The library subscribes to a variety of databases composed largely of primary sources. These will often provide ways of either searching by keyword, or browsing in ways that attempt to replicate how they would be experienced in their original format. Though not comprehensive, the following list includes some of our primary source databases that may be relevant to your work.
Digitized Archival Collections
- Amherst College Digital Collections - This repository holds over one hundred thousand digitized art works, photographs, manuscripts, books, and other media from the Archives & Special Collections and the library’s Art & Architecture Collection.
- Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940 (1940-2014)
Composed of primary sources, such as newsletters, organizational papers, government documents, manuscripts, and pamphlets, focusing on social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world.
- Black Studies Center (25,000 BC to present) Black Studies Center is a tool that supports research, teaching, and learning in Black Studies covering aspects of the black experience such as history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, and religion.
- Crime, Punishment and Popular Culture (1790-1920)
Composed of over two million pages of trial transcripts, police and forensic reports, detective novels, newspaper accounts, true crime literature, and related ephemera, focusing on nineteenth-century criminal history, law, literature, and justice.
- Electronic Enlightenment (18th century)
Full text of over 53,000 letters and documents from the best critical editions.
- Making of the Modern World (1450-1914)
Primary source materials (including broadsides and pamphlets, serials, and monographs) tracing British and US economic history from 1450-1914
- North American Indian Thought and Culture
Provides access to autobiographies, biographies, Indian publications, oral histories, personal writings, photographs, drawings, and audio files that were previously unpublished. It includes fifty-four volumes from the 18th and 19th centuries with many prominent writers and nations covered in depth, in addition to photographs from Edward Curtis.
- Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives (1960-1974) Resource brings the 1960s alive through diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary.
- Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice (1490-2007) Thousands of pamphlets, books, paintings, maps and images documenting the varieties and legacy of slavery, the social justice perspective, and the continued existence of slavery today.
- American State Papers (1789-1838) Full-image database of legislative and executive documents of Congress. Continued by U.S. Congressional Serial Set
- Ancestry Library - Access to more than 1.2 billion names, primary source documents, census records, and images and a variety of genealogical and historical research features.
- Congressional Publications - Index to U.S. congressional material, some full text.
- Documents on British Policy Overseas - Documents on British Policy Overseas provides users with access to a wide range of primary source documents from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, shedding light on diplomatic history throughout the twentieth century.
- FBIS: Federal Broadcast Information Service (1974-1996) News in translation (by the CIA) from radio, television, and newspapers around the world.
- Social Explorer (1790 to present) Access to data from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, religious congregations, and other sources, with options to create thematic and interactive maps and reports.
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1976) Reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Preceded by American State Papers.
Historical Printed Materials
- Early American Imprints. Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819) Books, pamphlets, broadsides and other imprints listed in the distinguished bibliography by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker.
- EEBO: Early English Books Online (1473-1700) Full text of over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661).
- Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) (1701-1800) Page images and full-text searching for more than 136,000 key English- and foreign-language titles printed in Great Britain during the 18th century, based on the English Short Title Catalogue.
- Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) (1780-1925) Full-text, searchable content from a broad range of 19th-century sources in literature, politics, theater, music, religion, maps, science, and childhood