official and private papers, letters, sketches, paintings and original Indian documents containing histories and literary works. The collection documents the relationship between Britain and India in an empire where the Scots played a central role as traders, generals, missionaries, viceroys, governor-generals and East India Company officials. The dates of the documents range from 1710 to 1937.

Empire online   Approximately 60,000 images of original documents linked to essays by leading scholars in the field of Empire Studies. The sections cover Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969; Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; The Visible Empire; Religion and Empire; and Race, Class and Colonialism, c1783-1969. The images  from the British Library, including the Oriental and India Office Collections at the British Library; the University of Birmingham Library; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Public Record Office and the State Records, New South Wales, Australia.

Eighteenth century collections online (ECCO). English-language and foreign-language books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera printed in the UK and the Americas, between 1701 and 1800.


Selected Digitized Newspapers

Primary Source Newspapers

The Times [of London] Digital Archive (1785-2006)  

The Times of India (1861-2003) More recent coverage available elsewhere. Use the catalog or ejournals to find it.

Lexis Nexis Academic News from around the world as of 1980.

Foreign Broadcast Information Services (FBIS) daily reports, 1974-1996. Official US government English translations of radio and television transcripts and newspaper articles from around the world. Begun in the 1940s. Pre-1974 text on microfiche, see Locating FBIS Microfiche in Olin Library.

World Newspaper Archive  A fully searchable collection of historical newspapers from around the globe. Dates of coverage and regions of the world vary.

Selected Online Collections

Selected Primary Source Image Collections Online

AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive.  Current and historical images for the last 150 years from the Association Press.

Southeast Asia Visions is a digital collection of European travel accounts of pre-modern (1613 - 1920s) Southeast Asia.

Official Sources

Official Collections

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (1688-to present) Full text with detailed subject indexing.

British Records on the Atlantic World Consists of 12 collections of manuscript material found in England.  Includes materials such as journals, correspondence, official records, personal papers, and printed books from over a two hundred year period, all related to British involvement in the Atlantic region, including both Africa and the Americas.  It has a wealth of information about Britain’s colonization, commercial, missionary and even literary relations with Africa and the Americas. Alongside the records of Liverpool merchants involved in the infamous Triangular Trade, there are those of slave plantation owners, of early Anglican missionaries, and of naval and customs officials.

British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.  Included are the House of Commons Journal and House of Lords Journal

The making of modern law: legal treatises 1800-1926.  The Nineteenth Century and Twentieth Century Legal Treatises microfilm collections and 21,000 Anglo-American legal works including casebooks, local practice manuals, form books, works for lay readers, pamphlets, letters, speeches as well as material that isn't narrowly legal.