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What is a Primary Source?
NYPL Digital Collections
"Access to over 800,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities including manuscripts, maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, fashion plates, printed ephemera, and more."
AP Images [EBSCO] 1840+
Images from the 1840s to the present, includes graphics, maps, illustrations, and logos dating back to the 1920s.
AP Images 1840+
Best download options images from the 1840s to the present. includes graphics, maps, illustrations, and logos dating back to the 1920s.
News and Other Media
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (Coverage varies by title) This link opens in a new window
Full text articles from the Boston Globe, Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, Jerusalem Post, New York Amsterdam News, and Times of India.
Alternative Press Index and Archive [EBSCO] 1969+ This link opens in a new window
Indexes hundreds of alternative, radical and left periodicals, newspapers and magazines covering cultural, economic, political & social change.
Access World News [NewsBank] (Coverage varies by title) This link opens in a new window
Current and archived news content including local, state, national and international newspapers, broadcast transcripts, news wires, news blogs, video, etc.
Primary Source Databases
The Sophia Smith Collection
An internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, archives, photographs, periodicals and other primary sources in women's history. For a list of collections on Black Women, use this GUIDE
Images from the US Marine Corps
Downloadable public domain photographs, as well as documents, orders, and speeches of the US Marine Corps. Documents United States military intervention in Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands.
HathiTrust This link opens in a new window
Full text books & journals digitized by HathiTrust partner libraries, Google, the Internet Archive, etc. Includes searchable access to over 10 million volumes total; 3 million public domain volumes are fully viewable online and allow downloading one page at a time. Complements Google Books.
African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Coverage varies by title) This link opens in a new window
Full text articles from The Christian Recorder, The Colored American/Weekly Advocate, Frederick Douglass Paper, Freedom's Journal, The National Era, The North Star, Provincial Freeman, and Douglass Monthly.
Caribbean Sea Migration Archive, Duke University
Materials from (or related to) the migration by sea of Cubans, Dominicans, and Haitians, including the refugee camp for Cuban and Haitian rafters that existed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, largely dating from 1991-1996. Includes newspapers in Spanish and Haitian Kreyol, as well as photographs of rafters and rescuers, and camp residents from the US Coast Guard archives.
America: History & Life with Full Text [EBSCO] 1953+ This link opens in a new window
Journals, books, and dissertations on American and Canadian history. Try searching for "black diaspora" or "black print" in quotes.
Chicago Defender Historical [ProQuest] 1905-1975 This link opens in a new window
Online archive of articles, editorial cartoons, photographs, advertisements, etc. from this important African-American newspaper.
Confidential Print: Africa [AM Digital] 1834-1966 This link opens in a new window
Letters, telegrams, reports, treaties, etc. generated by the British Foreign & Colonial offices. Topics range from coastal trading in the 19th c. through the Scramble for Africa, World War II, colonial independence movements, to Apartheid.
Confidential Print: North America, 1824-1961 [AM Digital] This link opens in a new window
Letters, telegrams, reports, treaties, etc. generated by the British Foreign and Colonial offices. US materials: Prohibition, World War II, Lend Lease, Communism, the Ku Klux Klan, desegration, etc. Canadian materials: Railroads, fisheries, border disputes, the Hudson’s Bay Company, Native Americans, etc. Caribbean materials: Slavery, trade, agiculture, boundary disputes, health & disease, etc.
Digital Public Library of America This link opens in a new window
Provides access to millions of items, photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.
Everyday Life and Women in America [AM Digital] c. 1800-1920 This link opens in a new window
Rare books, pamphlets & periodicals relating to US social & cultural history; strong on conduct & household management; contrasts urban & rural cultures.
Black Studies Periodicals [ProQuest] This link opens in a new window
Formerly called International Index to Black Periodicals. Scholarly & news articles from American, African & Caribbean publications. International and multi-disciplinary coverage of culture, history, multidisciplinary politics, religion, and social issues.
Notable Black History Archives
The Amistad Research Center
An independent archive housed on the campus of Tulane University. Includes "papers of artists, educators, authors, business leaders, clergy, lawyers, factory workers, farmers and musicians." Focused on race relations, civil rights, and the African Diaspora in the US.
Duke University -- John Hope Franklin & Sally Bingham Collections
The John Hope Franklin Research Center "collects, preserves and promotes the use of published and unpublished primary sources for the exploration, understanding and advancement of scholarship of the history and culture of Africa and people of the African Diaspora in the Americas."
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Considered one of the most significant collections of African diaspora history, featuring "unique, and primary materials that document the history and culture of people of African descent throughout the world."
Library of Congress: African American Digital Collections
"The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
Get help from Cat Hannula
Crosscurrents in the Black Atlantic, 1770-1965
A collection of primary sources that presents the social, political, and intellectual interactions of black people around the Atlantic in their quests for advancement, liberation, and emancipation.
Call Number: SC Hillyer Art Library / SC Art / ND237.F32 A4 1995Library Info
The Middle Passage focuses attention on the torturous journey which brought slaves from Africa to the Americas.