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What is a Primary Source?
Primary sources are firsthand accounts of history. Some examples of primary sources include:
- Government Documents
- Diaries and Journals
- Oral Histories
- Other Historical Records
Finding Primary Sources
Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy (ancient through 21st century).
British History Online
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.
European primary historical documents
European Views of the Americas : 1493 to 1750
A index of printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. Covers the history of European exploration, portrayals of Native American peoples, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and slavery.
Locating London's Past
Search digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth century London. Map the results on a GIS version of John Rocque's 1746 map.
Online primary sources about eighteenth-century London.
Old Bailey Online
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.
Transatlantic Slave Trade Database
Information on more than 35,000 slave voyages
that forcibly embarked over 12 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
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