Primary sources for the humanities: Europe & UK

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General resources

Search across multiple collections for monographs, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, maps, and other primary sources.
This digital library contains some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Some content restricted to subscribers. 
A home for the discovery of digitized material and research outputs from the University of Cambridge and beyond. This collection represents the extraordinary accumulation of material at Cambridge University Library. The collections cover every conceivable aspect of human endeavour, spanning most of the world's cultural traditions.
A collection of links to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social and cultural history.
A collection of approximately 6 million digitized items including books, paintings, films, sound recordings, museum objects and archival records.
European History Primary Sources (EHPS) 
An index of scholarly websites that offer access to digitized primary sources on the history of Europe, and categorized according to country, language, period, subject, and type of source.
Gallica - Bibliotheque nationale de France 
A vast collection of digitized documents, books, manuscripts, maps, images, periodicals, sound recordings, and scores. 
This resource is comprised of 117 full-text humanities databases that make available cohesive collections of editions, in both original language and in English translation, of seminal figures in the humanities and social sciences.
Internet History Sourcebooks Project 
A collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts divided into three main areas: Internet Ancient History SourcebookInternet Medieval Sourcebook, and Internet Modern History Sourcebook.

London Lives 1690 to 1800 - Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis 
A collection that features a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online 
Collection includes monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other documents from the 19th century. Topics cover political, social, and cultural history, and science and technology around the world.

Perseus Digital Library 
From Tufts University, a collection of digitized primary sources in the humanities that includes Greek and Roman, Arabic, Germanic, 19th-Century American, and Renaissance materials.

Book & pamphlet collections

18th Century Collections Online (ECCO)
Significant English-language and foreign-language titles printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas. Includes books, broadsides, Bibles, tract books, sermons, and printed ephemera.
The Avalon Project 
Managed by Yale Law Library, the collection contains digitized historical documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government, dating back to Ancient times.
Complete texts with all contemporary editorial matter of twenty versions of the Bible from 990-1970. Contains: 12 complete Bibles; 5 New Testament works; 2 Gospel works; William Tyndales translations of the New Testament, Pentateuch, and Jonah.
The collection presents facsimile images of literary manuscripts, including letters and diaries, drafts of poems, plays, novels, and other literary works, and similar materials. Collection is divided into two parts: (1) c.1660-1900 and (2) Medieval & Renaissance.
A searchable digital collection covering advice literature to women, 1450-1910. Includes ephemeral material such as ballads, cartoons and pamphlets along with diaries, advice literature, medical journals, conduct books and periodicals.
This collection contains text and scans of works published from 1500-1700, including historically important editions of theological writings, biblical commentaries, confessional documents, sermons, letters, and polemical treatises in their original languages. 
This collection contains text and scans of works published from 1500-1700, including papal documents, synodal decrees, catechisms, confessors manuals, biblical commentaries, theological treatises, liturgical works, inquisitorial manuals, preaching guides, saints lives, and devotional literature, in Latin, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
Digital library of more than 125,000 individual titles from 1473-1700, with topics including English literature, history, philosophy, theology, music, fine arts, education, mathematics, and science. Digital scans of original texts are available for every page. 
This collection is a partnership between the Bodleian Library and ProQuest to conserve and digitize printed materials that document everyday life in Britain in the 18th to 20th centuries. Includes posters, handbills, broadsides, book and journal prospectuses, topographical prints, and more, relating to entertainment, the book trade, prints, crimes, murders and executions, and advertising. 
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring The French Revolution 
A collection of some of the most important documentary evidence from the French Revolution, including 338 texts, 245 images, and a number of maps and songs.
The papers of the social research organization Mass Observation. This collection offers insight into everyday British life in the mid-twentieth century. 
The Patrologia Latina Database is an electronic version of the first edition of Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina, published between 1844 and 1855, and the four volumes of indexes published between 1862 and 1865. The Patrologia Latina comprises the works of the Church Fathers from Tertullian in 200 AD to the death of Pope Innocent III in 1216.
The electronic version of Migne's Patrologiae Graecae. This collection contains more than 160 volumes of Greek material (with Latin translations) relevant to the study of the history of the Christian Church from its beginnings through the Council of Florence in 1439.
A collection of manuscripts written or compiled by women in the British Isles during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Perdita Project is based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University.
An online resource for the study of Early Modern Britain and Europe. It reproduces original historical manuscripts in facsimile, linking each manuscript to its corresponding fully-searchable Calendar entry.
Digital library of most literary texts written in Greek from Homer (8th century B.C.) to the fall of Byzantium in AD 1453. This database currently provides access to more than 3,800 authors and 12,000 full-text works.
Women, War and Society, 1914-1918
Documents and interpretive essays on women's involvement in World War I, primarily in Britain.

News sources

Newspapers and news pamphlets gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757- 1817). This collection covers early English news media and helps chart the concept of news, newspapers and the free press.
Serial publications printed in the 18th century across the British Empire including the colonies of India, Canada and the Caribbean. Includes subjects such as literature, moral and satirical issues, politics, theatre and arts, religion, trade, newspapers and current events, and a full run of The Lady’s Magazine (1770-1832).
National and regional newspapers of Britian, this collection illuminates diverse and distinct regional attitudes, cultures, and vernaculars. 
Periodicals from 1800-1900 divided into two parts - Part I: "Women's, Children's, Humour, and Leisure" includes periodicals covering women, children, sports, leisure, humour and satire. Part 2: "Empire" includes periodicals covering the British Empire, travel, anthropology, economics, missionary and colonial society, imperial communications, landscape, geography, exploration, literature, empire and race.
BBC Archive 
This resource features themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from the British Broadcasting Corporation.

British Periodicals 
Facsimile page images and full text periodicals published from the late 17th century through to the early 20th Century in Great Britain. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture
Index to 19th Century periodicals, books, newspapers and government documents.
Complete archive of the The Financial Times from 1888 to 2010. 
Historical newspapers primarily from the United Kingdom and the United States. Covers 17th to 19th century newspapers as well as the 20th century. Includes some significant titles such as the Daily Mail, the Economist, Financial Times, Illustrated London News, the Independent, Liberty Magazine, the Listener, Picture Post, Punch, the Sunday Times, The Times (of London), and the Times Literary Supplement. 
Illustrated London News Historical Archive (1842-2003)
This collection provides online access to the entire run of the Illustrated London News, a pictorial chronicle of Britain and world events.

Periodicals Archive Online
An online archive of digitized, full-image journal articles offering access to international scholarly literature in the humanities and social sciences from 1802 to 1995.

The Times Digital Archive
Full-text and full-image articles from the Times of London from 1785 to the 21st century, with a 6-year embargo on current content. 

Oral histories, diaries, letters, narratives, etc.

The 1956 Hungarian Memorial Oral History Project celebrates the refugees of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 by digitizing 400 hours of oral testimonies collected by second and third generation Hungarian-Canadians.
This collection of British and Irish women's diaries and correspondence includes approximately 100,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from 1500 to 1950, plus several thousand pages of previously unpublished materials.
Full text access to the correspondence of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle, influential figures in Victorian culture and thought, from 1812 to 1881. Browse over 10,000 of their collected letters by date, by recipient, by subject, and by volume.
Over 77,000 letters between over 10,000 people in Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to mid 19th century, with scholarly annotations. 

Government information

Produced by the British Government, this collection of papers from the Foreign and Colonial Offices c.1839 to 1969 includes Confidential Print materials from the countries of the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, Turkey and many of the former Ottoman lands in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Sudan.
Produced by the British Government, this collection includes important papers generated by the Foreign and Colonial Offices c.1824 to 1961 for the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America. 
A digital collection of core records of the British Cabinet from 1915-1980, including Conclusions of cabinet meetings, Cabinet memoranda, Cabinet Secretary's notebooks, and Cabinet Office precedent books.
A collection of publicly available digitized editions of Commons and Lords Hansard, the Official Report of debates in UK Parliament. 
Encompasses all areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy, showing how issues were explored and legislation was formed. Includes House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688. More than 184,000 searchable full text documents.
The National Archives 
The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, containing over 1,000 years of history. The collection of over 11 million historical government and public records is one of the largest in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.
Treaties and international agreements published by the Secretariat since 1946. The UNTS includes the texts of treaties in their authentic language(s), along with translations into English and French, as appropriate.


The ARTstor Collection currently contains over one million images documenting artistic heritage and visual culture from around the world

Music and film sources

Classical Music Library
A fully searchable, comprehensive database of distinguished classical recordings. This collection includes tens of thousands of licensed recordings, and includes music from Medieval to contemporary, from choral works to symphonies, operas, and the avant-garde. 

Smithsonian Global Sound
Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries is an online encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions. The collection includes over 35,000 recordings owned by the non-profit Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label and the archival audio collections of the legendary Folkways Records, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk, Monitor, Paredon and other labels.

Victorian Popular Culture: Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment 
An essential resource for the study of popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including topics such as: spiritualism, sensation and magic; circuses, sideshows and freaks; music hall, theatre and popular entertainment; moving pictures, optical entertainment and the advent of cinema.