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History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Primary Sources


U.S. Newspapers

Early American Newspapers, 1690-1922 

American Periodicals (1740 - 1940) including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals

Nineteenth Century U. S. Newspapers

African American Newspapers (1827-1882)

Historical American Newspapers - for major, urban markets like Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles Times, New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, etc.

African American Newspapers - 20th century Black papers including Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-1975), Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal & Guide (1916-2003), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002). 

Confederate Newspapers - a collection from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama

American Religion: Denominational Newspapers more than 320 rare newspapers from over 30 states published between 1799 and 1900.

Chronicling America - coverage period ranges from 1789 to 1963 and includes over 1000 newspaper titles available from 46 states & Puerto Rico focusing mainly on smaller market/distibution newspapers

Middle Eastern/North African newspapers

Middle Eastern and North African Newspapers 

Latin American Newspapers

Latin American Newspapers (1822-1922) - from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and elsewhere

Caribbean Newspapers

Caribbean Newspapers 1718-1876

U.K. Newspapers

The Times (1785-1985) The Times of London.

Sunday Times (1822-2006)

Times Literary Supplement\ (1902 - 2007)

Economist (1842-2012)

Illustrated London News, 1842-2003

Guardian (1821-2003) and the Observer (1791-2003)

Irish Times (1859-2011) and the Weekly Irish Times (1876-1958)

Punch (1841-1992) a British illustrated weekly comic periodical known for its satire

Eighteenth Century Journals II rare British newspapers and periodicals from 1699-1812

Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) a resource for the study of Britain and its place in the world during the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800). Combines the key printed sources for English, Irish, Scottish and Colonial history with original manuscripts and the latest web technologies.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1475-1700) contains over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661).

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) books and other materials published between 1701 and 1800 in the United Kingdom and the Americas.

Catalog Searches for Newspapers

You can search the catalog by Journal Title (only available with an Advanced Search) to see if we have access to a known periodical title. Subject headings for newspapers are structured: "[City] (U.S. state abbreviation) -- newspapers" or "[City] (non-U.S. country name] -- newspapers." You can also substitute "newspapers" for "periodical."

Medical Journals

Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine. The MHL’s growing collection of digitized medical rare books, pamphlets, journals, and films number in the tens of thousands, with representative works from each of the past six centuries, all of which are available here through the Internet Archive.

The State Medical Journals Collection encompasses nearly 50 U.S. state medical journals collectively held and digitized by members of the Medical Heritage Library; it is a subset collection of the MHL.

Government Documents

Governing Africa reports to the British government by their governors in the 13 British African colonies. These reports reveal how colonial laws were used to control citizens during wars, uprisings, and everyday life, and notices of land sales reveal how land changed hands between 1808 and 1966.

European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: Italian Colonies in North Africa and Aggression in East Africa, 1930-1939 correspondence, studies and reports, cables, maps, and other kinds of documents related to U.S. consular activities. U.S. Consulates were listening posts reporting on the activities of the Italian colonial governments and later the mandate authorities, and the activities of the native peoples.

European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: Political and Economic Consolidation of Portuguese Colonies in Africa, 1910-1929 Highlights include the beginning of an anti-colonial movement and the industrialization and economic exploitation of Portugal’s African colonies.

European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: French Colonialism in Africa: from Algeria to Madagascar, 1910-1930 - Highlights include the beginning of an anti-colonial movement and problems along the Moroccan-Algerian border.

European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: German Colonies to League of Nations Mandates in Africa, 1910-1929

Liberia and the U.S.: Nation-building in Africa, 1864-1918 consists of correspondence and telegrams received and sent by the United States’ diplomatic post in Liberia. The topics covered by these records include all aspects of relations with Liberia, and interactions of American citizens with the Liberian government and people.

Bound Anthologies of Primary Sources in Print

Library catalogers use the subheading "Sources" at the end of a string of subject headings to indicate anthologies of primary sources. However, cataloging is not a perfect science, so not every collection of primary sources has this subheading. For example, a search for the keyword phrase "documentary sourcebook" in the WU Libraries' catalog produces seven titles, only three of which have "sources" as a subheading. In other words, performing a subject search will not produce a complete list of all primary source collections. Sometimes the source one wants to find is not in an anthology but cited in a bibliography of another work. You might want to try an advanced search with a combination of subject headings and keywords like “sources,” "sourcebook," "primary sources," "primary documents," etc. If you know the subject headings for your secondary sources, you can do a subject search with them but add the word "sources" to the end of the string of terms. Other primary source terms can appear at the end of a subject string such as "maps," "correspondence," "biography," etc.


Nineteenth Century Collections Online especially the subcollection "Europe and Africa, Colonialism and Culture;" content includes monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more. I

Evangelism in Africa: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1835-1910 Among the missions’ responsibilities was the establishment of indigenous churches, educational facilities, hospitals, orphanages, and seminaries. The majority of the material in this collection consists of incoming correspondence from the mission field and outgoing correspondence from the Board headquarters. Other primary sources include diary accounts, sermon manuscripts, receipts of sale, and field accounts.

Empire Online Over 70,000 original documents relating to Empire Studies. The images are sourced from libraries and archives around the world, including a strong core of document images from the British Library.

Sabin Americana Works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900s. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more. Over 6 million pages from 29,000 works. 

Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive

Black Abolitionist Papers covering the period 1830-1865, the collection presents the massive, international impact of African American activism against slavery, in the writings and publications of the activists themselves. The approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 Black abolitionists show the full range of their activities in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany.

Local U.S. Archives re: Slavery in Early U.S. History [links to another of my research guides]

Indian Trade in the Southeastern Spanish Borderlands comprising the papers of the Panton, Leslie & Co., a trading firm, established in British East Florida during the American Revolution. When Spain won title to both East and West Florida in 1783, the company was granted a virtual monopoly. For many years Panton, Leslie & Company dominated trade with the Creeks and Seminoles. They eventually captured much of the trade with the Choctaws and Chickasaws, and were important in the trade with the Cherokees. As early as 1689, African slaves fled from the South Carolina Lowcountry to Spanish Florida.

Virginia Company Archives documents the founding and economic development of Virginia as seen through the papers of the Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624. The first enslaved Africans were brought to the Virginia Colony in 1619.

Aluka: Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa Over 180,000 pages of documents and images: periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other particularly relevant books, oral testimonies, life histories, and speeches.

Rastafari Ephemeral Publications from the Written Rastafari Archives Project this collection provides an historical time stamp and current affairs commentary on the transitional period in the Rastafari Movement’s development—a period extending from the early 1970s through to the present. It is a forty-three year period during which the Rastafari Movement has been spreading across the Afro-Atlantic world in one form or another and becoming progressively globalized.