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Noted Digitzed Primary Sources
Written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. From the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions.
The UI Library provides online access to subscription databases that contain primary sources; however, many collections are freely available online.
Here are a few notable collections with free and open access:
The American Presidency Project
Major publications of the U.S. Office of the President, including: public papers of the President, inaugural addresses, executive orders, radio addresses, party platforms, videos of debates, and popularity polling data. Developed by two political science professors at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages from the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Digital Public Library of America
Photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Search by format to locate Primary Sources.
David Runsey Map Collection
Rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.
Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History
Oral histories collected from 1967-1972 from hundreds of Oklahoma Indians about all aspects of their lives.
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
Indian Peoples of the Great Northern Plains
Photographs, paintings, ledger drawings, documents, serigraphs, and stereographs from 1874 through the 1940's. From Montana State University, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana.
Permanent access to historical collections including texts, audio, and moving images.
LIFE Photo Archive
Images from U.S. and world history from the 1750s to the 2000s.
LOC Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
Photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings that document the history of the United States people. From the Library of Congress.
Making of America
Primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction. Strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Cornell University.
New York Public Library Digital Collections
Images from the The New York Public Library's collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more.
World Digital Library
Primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. Available in multilingual formats. Operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.
Idaho Primary Sources
Boise State Special Collections & Archives
Manuscript collections of letters, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, and other primary-source materials that document Idaho history, particularly Boise and Southwest Idaho. Topics include politics, environment, Basque culture, filmmaking, literature, ethnicity, gender, music, geosciences, and many others.
Online resources with access to primary sources related to Idaho and the Northwest:
Idaho Digital Repository
Digital publications that are created by state agencies for the purpose of public information.
Idaho Historical Society
The State of Idaho's permanent records, including documents and other resources which bear significance to the history of Idaho and surrounding region.
Idaho State University Special Collections
Research materials that document the historical, cultural, and folk life experience of Southeast Idaho, the Intermountain West, and the history of Idaho State University.
Northwest Digital Archives
Descriptions of primary sources in the Northwestern United States, including correspondence, diaries, or photographs. Digital reproductions of primary sources are available in some cases.
University of Idaho Special Collections
Research materials that document the history of Idaho and the surrounding states. Personal papers and archives, photographs, books, serials, reports, maps, blueprints, oral history interviews, and related items.