Primary sources for the humanities: USA

If you need help, please contact Baharak Yousefi, Librarian for History, International Studies, Liberal Studies, & Political Science at 778.782.5033 or byousefi@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

General resources

African American History Guide (University of Washington) 
A research guide to primary and secondary sources for African American history from the University of Washington Libraries.  

AMDOCS - Documents for the Study of American History 
A collection of American primary historical documents.  

Library of Congress Digital Collections 
The Digital Collections provide free and open access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music.  

American West 
Original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material and rare printed sources on the American and Canadian West.  

Artemis Primary Sources
Search across multiple collections for monographs, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, maps, and other primary sources.  

The Avalon Project 
Managed by Yale Law Library, this collection contains digitized historical documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.  

Early Encounters in North America
Prints, drawings, paintings, maps, bibliographies, letters, and photographs documenting the relationships among peoples in North America from 1534 to 1850.

Eight Centuries
Bibliographic references, with external links to full text where available, for European and American periodicals, books, newspapers, and government publications published in the 19th century.  

Making of America (Cornell University Library) 
The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.  

Native American History Guide (University of Washington)
A research guide to primary and secondary sources for Native American history from the University of Washington Libraries.  

North American Indian Thought and Culture
100,000+ pages of full text and images dating from 17th century to present day, providing biographies of Native North Americans.  

Pacific Northwest History Guide (University of Washington)
A research guide to primary and secondary sources for Pacific Northwest history from the University of Washington Libraries.  

South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) 
A collection of primary historical materials that document the history of South Asian diaspora in the United States.  

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
Books, images, documents, scholarly essays, commentaries, and bibliographies that document the different facets of women’s activism in public life.  

Book & pamphlet collections

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection
Digital access to the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) collection of American periodicals published between 1691 and 1852.

Black Thought & Culture
More than 100,000 pages of monographs, speeches, essays articles, and interviews written by leaders within the black community, dating up to 1975.  

Early American Imprints. Series I. Evans (1639-1800) Full-text collection of documents from Evans' American Bibliography.  A definitive source of information about all aspects of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary War, slavery, temperance, witchcraft and many other topics.

Literature Online A searchable library of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, 328 full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources.  

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.

News sources

19th Century U.S. Newspaper Digital Archive
Provides access to approximately 1.7 million pages of primary source newspaper content from the 19th century, featuring full-text content and images from numerous newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the U.S. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century, with an emphasis on such topics as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history, Western migration and Antebellum-era life among other subjects.

American Indian Newspapers
Print journalism from Indigenous peoples of the US and Canada from a range of communities. Includes periodicals produced in the United States and British Columbia, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada and Oklahoma, from 1828 to 2016. 

American Periodical Series
Scans of American newspapers; general, special interest, childrens' and womens' magazines; literary, trade, and scholarly journals from 1740 to 1940.  

Chronicling America - Historic American Newspapers 
A searchable digitized collection of America's historic newspapers from 1836 to 1922.  

Economist Historical Archive
Complete archive of the The Economist from 1843 to 4 years ago.  

Gale NewsVault
Historical newspapers primarily from the United Kingdom and the United States, including newspapers from the 17th to 20th century.   

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Full page and article images of historical newspapers including from the US and Canada, including: The New York Times (1851 to 4 years ago); The Wall Street Journal (1889 to 18 years ago); and The Washington Post (1877 to 7 years ago). 

Oral histories, diaries, letters, & narratives

American Journeys 
A collection containing more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration.

Discovering American Women's History Online 
Photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, and other primary sources that document the history of women in the United States.  

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories
Full-text of over 100,000 pages of personal narratives by immigrants to North America, from 1800 to 1950.   

North American Slave Narratives 
A collection of books and articles that documents the story of African Americans struggling for freedom and human rights in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th 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.  

North American Women's Letters and Diaries
Full-text of letters and diaries written by North American women from the Colonial era to 1950, representing all age groups and life stages, a wide range of ethnicities, and many geographical regions.  

Who Speaks for the Negro? 
A collection of Civil Rights Movement interviews conducted by author Robert Penn Warren.

Government information

Digital National Security Archive
A comprehensive set of declassified government documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945.  

FedFlix - The Internet Archive 
FedFlix is a collection of films and training videos produced by the United States Government, including videos from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), the United States Department of Defense, and the National Archives and Records Administration.  

NARA - National Archives and Records Administration 
United States government agency that preserves and documents US government and historical records.

Images

NYPL Digital Gallery 
NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 900,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.

U.S. National Archives' Photostream 
A collection of photographs that cover a wide range of subjects and themes documented in the work of the United States government.

Music and film sources

American Film Scripts Fully digitized film scripts, dating back to 1903. These are accurate and authorized versions of copyrighted scripts, and are indexed to allow searching by scene, character, director and more

DRAM
DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) provides high-quality streaming access to recordings by New World Records, CRI and other important labels. Includes folk, opera, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary and electronic music.

Naxos Music Library
Naxos Music Library (NML) is the world's largest online classical music library. NML offers the catalogs of more than 50 classical, jazz and world music labels, including independent classical labels, world music, jazz, film music, nostalgia, classic and contemporary rock content.