trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
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Hi All,

I am putting together a list of primary sources that are available for free on the internet.

[My prof, bless her wee cotton socks, thinks "history on the internet" is limited to Wikipedia.]

What are you favourite primary source websites?


Right now, because of what I'm working on, I'm very fond of:

Amicus [also in in French], specifically relevant here for its sheet music from Canada's past. [I can't guarantee this site is available outside of Canada]

Broadsides Ballads
"The Bodleian Library has unparalleled holdings of over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. The original printed materials range from the 16th- to the 20th-Century. The Broadside Ballads project makes the digitised copies of the sheets and ballads available to the research community."

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
"The collection includes many songs from the heyday of antebellum black face minstrelsy in the 1850s and from the abolitionist movement of the same period. Numerous titles are associated with the novel and the play Uncle Tom's Cabin. Civil War period music includes songs about African-American soldiers and the plight of the newly emancipated slave. Post-Civil War music reflects the problems of Reconstruction and the beginnings of urbanization and the northern migration of African Americans."

Also of note, the CBC has decades worth of news footage and documentaries up, and the National Film Board of Canada is releasing several of their films and shorts online, including the crowd-pleasing Log Driver's Waltz.

Collected from others:

We'll start with the biggie: the Monumenta Germaniae Historica is online! (http://www.mgh.de/dmgh/) Pro: it's the MGH, and it's searchable. Con: the site is in German. Which is only a con if you can't read German and really isn't that much of a hurdle even if you don't, actually...

I am also fond of the Acta Sanctorum, which has its tomes online (http://www.patristique.org/article.php3?id_article=132). Pro: lots of saints' lives, arranged by feast day. Con: I don't think it's searchable, but I'd have to look more closely. And the site in French, but again that shouldn't be too much of a problem because the layout is clear.

Then there's the Internet Medieval Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/Sbook.html). Pro: has a wide variety of sources, mostly translated into English. Con: sometimes they are translated badly. ;) But it's a good place to start.

If you will allow for a relaxed definition of 'primary source,' the Web Gallery of Art has a great collection of images of European works from the 12th through the 19th centuries: http://www.wga.hu/
There are 10 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
posted by [personal profile] spiralsheep at 07:12pm on 11/04/2009
♥ Broadside ballads ♥
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
posted by [personal profile] spiralsheep at 07:15pm on 11/04/2009
Also, "add history" is one of the bestest clickable offers EVAH! ;-)
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
posted by [personal profile] trouble at 11:18pm on 11/04/2009
I only stumbled on it this year, can you believe? Tsk!
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rainbow at 08:16pm on 11/04/2009
There are many old (and out of copyright) history books now available freely on google books; I found several dozen helpful ones looking up genealogical info.
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
posted by [personal profile] trouble at 11:18pm on 11/04/2009
Oh, yes! I keep forgetting that! :)
sharpest_asp: Nate Ford sitting on a bench, Sophie Devereaux resting against his lap (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sharpest_asp at 04:29am on 12/04/2009
I'm one of these eclectic history readers, so I basically do the 'google it' and compare three to four sites on the subject I am currently reading. However, i foresee much perusal of the links offered up.
twtd: thick rimmed glasses on an open book (Stock- book with glasses)
posted by [personal profile] twtd at 04:28am on 13/04/2009
Lot of newspaper archives (that's the easy answer). The London Times is particularly good about having a searchable archive going back forever.
phnelt: octopus destroys metropolis (Default)
posted by [personal profile] phnelt at 12:25am on 15/04/2009
omg, ballads.

This list is possibly one of the most beautiful things ever. So shiny.

My favourite online history things are all pay for, like the Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers Digital Archive, so it's great to see things I can actually link people to.
anitabuchan: scottish castle (scotland)
posted by [personal profile] anitabuchan at 05:21am on 02/05/2009
I have a bunch:

Godey's Lady's Book, all five 1850 editions. This was a v popular American 'lady's book'.

Ladies' Repository, all issues from 1841-1876, another American ladies' journal.

Diaries and Letter from American Civil War women

A Midwife's Tale, diary of Martha Ballard, a late 18th century midwife in America.

First person narratives of California's early years, 1849-1900

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive

Slave narratives from the federal writers' project, 1936-1938

Electronic texts for the study of American culture

Victorian advertising, from Britain.

Scottish Archive Network. Go to 'digital archive'.

Record of the Parliament of Scotland. From Alexander II to 1707. Includes some very famous documents, such as Declaration of the Clergy, Declaration of Arbroath.

Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts.

Sacred Texts - Sources for religion, mythology and folklore.

I didn't realise I had so many!

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