Digitized Sources

General history materials

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

Historical atlases Boston area.  Includes Bromley real estate atlases 1883-1923.

Magazine of Early American Datasets.  A potpourri of spreadsheets and collections of data contributed by the scholars who made them, to help others conceptualize, begin, or broaden their research.

Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History.  Includes personally annotated books owned by John Keats, Herman Melville, and others; records of Harvard College Library that reveal reading activities of Emerson, Longfellow, and Thoreau; textbooks from the 18th to the early 20th centuries; more than 800 books and 400 manuscript selections.

Freedom on the Move.  Crowd-sourced creation of database of escaped slaves.

Current Events

Ranking America (comparison of the U.S. with other countries on various socio-economic and political points).

Native American

Native American — Indigenous Peoples: North America.  Broad and deep digital collection from Cengage, must subscribe to access.

Anglo-U.S. treaties with Native nations, 374 in the National Archives.

Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents.  English only, Reuben Gold Thwaites translation, Creighton University hosting.

Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704

The Invasion of America.  This interactive site maps every Native American treaty and executive order between 1776 and 1886, with links to the original treaty text when available.

Yale Indian Papers Project: 400 Years of New England Native Life

Occum Circle Project.  Documents written by and about Samson Occom (1727-1792) stored in Dartmouth College archives.  Includes digitized original and transcription of each.

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1803-1888.  The ACBFM was the primary organization sending teachers and missionaries to Native communities as well as overseas to China etc. The Houghton Library at Harvard holds a huge collection of their records, including correspondence from teachers and missionaries, has digitized some of that collection.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology Online Collection

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties.  Compiled by Charles Kappler and published by the GPO in 1904

American Indian Digital History Project.  Digitized copies of Akwesasne Notes, 1969-1987.

Colonial British America

The Adams Papers (MHS)

Adams Family Papers (letters to/from Abigail and John Adams), 1762-1801 (MHS)

Colonial North American Project at Harvard.  In progress, digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America-+

Slavery, Law, and Power in Early America and the British Empire. A project dedicated to bringing the many disparate sources that help to explain the long history of slavery and its connection to struggles over power in early America, particularly in the colonies that would become the United States. Going back to the early English Empire, this project traces the rise of the slave trade along with the parallel struggles between monarchical power and early democratic institutions and ideals.

Early American Manuscripts Projects, New York Public Library.  In progress, digitized images of Joseph Hawley Papers, Samuel Adams Papers, other materials held by the NYPL.

Colonial New England Congregational Church Records.  “New England’s Hidden Histories,” collected, digitized, transcribed by Congregational Library.  Includes Church Records Transcription Project, great for school classes.

Colonial Society of Massachusetts digitized versions of their publications, including papers of Francis Bernard, Josiah Quincy Jr., Thomas Hutchinson, John Cotton Jr., Pynchon Family Papers.  Also the Records of Trinity Church in Boston, Records of Boston’s Overseers of the Poor in the 18th Century, Harvard College Library list of holdings 1723-1790, Thomas Shepard’s Confessions, and scholarly works on various topics on colonial New England (law, music, medicine, Native Americans, etc.)  Click here.

Personal Papers and Documents, Congregational Library and Archives.

The Papers of George Washington, 1744-1799

Jonathan Edwards, Collected Writings, Online (Yale University)

Sir William Johnson Papers

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922

Anglo-American Legal Tradition  Law records from medieval and early modern England in the National Archives in London.

Avalon Project at Yale (significant 17th and 18th century legal documents)

Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Colonies

Massachusetts Printed Acts and Resolves, 1692-1959

Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704

Silence Dogood: Ben Franklin in the New England Courant

Taking the Trade: Abortion, Sex, and Privacy in 18th-Century New England

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

Salem Witchcraft Trials (vast range of documents)

Maps of Massachusetts, 1640-1809

Revolutionary United States

The Harbottle Dorr (annotated) newspapers, MHS

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922

Boston Committee of Correspondence Records, 1772-1784

Mapping the Republic of Letters (international Enlightenment connections)

American Archives, 1774-1776 (NIU/NEH site)

The Coming of the Revolution, 1764-1776 (MHS)

The Worcester [Mass.] Revolution of 1774

Virtual American Revolution (digital 360° views of Boston area sites today, and maps)

American Revolutionary Era Maps.  Boston Public Library, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

Mapping Revolutionary Boston

Siege of Boston (MHS)

Early State Constitutions

U.S. Congress documents and debates, 1774-1875

Adams Family Papers (letters to/from Abigail and John Adams), 1762-1801 (MHS)

James Madison Papers, Library of Congress

The Papers of George Washington, 1744-1799

Early Virginia Religious Petitions, 1774-1802

Shays’s Rebellion, 1786-1787 (documents etc.)

Slaves and the Courts (in books and pamphlets), 1740-1860

African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts (MHS)

Boston 1775.  History, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts.

Ray Raphael’s page of Revolutionary documents

Avalon Project at Yale (significant 17th and 18th century legal documents)

The Geography of Slavery in Virginia, with searchable database of 18th-century runaway slave ads from Virginia newspapers

 The Founders’ Constitution: extensive primary resources

Slavery and the Ratification of the Constitution

University of Virginia hypertexts

including complete texts of Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Lewis and Clark Journals, Crevecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, and The Federalist Papers

A Literary Tour de France: Publishing and the Book Trade in France and Francophone Europe, 1769-1789

Early National U.S.                 

U.S. Treasury Reports, complete collection, 1789-1980

Early American Imprints (Shaw-Shoemaker set), 1800-1819

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection.  Replaces American Periodical Series (APS).

Antifederalist Texts

Independence Day Orations

A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns, 1787-1825

 U.S. Congress documents and debates, 1774-1875

Adams Family Papers (letters to/from Abigail and John Adams), 1762-1801 (MHS)

The Papers of George Washington, 1744-1799

 James Madison Papers, Library of Congress

Early Virginia Religious Petitions, 1774-1802

Slaves and the Courts (in books and pamphlets), 1740-1860

MHS, The Case for Ending Slavery (many scanned documents, with questions and lesson plans)

Making of America site, many primary sources in American social history

Age of Jefferson (primary sources on various topics clipped and sorted by Prof. Pasley)

Antebellum U.S.                 

America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922

Prof. Gagnon’s hub of newspapers, nineteenth century.  Particularly strong in Georgia newspapers, some others from the south, mostly free and searchable.

Chronicling America, LOC’s historic newspaper site, 1836-1922

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection.  Replaces American Periodical Series (APS).

U.S. Congress documents and debates, 1774-1875

Dorr Rebellion (Rhode Island, 1841-1842) documents

Dorr Rebellion  letters

Anti/Pro-Slavery Literature

Slaves and the Courts (in books and pamphlets), 1740-1860

Freedom lawsuits in Missouri

Maps showing expansion of slavery and free population, 1790-1860

O Say Can You See, Early Washington DC Law and Family, 1800-1862.  Includes digitzed freedom suits circa 1800-1820, allowing researchers to follow families across generations, look for connections across individuals (like attorney Francis Scott Key), etc.

Journals of Edmund Q. Sewall Jr., 1837-1840.  Journal kept by student at John and Henry David Thoreau’s Concord Academy.

Making of America site, many primary sources in American social history

Papers of Andrew Jackson

Papers of Martin Van Buren

Post-Civil War

Visualizing Emancipation

Freedmen’s Bureau Records.  Handwritten records on newly freed slaves, with data on marriages, church and financial details, full names, dates of birth and histories of slave ownership.

History Web Publications

Digital Public Library of America


Common Place

Do History (Martha Ballard diary)

Valley of the Shadows (Shenandoah Valley, 1859-1870)

Early Encounters in North America

Online and digital resources for early Americanists

Currency and price conversion calculators (including John McCusker’s How Much Is That?)

A Women’s Work is Never Done: American Antiquarian Society exhibition

Visual Resources

Early American Paintings in Worcester Art Museum

American Memory, early maps (Library of Congress)

Birch’s Views: contains almost all of Birch’s paintings and engravings of early national Philadelphia, with locator maps

National Archives web site

Photographs of 17th and 18th Century Structures in Massachusetts, taken by Harriet Forbes 1887-1945

 The Story of Christmas (American Antiquarian Society)

National Museum of the American Indian


The Trans-Atlantic Database — huge and wonderful!

United States Historical Census Data Browser, with full searchable information for 1790-1960

The Virginia Runaways Project, a searchable database of eighteenth-century runaway ads

Slavery in Pennsylvania, with extensive data on slaves and slaveholders

A New Nation Votes.  A searchable collection of election returns 1787-1825, done by the AAS and Tufts University Digital Collections, with NEH funding.


The Atlantic World Electronic Exploration home page

The Inflation Calculator, will work out the current value of colonial, revolutionary and early national items

Common-Place, the Interactive Journal of Early American Life

Jefferson-Hemings DNA Testing, an Online resource on the website of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Northern Visions of Race, Region, and Reform in the Press and in the Letters of Freedmen, 1862-1868

British Resources

The British Library home page

The Public Record Office web page

A comprehensive listing of resources for American and Canadian studies in Scottish university and research libraries

Statistical Accounts of Scotland (incl. 1791-99)

Papers of Early Americans

The Winthrop Papers home page

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

Robert “King” Carter of Virginia; diary, correspondence, and papers, 1701-1732

The Papers of George Washington, including primary sources and secondary works

Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress

Excerpts from slave narratives, including ten from the revolutionary and early national eras

Online Archive of Works of Thomas Paine

Miscellaneous Primary Sources

The Culture of Tobacco: NYPL site containing many primary sources

Colonial, revolutionary and early national primary sources

 The American Revolution: National Discussion of Our Revolutionary Origins. Contains excellent secondary and primary materials, with full use of multimedia

Eighteenth Century Documents on the web site of the Avalon Project (Yale), including many political, constitutional and diplomatic sources

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: US Congressional documents and databases, 1774-1873

The Constitution Community, at the National Archives site, contains many primary sources

Native American Organizations and Publications

Canadian aboriginal digital collections

Indian Country Today

Iroquois links

U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs

Historians’ Websites/Blogs

J.L. Bell (“Boston 1775”)

Ann Little (“Historiann”)

Jeff Pasley (“The Early American Republic Plugged In”)

C. Vann Winchell

Jewish Organizations

Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Hillel National

Hillel at Truman State University

 Hillel’s “Small and Mighty” Soref Program

Congregation Beth Shalom, Columbia

St. Louis Jewish Federation

Kansas City Jewish Federation

Beth El, Sudbury


 home    teaching    publications