The Web Library: Building a World Class Personal Library with Free Web Resources

Online companion to the book. Frequently updated: last update = 12-13-05 copyright Nick Tomaiuolo 2005

Primary Sources

Avalon Project
Important documents in American history, politics, and government from the pre-18th century to the present from the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.

American Memory from the Library of Congress
Mode of Access: Browse Collections or search by keyword.
Typical results: pamphlets, articles, letters, maps, sheet music, etc.
Example: “The race problem.” Letter to the editor.
Chicago Tribune. 1899.

DocLinks Extremely well organized by topic and date, DocLinks is a database of over 1,000 annotated Web links to primary documents online for the study of U.S. history and Western Civilization. Providing instant, single-click access to an unparalleled collection of documents, DocLinks includes speeches, legislation, treaties, social commentary, United States Supreme Court decisions, essays, travelers' accounts, personal narratives and testimony, newspaper articles, manifestos, visual artifacts, songs, poems, and more.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe
(from European Studies Bibliographer at Brigham Young University Library)
Mode of access: Select country, browse documents.
Typical results: pacts, charters, travel writings, posters.
Example: “A View of the present state of Ireland” by Edmund Spenser (1596).

Internet Public Library
Mode of access: Choose Arts & Humanities/History
Search terms: primary sources
Results: 238 entries (choose “view all 238 sources”)
Example: Soviet History Internet ArchiveA valuable collection of primary source documents concerning the early history of the
USSR. Also includes pictures, maps, and links to related sites.”

Librarians' Index to the Internet
Search terms: primary source
Typical results: links to sites that, ideally, hold and display primary sources.
Example: AmDocs: Documents for the Study of American History
"A directory of primary documents available on the Web. Browse by time period, beginning with 1492 and continuing into current times. Includes inaugural addresses, diary extracts, treaties, letters, speeches, and more." Maintained at the Anschutz Library, University of Kansas.

Making of America
Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.


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