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History Research Guide: Find Primary Sources

Primary Sources

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

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.

Chronicling America
Find full-text articles from historic Hawai'i and U.S. newspapers, between 1836-1922.

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.

LexisNexis Academic
Full text collection of newspapers and magazines. Many titles reach back into the 1970s.

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.

Digital Collections at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
Browse the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library's Digital Archives Collection. The collection includes historical and cultural material in digital form.

Searching Tips

In WorldCat or Voyager (or any other library catalog), search by keyword and limit your search by words in the Subject headings. After you have done a broad keyword search, limit your search by using the following terms in the subject headings:

  • sources
  • diaries
  • oral history
  • personal narratives
  • documents
  • statistics
  • antiquities
  • correspondence
  • maps

In Voyager, for example, click the Advanced search tab. In the first search box line, insert your keywords - (e.g., American Revolutionary War). In the second search box, do a Subject search on sources.

You can also search by broad subject. Often, primary source materials are assigned general subject headings. For example, you can do a broad search, such as "Women--United States," and use the WorldCat or Voyager catalog's limiting ability to narrow the search to those entries that also have "Periodicals" in the subject.