Skip to Main Content

Primary Sources for Humanities and Social Sciences : Online Primary Sources

Guide to locating primary sources, with an emphasis on online sources, in the UW-Madison Libraries' collections for research in the humanities and social sciences.

About This Page

Many primary source materials have been digitized by archives, libraries, and vendors giving researchers access to many more primary materials online through library subscription databases and from free Web sites.

Often these collections include varied materials such as diaries, correspondence, pamphlets, books, journal and magazine articles, and more, focused on a time period or area of historical interest.  

This page provides a sample of these collections, both library subscription databases and free Web sites, that are too varied in types of materials to fit in one of the format categories of this research guide's tabs.

See other tabs for additional online primary sources.

For additional information about finding and evaluating primary sources on the Web, see this guide from the American Library Association Reference & User Services Association's History Section.

Online Primary Sources Available to UW-Madison (Library Subscription Databases)

Below are sample library subscription databases with digitized primary sources. More can be found as "E-book/E-text Content" in the Database Library.

Freely Available Online Primary Sources

Below are a sample of free Web sites with digitized primary sources.