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Research Guides

History: Digital Collections

Digital Collections at Other Institutions

Many other institutions have digital collections available. Here is a list of collections that have been favorably reviewed in library journals in the past two years. To find others related to your specific topic, try doing a Google search for your topic and the words “digital collection.”


  • America at War, 1941-1945
    Digitized (text only, not scanned) issues of Army Talks, the newsletter published by the U.S. Army's Orientation Branch for its forces in the European Theatre of Operations and the G.I. Roundtable pamphlet series, designed to educate American military personnel about the reasons they were fighting, the nature of their enemies and their allies and what shape the postwar world would take.

  • Emergence of Advertising in America
    A database of over 9,000 advertising items and publications dating from 1850 to 1920, illustrating the rise of consumer culture and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States.

  • The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the America Civil War
    Primary source documents from Augusta County, VA and Franklin County, PA that detail life in the two communities in years surrounding the Civil War.

1950s to present

  • Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History
    Oral histories collected from 1967-1972 from hundreds of Oklahoma Indians about all aspects of their lives.

  • Expeditions & Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age
    Multidisciplinary records of 19th and 20th century expeditions sponsored by Harvard.

  • FedFlix
    A repository of government movies in the public domain. Nearly 1000 video files from all aspects of U.S. history. Sponsored by the National Technical Information Service and the non-profit open government organization Public.Resource.Org

  • The Living Room Candidate
    The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952, when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertising. This innovation had a permanent effect on the way presidential campaigns are run.

  • Making of History 1989: Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe
    Funded by a NEH grant and created by George Mason University, this site includes primary sources, scholar interviews, and teaching modules related to the end of communist rule in 1989.

  • The Psychedelic 60's: Literary Tradition and Social Change
    An online exhibit hosted by the Special Collections Department of the University of Virginia library. It includes primary source documents from the time, with explanatory text. Some items are pop culture oriented, most notably concert posters, rock handbills, book covers, and the like.

  • The Supreme Court Database
    Information about United States Supreme Court decisions from 1953-2008.

Multi-Year Collections

  • American Memory from the Library of Congress
    American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.

  • Discovering American Women’s History Online This database provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to interviews with women engineers from the 1970s.

  • European History Primary Sources Welcome to European History Primary Sources (EHPS), an index of scholarly websites that offer online access to digitised primary sources on the history of Europe. Each website that is listed in EHPS has a short description and is categorised according to country, language, period, subject and type of source. The portal can be searched in a variety of ways. The listed websites can be accessed for free, though sometimes a registration is required.

  • LIFE Photo Archive Hosted by Google
    Images from U.S. and world history from the 1750s to the 2000s.

  • Mapping History
    An American-German joint project, is a learning tool for observing and interacting with color maps and tables illustrating key events and problems in world history from ancient Greece to the contemporary era.

University of Idaho Digital Collections

The University of Idaho Library has undertaken several major digitization projects in the past few years. Collections significant to Idaho or the university are now available electronically from the library’s website. 

Visit the Digital Collections website for more information.

UI Special Collections and Archives

The Special Collections and Archives at the library contain research materials that document the cultural and environmental history of Idaho. The collections include personal papers of individuals and families; business archives of lumber, railroad, mining, and other companies; Idaho state publications; papers of government officials, educators, authors, and business people; records of organizations such as religious, fraternal, civic, and environmental associations; and similar groups.

Materials can be located in the library’s catalog or by visiting special collections, either in person or online.