The following is a selected list of primary source databases that focus on American materials (books, newspapers, images, articles from earlier periods). For a more, see the History: Primary Sources database page.
- American MemoryProvides information on, and access to, the digitized version of the Library of Congress's primary-source collections on American history and culture, including photographs, documents, sound recordings, and motion pictures.
- Eight CenturiesFormerly known as 19th Century Masterfile. Searchable index to a variety of 19th century Anglo-American periodical articles, documents and other primary and secondary sources published before 1930. Many links to full text. Aggregates indexes to books, periodicals, newspapers, government documents and patents into a single resource.
- NewspaperArchiveAccess NewspaperARCHIVE contains tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s. Use the archive to view, save and print full-page newspapers from around the world.
- America's Historical ImprintsSearchable monographs, pamphlets, broadsides, government documents and ephemera enable researchers to explore America's distant and not so distant past--Archive of Americana, collections."
- America's Historical NewspapersSer.1, 1690-1876. This collection provides images and full-text content access to historic newspapers listed in Clarence Brigham's authoritative bibliography, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820, and in additional subsequent bibliographies. -- Ser. 2, 1758-1900. This collection focuses on the 18th- and 19th-century newspapers. -- Ser. 3, 1829-1922. This collection focuses on the 19th- and 20th-century newspapers including Civil War, Reconstruction, the Progressive Era and beyond. -- Ser. 4, 1756 - 1922. This collection includes 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. -- Ser. 5, 1777-1922. This collection presents 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states, including the North Star, the famous anti-slavery newspaper founded by Frederick Douglass. -- Ser. 6 includes more than 160 significant 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers, including titles of unique historical significance, regional weeklies and big-city dailies. -- Ser. 7. includes many new titles of singular importance, including New Orleans' Times-Picayune, established in 1837 and one of the South's most prominent newspapers, and The Oregonian, founded in 1850 in Portland and still the state's largest daily. -- Hispanic American newspapers, 1808-1980, represents the single largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. The distinctive collection features hundreds of titles, including many published bilingually in Spanish and English. -- African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, includes newspapers published in the 19th and 20th centuries. -- African American Periodicals, 1825-1995 features more than 170 wide-ranging periodicals by and about African Americans. --Texas Historical Newspapers Archive, 1836-1977.
- American PeriodicalsAmerican Periodicals includes two full text resources: American Periodicals Series Online (APS Online) and American Periodicals from the Center for Research Libraries. Both contain digitized images of American special interest and general magazines, labor and trade publications, scientific and literary journals, and photographic periodicals, as well as other historically significant titles, from the 19th century through the dawn of the 20th century. Because the database contains digitized images of periodical pages, researchers can see all of the original typography, drawings, graphic elements, and article layouts exactly as they were originally published.
- AncestryProvides access to historical documents and photos, local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s. The Library Edition of Ancestry.com has fewer personalized functions and options than the versions available to private subscribers.
- Early Encounters in North America : peoples, cultures, and the environment.Assembled from hundreds of primary sources, documents the relationships among peoples and with the environment in North America from 1534 to 1850, the collection focuses on personal accounts and provides unique perspectives from all of the protagonists, including traders, slaves, missionaries, explorers, soldiers, native peoples, and officials, both men and women. It includes works by American Indians as well as a wide range of Europeans.
- Harper’s WeeklyAn index to Harper’s weekly magazine, presented in an alphabetical, multi-level structure. Also contains browsable full text of Harper’s weekly.
- HeritageQuestOffers research materials for tracing family lineage and American culture. Features United States census records, family and local histories, city directories, U.S. Indian Census rolls, and other primary source material.
- Making of America Collection"a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints."
- North American Slave NarrativesContains full text of books and articles from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. "This collection includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. Also included are many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some significant fictionalized slave narratives published in English before 1920."
- Popular Culture in Britain and America 1950-1975.Popular Culture explores the dynamic period of social, political and cultural change between 1950 and 1975. The resource offers thousands of colour images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period in our recent history.
- ProQuest Historical NewspapersThis database offers full-text and full-image articles for newspapers dating back to the 19th century. For most titles, the collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue, cover to cover, in downloadable PDF files. The database is an ongoing project.
- Samuel J. May Anti-slavery CollectionSearchable digital collection of pamphlets and leaflets donated to Cornell by abolitionist and humanitarian Samuel J. May. Covers the anti-slavery struggle at local, regional, national, and international levels during the ante-bellum and Civil War periods in America.
- The SixtiesThis searchable database brings the 1960s alive through diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary. The database covers subjects in arts, music, and leisure, civil rights, counter-culture, law and government, mass media, new left and emerging neo-conservative movement, student activism, Vietnam War, women's movement, etc.
- U.S. Congressional Serial SetDatabase of texts from the bound, sequentially numbered volumes of all the reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Texts constitute a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history. Upon completion, the digital version of the Serial set will consist of over 12 million pages. Database searchable by subject, publication category, standing committee author, and other parameters.
- World's fairs and expositions : visions of tomorrowIncludes primary source documents from exhibits between 1840 to 1940. The collection includes photos, newspapers, periodicals, books, general histories, exhibition catalogs, official histories, commemorative accounts, exposition publications, visitors' guides, lectures, technical reports, and promotional publications.
- ARTstorSearchable database of digital images and associated catalog data. Covers the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture.
Rare Books & Mss.
The Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) includes 400,000 printed volumes, more than 70 million manuscripts, and another million photographs, paintings, prints, and other visual media. Explore RMC's 19th century American photography collection as represented in an online exhibition.
Kheel Archives - ILR Library
The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives is the unit of Catherwood Library that collects, preserves, and makes accessible special collections pertaining to the history of the workplace and labor relations. Materials consist of unique and rich primary sources, including printed and hand-written historical documents dating back to colonial times, historical photographs, rare pamphlets, audio recordings, film, and oral histories.