Primary Sources: U.S.
Selected Primary Documents on the United States
Archives--General Document Collections--Ohio--Early America--
Civil War & Reconstruction--Congressional Documents--
Foreign Affairs--Immigration--National Security--Native Americans--
Presidential Documents--Slavery/Abolition-- Speeches--
Supreme Court/Federal Courts--Women
What is a primary source?
Primary sources may be letters, manuscripts, newspapers, clothing, pottery, recorded sound or other items that offer original evidence of a civilization, a person, an event or a place. Since a single primary source reflects one point of view, consulting various sources is necessary in an attempt to understand different perspectives and distinguish between historical fact and fiction.
Using Primary Sources on the Web -a guide for use and evaluation of sites
Check OSU library catalog for primary sources owned by the Libraries
Sample subject headings:
United States – Foreign Relations – Germany – Sources
Witchcraft -- Europe -- History – Sources
Slavery -- United States -- Personal Narratives
Napoleon* and revolution and personal narratives
Slavery and South Carolina and sources
Using an * finds Napoleon or Napoleonic etc.
Also, you may limit a subject or perform a word search with the following words in the subject headings: sources, archives, correspondence, diaries, personal narratives, interviews, church records and registers, early works to 1800, wills, probate records, sermons
Archive Finder (formerly ArchivesUSA) Guide to primary source collections from thousands of repositories in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Includes the National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections (Library of Congress, 1951-1993) Z6620U5N3 in ISD; Also includes the National Inventory of Documentary Sources - United States that provides the text of finding aids to collections. Use fiche number and find at CD3065N38 in MIC. Also includes National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Use the fiche number and find at CD1042 .N37 Microfiche in MIC.National Archives (U.S.) (homepage)
Archival Research Catalog (keyword search) online catalog of National Archives' nationwide holdings in the Washington, DC area, Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries.
Access to Archival Databases (Identify holdings of electronic records at the National Archives)
See also Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 3 Vols.: CD3026 1995 .U54 1995 in Library Depository
American and British History Resources on the Internet (Rutgers University Libraries)
American Broadsides and Ephemera
"...searchable facsimile images of approximately 15,000 broadsides printed between 1820 and 1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between 1760 and 1900.” See also American Time Capsule 3 references below.
American Memory from the Library of Congress Home Page Documents, photos, sound on wide range of subject in American history
American Political Development (Miller Center for Public Affairs, U of Virginia) Includes oral history and recordings from selected presidents in the 20th century
An American TIme Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera The collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history
Civil Rights Digital Library from the Digital Library of Georgia Documents, photos, audio, video, and articles about events, people, places and topics
Core Documents in U.S. History (sponsored by US Government Printing Office)
A “wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.
FBI: The Vault The Federal Bureau of Investigation provides a searchable database of digital documents on a wide variety of topics and persons for a broad period of time.
From Revolution to Reconstruction Selected documents in American history 15th century –
Images of the American West and Civil War
This database or digital resources from Harvard University
"includes over 400,000 pages from more than 2,200 books, pamphlets, and serials, over 9,600 pages from manuscript and archival collections, and more than 7,800 photographs. By incorporating diaries, biographies, and other writings capturing diverse experiences, the collected material provides a window into the lives of ordinary immigrants."
Jewish Life in America c1654-1954: Sources from the American Jewish Historical Society, New York.
The database includes “six organizational collections, twenty-four personal collections, and rare printed books and pamphlets... Also include[s] a selection of American Jewish Year Book articles and complete searchable research guides for the majority of collections.” There are photographs, a chronology, and other resources. Register and save your selected collection of documents and photographs from the database.
Making of America (See also next collection) Full text/search of 19th century books and journals in American history
Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals (see also previous collection)
This collection comprises books and periodicals published in the United States during the nineteenth century, primarily during the second half of the century. Most of the materials were digitized through the Making of America project.
19th Century United States Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies Online Links to web sites and texts
Pamphlets from Harvard College Library
This collection includes pamphlets, "government documents, speeches, extracts from journals, reports, manifestos, and various proceedings...[published in the 19th century-mid-20th century] Areas currently covered in this digital collection include Latin America, World War I, Sociology, the Boer War, and Brittany. As additional pamphlets are cataloged and digitized, they will be added to this online collection."
The Sixties. Database on the society, politics, and culture of the 1960s as indicated in diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary.
Spain, the United States, & the American Frontier: Historias Paralelas Maps, rare books, manuscripts, prints and photographs, and motion pictures from the Library of Congress illustrating the influence of Spain on North America, the Caribbean, and present-day Mexico between 1492-1898.
The Territorial Papers of the United States. 24 Vols. Washington, D.C. : U.S. G.P.O., 1934-. Official records of the American territories prior to statehood. For print volume details see http://library.ohio-state.edu/record=b3405011
U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Center for Oral History. Site under development. Officially opens in early 2009. Will include contemporary oral histories from U.S. soldiers.
Digital Media Center (Ohiolink) Collections of digital pictures, archives, and oral histories from Ohio history. Includes Kent State Shootings Oral Histories, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center documents, and Wright Brothers photos documenting the invention of the airplane, and more.
Greater Cincinnati Memory Project Keyword searchable database of historical images
Cleveland Memory Project "Find thousands of historical photographs, as well as a growing collection of ebooks documenting the history of greater Cleveland and the Western Reserve region of northeastern Ohio, its industries and its people."
Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery
Includes documents and images related to the history of Cleveland, the Cleveland Public Library, and many social, cultural and architectural subjects related to the city.
Ohio Historical Society Search the OHS catalog for their primary source collection. Online Documents from OHS (Civil War, African-American, "Fundamental Documents" on Ohio
Ohio Memory: An Online Scrapbook of Ohio History Primary sources contributed by Ohio institutions
Ohio State University Archives Manuscripts & photos on the history of OSU; Byrd Polar Research Archive; John Glenn Archive
Ohio State University Libraries Rare Books and Manuscripts Among the collections are editions of Don Quixote through the ages in various languages, seventeenth-century drama collection; a rich, historical collection of multiple copies of different editions of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs; Anglican, Puritan and Catholic religious books, and important writings of early Protestant reformers.
The Lantern (Ohio State University), 1881-1997
Full text search and display of articles from the OSU student newspaper
Makio (Ohio State University student yearbook) 1880-
OhioPix Selected photographs from the Ohio Historical Society