Understanding and finding primary sources for your research
General: Begin Here
Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789
FedWorld/FLITE U.S. Supreme Court Decisions http://www.fedworld.gov/supcourt/index.htm: Full text of Supreme Court Decisions issued between 1937 and 1975.
Foreign Governments: Constitutions, Laws and Treaties http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/forcons.html
Founders' Constitution http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/ :A collection of thoughts, opinions, and arguments of the Founders
Landmark Supreme Court Cases http://www.landmarkcases.org/
It covers landmark Supreme Court cases including a full range of resources and activities to support the teaching and learning of landmark Supreme Court cases.
From the Library Web's Database page, select LexisNexis. Full text opinions of all Supreme Court cases since 1790 and all state cases. In addition, all dispositions of cases that were appealed to the Supreme Court are included. (CSULA electronic database, login required).
From the Library Web's Database page, select Westlaw Campus. Full text opinions of all Supreme Court cases since 1790 and all state cases. In addition, it provides access to West's vast collection of statutes, case law materials, public records, and other legal resources, along with current news articles and business information. (CSULA electronic database, login required).
ORAL HISTORY AND SPEECHES
American Rhetoric: Online Speech Bank http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speechbank.htm
THE ONLINE SPEECH BANK is an index to and growing database of 5000+ full text, audio and video (streaming) versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and more.
Douglass--Archives of American Public Address http://douglassarchives.org/
Douglass is an electronic archive of American oratory and related documents. It is intended to serve general scholarship and courses in American rhetorical history at Northwestern University.
Historical Voices http://www.historicalvoices.org/
A fully searchable database of spoken word collections spanning the 20th century.
History Channel: Speeches http://www.historychannel.com/speeches/index.html
A collection of speeches is drawn from the most famous broadcasts and recordings of the twentieth century.
Link Library (of personal experience pages) http://www.justpublications.org/linklib/index.cgi
An archive of primary source materials. Includes first-hand information as well as oral history resources and art projects based on people's experiences.
Oral History Online! - http://www.tei-c.org/Applications/oh01.xml
These are the topics and some of the interviewees: Suffragists (Alice Paul), Disabled Persons Independence Movement(Hale Zukas); Health Care, Science, and Technology (Barbara Honeyman Heath Roll); University History Series (Arleigh Williams); University of California Black Alumni Series (Lionel Wilson); and the Earl Warren Oral History Project(Edmund G. Brown, Sr.). The searchable transcriptions are from the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
Talking History http://www.talkinghistory.org
A collection of audio documentaries, speeches, debates, oral histories, conference sessions, commentaries, archival audio sources, and other aural history resources as is available anywhere.
PUBLIC RECORDS AND GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
NARA 100 Milestone Documents http://www.ourdocuments.gov/content.php?page=milestone
A list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.
Core Documents of U.S Democracy http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/locators/coredocs/index.html
A core group of current and historical Government publications define our democratic society.
National Archives and Records Administration http://www.nara.gov/
Find holdings by federal government organization, media, location, and topics.
United States Historical Census Data http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/
The data presented here describe the people and the economy of the US for each state and county from 1790 to 1960.
U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.
VISUAL MATERIALS (Cartoons, images, movies, posters, photographs, and more)
Ad Access Database (advertisements) http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/browse.html
The Ad*Access project consists of five main subject categories: Beauty and Hygiene, Radio, Television, Transportation, and World War II from 1911 to 1957.
America from the Great Depression to World War II http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsowhome.html
55,000 black and white (more coming) and 1600 color photographs from the Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information collection have been digitized. Includes scenes of rural and small-town life, migrant labor, the effects of the Great Depression, and mobilization for World War II. Part of the American Memory series from Library of Congress.
America's First Look into the Camera http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/daghtml/daghome.html
Subtitled Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839 - 1864, this site is a searchable and browsable collection of more than 650 photographs taken between 1839 and 1864. The majority are portraits taken by the Mathew Brady studio. There are also photographic views of buildings and monuments in the Washington-Baltimore area and street scenes in Philadelphia. Part of American Memory from the Library of Congress.
America in Caricature 1765-1865 http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/cartoon/cartoons.html
The caricatures depict times of turbulence in American history and range in date from the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812 and to the presidential elections of 1860 and 1864.
American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award97/mhsdhtml/aladhome.html
This searchable or browsable "collection of approximately 2800 lantern slides represents an historical view of American buildings and landscapes built during the period 1850-1920." It includes the work of Frederick Law Olmstead, designer of New York's Central Park. It also contains "views of cities, specific buildings, parks, estates and gardens, including a complete history of Boston's Park System." There are images of plans, maps, and models. From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project.
American Posters of World War I http://gulib.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/guac/amposter_99/
American Posters of World War One from the collection of Roger N. Mohovich
Baldy Editorial Cartoon Database: 1946-82, 1997http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/baldy.html
A digital database with approximately 2,500 cartoons from the collection.
By the People, For the People http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaposters/wpahome.html
Subtitled Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943, this searchable site contains over 900 posters from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Search by keyword or browse by subject or creator. Full descriptive information is provided. Created in silk-screen, lithograph, and woodcut mediums, they were "designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia." From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project.
By Popular Demand (Presidential portraits) http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/odmdhtml/preshome.html
A set of 156 portraits of presidents and first ladies
Emergence of Advertising in America http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/eaa/
The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920 (EAA) presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.
Internet Movie Database http://us.imdb.com/
The most comprehensive movie database on or off the Internet. It covers over 250,000 movies, video, TV movies and TV shows, 500,000 actors, and 50,000 directors. Information includes filmographies for all professions in the industry; plot summaries; character names; movie ratings; running times; trivia; quotes etc. You can find a list of historical movies by using Browse--Facts & Trivia--Titles by year
National Museum of American History (Smithsonian) http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/index.cfm
The National Museum of American History collects artifacts of all kinds—from gowns to locomotives—to preserve for the American people an enduring record of their past. The Museum has more than 3 million artifacts in its collection.
New York Public Library Digital Library http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm
A collection of over 337,000 images from primary sources and printed rarities including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, illustrated books, and printed ephemera.
OAlster http://mimas.calstatela.edu/login?url=http://firstsearch.oclc.org/fsip?dbname=OAIster (Off campus users require NIS login)
OAIster is a union catalog of digital records with more than 19 million items from more than 1,000 contributors. Contains digital resources from open archive collections. Records contain a digital object link allowing users access to the object in a single click. Update quarterly.
Online Archive of California http://www.oac.cdlib.org/
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 150 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
A collection of searchable political cartoons