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History Research Seminar

Guide to library resources

Finding Primary Source Books

To find books that contain significant amounts of primary source material construct a search adding one of the following terms to your basic subject: 

sources | letters | correspondence | diary | documents | interview | photographs | manuscript | speeches

Selected Digital Achives

As libraries, museums, government bodies, and organizations digitize archival material you can often -- but not always -- find relevant primary sources online. When searching for archives online, combine keywords related to your topic with terms such as digital archive, digital collection, digital repository, online archive, virtual collection, etc. Here are a few major sites to get you started:

Library of Congress Digital Collections  Jumping off point to the many digital collections hosted by the Library of Congress.

Digital Public Library of America  Multiple regional and institutional partners have joined with DPLA to provide  a rich collection of digital material including photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and more.

EuroDocs  Links to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.
The sources cover a broad range of historical happenings (political, economic, social and cultural).

Latin American & Caribbean Digital Primary Sources  Listings that provide links to open access digitized collections of primary sources related to Latin America and the Caribbean. The listings may be searched by country, genre/format, hosting institution, and collection title. 

LLILAS Benson Digital Collections  Links to digital collections provided by the Benson Latin American Collection and Long Institute of Latin American Studies.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project  A collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts hosted by Fordham University.  

World Digital Library  A project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations, providing significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.

Google Books & Hathi Trust

Special Collections

Special Collections holds the library’s rare books and archival collections, including a sizeable Texana collection, books related to the history of Texas. Use the search box on the Special Collections site to find materials.

Collections in Central Texas

There are several archives in the immediate area that provide researchers access to rich collections of material. Prominent among these are:

Austin History Center

Benson Latin American Collection

Briscoe Center for American History

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Print sources in SLC

Gallup Poll 303.38 G138 (Main and Research Commons Reference collection)

Kaiser Index to Black Resources, 1948-1986 (Research Commons Reference collection)

New York Times Index, 1851 - 2008 (Periodicals area), Online

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1906 (Research Commons Reference collection)

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1905 - 2008 (Research Commons Reference collection)