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History Research Guide

Primary Sources Searching

Primary Sources Databases

Early English Books Online (EEBO)
Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) is a digital collection of books published in Great Britain during the 18th century. ECCO is the essential tool for 18th century studies, pulling together primary material (including books and directories, bibles and sheet music, to sermons and pamphlets, and more) from over 500 institutions

European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750
The database is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. The database retrieves only bibliographic references. Consider using ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) and EEBO (Early English Books Online) as possible sources of full-text documents located via this database.

HathiTrust Digital Library

To search HathiTrust for primary documents use Advanced Full-Text Search

Search subject terms in the field Full-Text + All Fields.

To access HathiTrust as a University of Hawaii student, faculty or staff member, click on the yellow Login button to the right of the screen and search partner institution for University of Hawaii. You can then log in with your UH username and password if you have not yet logged in today before continuing to HathiTrust as a UH member.

Digital Collections


ArchiveGrid includes over 5 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.

Some collection descriptions include links to images, sound recordings, or other online materials. You can narrow your search results to those that have links to digital content by adding " has_links:1" to your search. Example: 1918 influenza has_links:1

Look for sources with [electronic resource] in the title.

The Avalon Project

This database starts with ancient and medieval documents and moves into present times.

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Searches across and provides access to the more than 300 digital collections created by the Library of Congress. Includes photos, prints, drawings, maps, books, manuscripts, audio recordings, films, notated music, newspapers, and archived websites.

Library of Congress Presidential Collections

Access to digitization of 23 Presidential Collections. Access correspondence, executive documents, personal letters, and more.


National Archives Catalog

The online catalog of the National Archives and Records Administration's nationwide holdings, including the Washington DC area, Regional Archives, and Presidential Libraries. It can also be used to search a subset of NARA documents that are available online.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

Explore 899,102 items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

UHM Library Digital Image Collections

The Digital Collections at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Library include historical and cultural material that has been scanned and made available online. These collections feature scanned material from the Archives and Manuscript Collections, the Asia Collection, art works from the Jean Charlot Collection, resources related to Hawai’i and Pacific culture and history, and material from the Rare Collection.


Chronicling America
Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

Hawaiian Language Newspapers
These historical Hawaiian language newspapers stored were published from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries in Hawaii.

Online Historical Newspapers Website
Links to historical newspapers from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, United Kingdom, and the United States.

New York Times

The New York Times Article Archive provides partial and full-text digital versions of articles from 1851 to Today. The TimesMachine  is a browser-based digital replica of all issues from 1851 to 2002 available to print and digital subscribers.

NOTE: You must be a UH Mānoa student, faculty or staff member to use this resource. You will need to create a free personal account via the link above to access the New York Times. Once you have created an account via the above link, you can access the New York Times by logging in directly from Your account will be good for one year; once it expires, you may renew your personal account via the above link.

This historical newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.

Primary Searching in Google

Find Images

ARTstor is a non-profit organization funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation whose purpose is to develop a database of digital images and accompanying scholarly information for use in art history.

Digital Public Library of America

    Discover 37,136,118 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States

Getty Search Gateway

     The Getty Search Gateway allows users to search across several of the Getty repositories, including collections databases, library catalogs, collection inventories, and archival finding aids.

New York Public Library Digital Library Collection

       This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.