How do I find primary sources in library databases?

From the Libraries' homepage, click on Databases by Subject.  Many of relevant databases are listed under History, then online texts. Some resources are listed under other subjects such as Newspapers, Ethnic Studies, etc., depending upon your topic. 

Browse through the databases and read the descriptions!  That way you will know if it covers the time period, geographic area, and type of materials you need.  Often you can limit by date of publication. Some databases are offer the digitized or full-text documents while others just provide the references to articles and books.  If the full-text is not available, click on the orange UC-eLinks button for more options.

The following are some of the databases at the UCR Libraries that contain primary sources.  If you need help selecting or searching a database, please visit the Reference Desk.  


African American Newspapers
Digitized version of major 19th century African American newspapers. 

Early American Newspapers, Series I, 1690-1876
Features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic American newspapers.

Ethnic Newswatch and Ethnic Newswatch: History 
Full-text from over 200 newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press, 1960-present

Digitized version of Harper's Weekly, America's leading 19th century illustrated newspaper from 1857-1912.

Historical Newspapers Online 
Full-text of the London Times from 1785-1870, and an index from 1790-1980.

Chicago Defender (historical), 1910 - 1975

Los Angeles Times (historical), 1881-1986

New York Times (historical), 1857-2005 

Wall Street Journal (historical), 1889-1991 


American Periodicals Series Online , 1740-1900
Full-text articles of digitized images (PDF) from more than 1,100 American periodicals published between 1741 and 1900. Includes literary and professional journals as well as children's and women's magazines.

Gerritsen Collection, Women's History Online, 1543-1945
Full-text of books, pamphlets, and periodicals reflecting women's history in the world.  Includes materials in 15 languages. 

Periodicals Archive Online 
Full-text images of journal articles in the humanities and social sciences from 1770 to 1995.

Reader's Guide Retrospective 1890-1982
100 years of citations from 512 leading U.S. magazines.


18th Century Collections Online - ECCO
Digitized collection of 150,000 works published in the United Kingdom, including books, directories, Bibles, sheet music, sermons and advertisements.

19th Century Masterfile Index 
Citations for books, periodicals, newspapers, patents, and government documents from the 1800's. 

American Civil War:  Letters and Diaries
Full-text of diaries, letters, and memoirs from the American Civil War, 1861-1864. 

Dolley Madison Digital Edition 
Full-text of a letters either written to or from Dolley Madison, from December 1788 to June 1836.

Early American Imprints Series I, Evans, 1639-1800  and Series II, Shaw - Shoemaker, 1801-1819
Digital collection of books, pamphlets, and broadsides.

Early Encounters in North America 
Letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters from 1534-1850 in present-day Canada and the U.S. 

Early English Books Online
Digitized volumes of 125,000 volumes of early English texts from 1475 to 1700.

Everyday Life & Women in America c.1800-1920
Online monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides, emphasizing conduct of life and domestic management literature.

North American Women Letters and Diaries
Full-text of letters and diaries of over 1000 women from colonial times to 1950.

The Sixties, 1960-1974
Diaries, letters, autobiographies, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary.

Government Publications:

American State Papers, 1789-1838 
Legislative and executive documents.

Declassified Documents Reference System
More than 70,000 U.S. Federal government declassified documents, 1945 through the 1970s.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 19th century

US Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980  
Contains the House and Senate documents and reports bound by session of Congress. It includes committee reports related to bills,  presidential communications to Congress, treaty materials, and certain executive department publications.

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Last modified: 8/22/2012 11:54 AM by M. Potter

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