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Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Check-out these webpages to learn more about what a primary source is and it's importance before starting your research.
The London Gazette
Available from 1665-Present
The British Colonist
The British Colonist digitization project is a gift from the Times Colonist newspaper, the University of Victoria Libraries, and a consortium of British Columbia libraries to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the British Colonist newspaper. Every page of every issue, from the first one on December 11, 1858 until the end of June, 1910, a total of 100,554 pages, have been scanned and made searchable.
Internet Library of Early Journals
The ILEJ aimed to digitise substantial runs of 18th and 19th century journals, and make these images available on the Internet, together with their associated bibliographic data. The core collection for the project are runs of at least 20 consecutive years of three 18th and three 19th century journals. See the bubble for more information about the journals.
Nineteenth Century Serials Edition
The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (ncse) is a free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. NCSE includes full runs of five titles, and a decade only of the Publishers’ Circular. Titles are represented as completely as possible, including multiple editions, advertisements, wrappers, and supplements where we could find them.
The Archives Hub provides a gateway to thousands of the UK’s richest archives. Representing over 220 institutions across the country, the Archives Hub is an effective way to discover unique and often little-known sources to support your research. Use the Hub to instantly scan the archival landscape and bring together diverse sources held in repositories across the UK.
The ARCHON Directory includes contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom and also for institutions elsewhere in the world which have substantial collections of manuscripts noted under the indexes to the National Register of Archives.
A comprehensive information resource for the times, places, events and people of British history.
Institute of Historical Research
This resource serves a list for online digital resources on British history.
Essential Primary Sources
British History Online
British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, it aims to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.
Explore the British Library is the latest iteration of the online catalogue. It contains nearly 57 million records and may be used to search, view and order items from the collections or search the contents of the Library's website. The Library's electronic collections include over 40,000 ejournals, 800 databases and other electronic resources.
British Library Integrated Archives and Manuscripts Search
The Catalogue Archives and Manuscripts allows you to search for information about the British Library’s rich and unique archive and manuscript collections. The catalogue contains descriptions of the majority of the British Library's manuscripts and paper-based archives, and an increasing number of digital archives. The Library's sound archive collections and moving image collections are not included.
National Archives (UK)
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and for England and Wales. The National Archives' collection of over 11 million historical government and public records. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, the collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.
A sister-organization for NINES, 18thConnect gathers together a community of scholars that shapes the world of digital resources. Using the NINES model, 18th Connect starts back into the eighteenth-century. It also serves as a peer-reviewing body for digital work in the long 18th-century (1660-1820), British and American.Like NINES, 18thConnect is an online finding aid and scholarly community in the field of eighteenth-century literary and historical studies.
A Vision of Britain Through Time
A Vision of Britain through Time brings together historical surveys of Britain to create a record of how the country and its localities have changed.
Bodlein Libraries at the University of Oxford
This page is dedicated to the digital collections held by the Bodlein Libraries.
British Cartoons Archive
Tens of thousands of British cartoons, editorial, sociopolitical, and pocket cartoons, going back two hundred years.
British Library Timeline
The British Library timeline allows you to explore collection items chronologically, from medieval times to the present day. It includes a diverse combination of texts: those that allow glimpses of everyday life (handbills, posters, letters, diaries), remnants of political events (charters, speeches, campaign leaflets), and the writings of some of our best known historical and literary figures.
Cabinet Papers 1915-1982
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Government of the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet ministers, the most senior of the government ministers. This site provides researchers, students and teachers with learning packages that give comprehensive access to Cabinet papers from 1915-1982.
Cobbett's Parliamentary History
This project digitized the 36 volumes of Cobbett's Parliamentary History, a major resource for 18th century historians. The bulk of the volumes covers the time period from 1714-1803.
The Digital Library contains digitized material from the London School of Economics Library collections and also born-digital material that has been collected and preserved in digital formats.
Dying Speeches & Bloodry Murders:Crime Broadsides
The Harvard Law School Library's collection of more than 500 broadsides is one of the largest recorded and the first to be digitized in its entirety. The examples digitized here span the years 1707 to 1891 and include accounts of executions for such crimes as arson, assault, counterfeiting, horse stealing, murder, rape, robbery, and treason. Many of the broadsides vividly describe the results of sentences handed down at London's central criminal court, the Old Bailey, the proceedings of which are now available online at http://www.oldbaileyonline.org.
This site has been produced from digitised editions of Commons and Lords Hansard, the Official Report of debates in Parliament.
History of the United Kingdom: Primary Documents
This resource from EuroDocs has links to primary source materials for the following time periods: Britain 1689-1815; Britain 1816-1918; Britain 1919 to the present. Also available are British Legal and Governmental Documents, British Regional, Local and Family History Sources, and Other Collections Relevant to British History
The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. The collection goes far beyond the basic population reports with a wealth of textual and statistical material which provide an in-depth view of the economy, society (through births, deaths and marriages) and medicine during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
House of Lords Journal
The official record of proceedings in the House (1509-1793, 1830-2).
Imperial War Museum
IWM is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. We seek to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and 'wartime experience'. We are proud to be regarded as essential sights of London, Cambridgeshire and Greater Manchester.
Institute for British-Irish Studies
The Institute for British-Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary resource, established in 1999 and based in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. This resource contains useful links and research information from the history of the Irish Republic.
Irish History Online
Irish History Online is an authoritative listing (in progress) of what has been written about Irish history from earliest times to the present. Searches can be made by author/editor, by title or keyword from title, by subject, by journal title or series, or by publication details.
This webpage includes listings for 69 collections of digital archived materials and resources that can help with teaching, research and study. To find a collection that meets your interests simply filter the list by choosing a subject area, searching the A-Z menu or conducting a quick keyword search.
Legislation.gov.uk carries most types of UK Legislation and dates back to the early parliaments of England (1267), Scotland (1424), and Ireland (1495). Search here to find laws passed by Parliament.
National Archives of Ireland
The National Archives of Ireland holds the records of the modern Irish State which document its historical evolution and the creation of the Irish national identity. The holdings relate to all parts of Ireland and have enormous research potential as they provide essential primary source material for people seeking to understand the political, economic and social forces which have shaped the nation.
National Archives of Scotland
The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) holds historical records created by businesses, landed estates, families, churches and other corporate bodies. Every year tens of thousands of people from all over the world use the NAS's services to carry out research, seek advice on record keeping, and enhance the learning and teaching of history.
NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
NINES is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first. It also serves as a peer-reviewing body for digital work in the long 19th-century (1770-1920), British and American.
Old Bailey Online
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
The Parliamentary Archives provides access to the archives of the House of Lords, the House of Commons and to other records relating to Parliament.
World War I Document Archive
This archive of primary documents from World War One has been assembled by volunteers of the World War I Military History List. International in focus, the archive intends to present in one location primary documents concerning the Great War.