Selected Primary Source Material for Historical Research
Newspapers and Newspaper Indexes
- New York Times Newspaper and Index
Library has index from 1851 to present and newspapers from 1857 to 1991
- London Times Newspaper and Index
Library has index and newspaper from 1785 to 1982
- Wall St. Journal Newspaper and Index
Library has index and newspaper from 1958 to present
- Many newspapers are indexed online
- International Index to Periodicals, 1907-1963
- Nineteenth Century Readers Guide Index, 1890-1899
- Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1906
- Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, 1900-1994
Selected Microform Collections
- US Serials Set, 1789-1969
Housed in the reference room, this index provides subject access to a variety of Congressional publications; the publications indexed are available on microfiche or online.
- Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications (on paper)
Provides subjuct access to government publications dating from the late 19th century. Housed on the third floor; a librarian can help you locate the materials referenced.
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1976-present
The official finding aid for federal publications. Bailey Library is a partial depository; many of the documents indexed herein are available in print, microform, online, or via interlibrary loan.
The library has many specialized reference books dealing with American, and world history. They are too numerous to list. For your browsing convenience the following links provide the call numbers for books on history:
- Official records of the Union and Confederate Armies
- American Diaries
An annotated bibliography of American diaries and journals
REF. CT214.A735 1983x, volume 1: 1492-1844, volume 2: 1845-1980
- Pennsylvania Archives
REF. F146 .P41. The library has the Colonial Record series (series 1-8) as well as series 9, which covers the Executive Minutes of Governors, 1790-1838). Online index to what is in each series.
To find books in the online catalog that may have primary source material in them, use any of the following words along with your main topic: diaries, letters, correspondence, documents, primary sources, sources, papers, records.
Example: war and (diaries or correspondence)
Example: frontier and (documents or records or sources)
What is a primary source? There are many fine web sites which have electronic reproductions of primary source materials. The following are only a few of the many sites available.
American Memory Project
The American Memory Historical Collections, a major component of the Library's National Digital Program, are multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library's Americana collections. There are currently over 60 collections in the American Memory Historical Collections.
Documenting the American South
This is a collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century. As of December 1, 1999, the site includes 409 books and manuscripts.
EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe
From Brigham Young University a number of links that connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.
Historic Pittsburgh Project
This digital collection provides an opportunity to explore and research the history of Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western Pennsylvania area on the Internet. It is a joint project of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. When completed, it will consist of a full-text collection of more than 400 items, over 500 archival finding aids, approximately 600 land ownership maps, and access to the Historical Society's catalog.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
From Fordham University, the full text of medieval documents and sources.
Words and Deeds in American History
Contains selected primary sources documents from the Library of Congress covering the period pre-1775 to present. Users can search by date, subject, or keyword.
Making of American-(University of Michigan)
This digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction is a joint project between the University of Michigan and Cornell. The collection currently contains approximately 1,600 books and 50,000 journal articles with plans for additional pages in the near future.
Making of American-(Cornell University)
This digital collection of primary source materials contains approximately 114 books and 24 Journals encompassing nearly 900,000 pages with 19th century imprints.