HISTORY 201: The Historian's Craft: The Weimar Republic and the Rise of Nazism (Fall 2022) : Find Primary Sources
What are Primary Sources?
Primary sources are materials from the time period that report on what is happening. Examples include books (e.g., personal narratives, memoirs, and autobiographies, collected works, and collections of documents); journal and magazine articles, newspaper articles, government documents, archival sources (.e.g, diaries, interviews, memos, manuscripts, and other papers and records of organizations); and multimedia sources (e.g., photographs, audio recordings, and motion pictures or video recordings).This page provides access to selected databases for primary sources that related to the topics of this course.
Finding Primary Sources in Books (in the Library Catalog)
Use the tips below to search the Library Catalog for books that contain primary sources.
- Words in catalog records can identify an item as a primary source. Search for format related words like: advertisements, autobiographies, correspondence, diaries, documents, interviews, journal, letters, manuscripts, personal narratives, sources, speeches, etc. You can combine a primary-source format word with words describing your topic (e.g., letters and Lincoln or diaries and civil war).
- To find diaries, letters, autobiographies, personal papers, etc., by a particular person, search for the person's name as an author.
- For more information about finding primary sources, see the Research Guides on this page.
General Primary Sources
- Academic Video OnlineCollection of streaming videos spanning a wide range of subject areas including anthropology, history, art, music, and more. Some videos cover the Weimar Republic.
- alpha history"Weimar Republic Documents": primarily covers political history.
- Facing History and Ourselves: The Weimar Republic Primary SourcesBrief primary source documents on Weimar culture, economics, politics, and society.
- Films on DemandEducational streaming videos on a variety of academic areas provided by many producers (BBC, National Geographic, PBS, WPA Library, etc.). Includes videos on the Weimar Republic.
- German Propaganda Archive (Calvin University)"Nazi and East German Propaganda Guide Page" - the link "Pre-1933 Material" has an excellent collection of early Nazi propaganda.
- GHDI: Weimar Germany (1918/19 - 1933)From the German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) website, a comprehensive collection of translated original historical materials documenting German history from the beginning of the early modern period to the present. German Historical Institute (GHI), Washington, DC.
- HathiTrust Digital LibraryOffers access to a collection of millions of titles digitized from academic and research library collections from around the world, including the UW-Madison Libraries.
- Leo Baeck Institute Digital CollectionsPremier online archive on German-Jewish history.
- Marxists Internet ArchiveExtensive collection of translated texts by socialist and communist writers.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Online CollectionsIncludes oral history interviews and documents of German Jews who grew up in Weimar Germany and later fled or survived the Nazis.
- UW-Madison Library Research Guide: Historical NewpapersLibrary guide to searching historical newspapers (for instance, US press coverage of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazis)
- Warwick University Library Modern Records Centre"History of Germany": digitized English-language documents mainly on the Weimar economy.
- Weimar Studies NetworkInternational network of scholars of the Weimar Republic; links to other documents and readings (many in German).
Primary Sources: Topic 1: Democratic Politics
- The Constitution of the German Federation (Aug. 11, 1919)This document is available in HeinOnline.
- Dispatches from the Weimar Republic: Versailles and German Fascism. By Morgan Philips Price. London; Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 1999.Print copy located in Memorial Library; call number: DD240 P755 1999.
- The German Left and the Weimar Republic a Selection of Documents. Ed. and Trans. Ben Fowkes. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2014.Ebook. Presents a wide range of documents on various aspects of socialist and communist activity in Germany.
Primary Sources: Topic 2: The Avant-Garde
- Berlin! Berlin!: Dispatches From the Weimar Republic. By Kurt Tucholsky. New York: Berlinica Publishing, 2013.Ebook. A complete satirical collection about Weimar Berlin.
- Chazen Museum of Art: The Permanent CollectionOver 24,000 works of art in the museum’s collections representing the entire spectrum of art history across culture, period, media and genre, including works from the Weimar Republic.
- Harvard Art Museums: The Bauhaus CollectionOne of the first and largest collections relating to the Bauhaus, the 20th century’s most influential school of art and design.
- The Threepenny Opera. By Bertolt Brecht. 1931Musical play in German, Kurt Weill composer: available in Naxos Music Library (via library catalog).
Primary Sources: Topic 3: Gender and Sexuality
- The Salaried Masses: Duty and Distraction in Weimar Germany. By Siegfried Kracauer. London: Verso, 1998 .White collar workers in Germany. Print copy located in Memorial Library, call number: HD8039 M392 G334513 1998.
- The Weimar Republic Sourcebook. Edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg. Berkeley : University of California Press,1994.Germany -- politics and government, social conditions, social life and customs--1918-1933. Print copies located in Memorial Library, Kohler Art Library, and College Library, call number: DD240 W3927 1994.
Primary Sources: Topic 4: The Rise of the Nazis
- Hitler and the Nazis: a History in Documents. By David F. Crew. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.Ebook. A broad assortment of primary sources to give readers a glimpse into Germany under Hitler.
- The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: an Anthology of Texts. Eds. Roderick Stackelberg and Sally A. Winkle. London: Routledge, 2002.Ebook. A collection of documents on the origins, rise, course, and consequences of National Socialism, the Third Reich, the Second World War, and the Holocaust.
- Nazism, 1919-1945 : a History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. Eds. Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham. New York: Schocken Books, 1990.No copy available in Memorial Library; request through interlibrary from a UW System library.
- The Stab-in-the-Back Myth and the Fall of the Weimar Republic: A History in Documents and Visual Sources. Eds. George S. Vascik and Mark R. Sadler. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.Germany: politics and government, 1918-1933. Not available in library catalog; request through interlibrary loan.
See the Research Guides below for more information about primary sources. The Research Guides include many more online resources including ones with historical journals, magazines and newspapers and documents.
You can search for historical newspapers that could also be used as primary sources.
This newspaper research guide has an entire page dedicated to finding Historical Newspapers.