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Find Primary Sources
Use this page to find original documents online ranging from 19th c. newspapers to early printed books. Search listings of primary source documents in our online indices. Find full text documents in our subscription databases and on open access websites. Review our other related research guides for more primary source resources.
See our Newspapers Research Guide for detailed lists of our newspaper holdings in all formats,
Full-Text Primary Source Databases
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 (Readex) provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states,including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.
American Periodical Series
Digitized images of the pages of over 1,100 American magazines and journals published between 1740 and 1900. Covers special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and many other historically-significant periodicals. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groun
Includes approximately 1200 plays from the mid-1800s to the present by 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries, together with detailed, fielded information on related productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays.
The Burney Collection Newspapers is a full-text, fully searchable digital archive of nearly 1,270 17th and 18th century newspapers and news pamphlets from the United Kingdom. Collected by the Reverend Charles Burney, this unique collection represents the largest single archive of 17th and 18th century news media available from the British Library.
Early American Imprints, Series I, Evans (1639-1800)*
Based on the renowned American Bibliography by Charles Evans. The definitive resource for every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, & more.
Early American Imprints, Series II, Shaw Shoemaker (1801-1819)*
Full-text access to US Historical Imprints in the period succeeding that covered in Early American Imprints, Series I.
Early English Books Online (ProQuest)*
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*
Containing over 200,000 volumes, including books, pamphlets, essays, and broadsides, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides nearly every English and foreign language title published in Great Britain during the eighteenth century, as well as several thousand works from the Americas.
HathiTrust Digital Library
HathiTrust Digital Library contains millions of books digitized from library collections across the country. FSU users have access to many full text documents and can create new collections of material. To learn how to log into HathiTrust using Shibboleth see our guide to HathiTrust (http://guides.lib.fsu.edu/hathitrust).
New York Times -- Historical*
(1851 - two years ago)
Offers full-page-images and article images from the New York times from its first issue in 1851 to two years before the current date.
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) contains collections of full-text primary source material related to the study of history, literature, arts and more during the long 19th century. Current collections are: Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange; European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection; British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture; and British Politics and Society.
Full-Text Primary Source Websites
African-American Women Writers of the 19th Century
A part of the Digital Collection for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, African American Women Writers of the 19th Century is a digital collection of some 52 published works by 19th-century black women writers. This collection provides access to the thought, perspectives and creative abilities of black women as captured in books and pamphlets published prior to 1920.
Documenting the American South
A collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.
Electronic Text Center--English Language Resources
Includes a Modern English Collection (AD 1500-present), A Middle English Collection, and an Old English Corpus, among others. Some texts are restricted to University of Virginia, but many are accessible to the public. Their mission is to "to create an on-line archive of standards-based texts and images in the humanities and to build and support user communities adept at the creation and use of online resources."
The Internet's oldest producer of free electronic books. Find the classic books from the start of this century and previous centuries, from authors like Shakespeare, Poe, Dante, as well as well-loved favorites like the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Tarzan and Mars books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Alice's adventures in Wonderland as told by Lewis Carroll, and thousands of others.
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index is the most comprehensive source for discovering nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives. C19 Index draws on the strength of established indexes such as the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole's Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.5 million books and official publications and 71,000 archival collections.
Primary Source Research Guides