Resources for History

E-RESOURCES / Search Tools

  • Primary Sources - full list of primary source databases available through the library
  • Secondary Sources - full list of secondary source databases available through the library (for journal articles, etc.)
  • Theses - links to library databases and web portals for finding PhD theses



  • NEXIS - a 20-year archive of over 2000 global news sources.
  • Gale NewsVault - cross-searches all our subscribed Gale Group news databases, including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent and The Daily Mail archives, 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers - includes The Guardian, The Observer and The New York Times.
  • Box of Broadcasts - off-air recording and media archive service. Archive dates back to the 1990s for 9 key channels.








History (General)

Archaeology Data Service

Includes a map-based interface to its collections on the historic environment.

Best of History Web Sites

Contains links to over 1000 evaluated websites on topics from prehistory to the twentieth century.

European History Online

Extensive digital resources from the Leibniz-Institut fur Europ´┐Żische Geschichte / IEG) in Mainz

Google Ngram Viewer

Useful for finding out if a particular word was in use during a given time period.

History of European Integration

From the History Department of Leiden University

History Online

Maintained by the Institute for Historical Research, useful for details of U.K. theses, research and teaching, and recent publications.

Internet History Sourcebooks

Collections of historical texts online; material on medieval studies, modern European history and some American documents.

Modernist Journals Project

A major resource for the study of modernism in the English-speaking world, with periodical literature as its central concern.

Old Maps Online

Searchable archive of maps of most periods and areas of the world. Includes the map collections of the British Library, New York Public Library and the David Rumsey Collection (the world's largest private map collection)

Nineteenth Century Serials Edition (NCSE)

A free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers

SCRAN Scottish Cultural Resource Access Network

Trove (National Library of Australia)

Brings together digitised content from Australian libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations, including books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more. Content is searchable by keyword.

WWW-Virtual Library History

Online books

Celt corpus of electronic texts

From University College Cork - the online resource for contemporary and historical Irish documents in literature, history and politics. The texts can be searched, read on-screen, downloaded for later use, or printed out

Country Studies/Area Handbook

Series from the Library of Congress. Most books in the series deal with a particular foreign country, describing and analysing its political, economic, social, and national security systems and institutions, and examining the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.

Domesday Book (1086)

Learning resources

History in Focus

Occasional series which takes a thematic approach to history and concentrates on highlighting books, reviews, websites and conferences that relate to the theme of each issue

Internet for History

A "teach yourself" tutorial on Internet information skills for historians, written by staff from the Humanities Computing unit at Oxford University and from the Institute of Historical Research


Association of Jewish Refugees - Journals

Searchable archive of the AJR Journal dating back to the first edition in 1946.

German History in Documents and Images

A comprehensive collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present.

Imperial War Museum

Includes access to some of the Imperial War Museum's collections online.

The Nazi Concentration Camps

Photographs and written sources on concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Includes access to collections of photographs and short interviews with Holocaust survivors.

The Wiener Library

One of the world's leading and most extensive archives relating to the Holocaust and the Nazi era.

Yad Vashem

Provides access to photographs and other collections of digitised material relating to the Holocoaust.


Great Britain

100 Voices that made the BBC: People, Nation, Empire

Rare programme archives, unseen interviews, documents and photos exploring the history of the BBC's attempts to embrace a diverse, multicultural world. Some of the topics covered include Windrush, Carribean Voices, the BBC in India, LGBTQ+, Faith and the Projection of Britain.

British History Online

A digital library of primary and secondary sources on British history, published by the Institute of Historical Research in collaboration with the History of Parliament Trust.

The British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and brightsolid online publishing to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection over the next 10 years. The index of the newspaper archives featured on the website can be searched for free, from any location. If you are using the website in premises owned or operated by the British Library, or within a premises subscribed to The British Newspaper Archive Community Edition, you can view the images of the newspapers themselves for free also. If you are using the website anywhere else and want to view the images of the newspaper archive or use some features of the website you will need to buy either a Credit Package or a Subscription. You have to register and be signed in to buy credits or a subscription. 

British-Soviet Relations in the Cold War 1943-1953

Collaborative project which provides some access to digitised source material

Charles Booth Online Archive

A detailed online catalogue of materials relating to Booth's survey into life and labour in London (1886-1903), including digitised versions of the Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9.

Connected Histories
Brings together in a single site a number of key databases for economic, social and political history. These include the Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913, British Newspapers 1600-1900, British history online digital library, House of Commons Parliamentary papers, Charles Booth Archive, London Lives 1690-1800, and more. These include access to primary source materials, court reports, maps and documents.

Early Modern Web

Provides links to a variety of digital resources (including primary sources) and research concerning the early modern period (c. 1500-1800), as well as bibliographies on gender, religion, crime, etc.

Historical Directories

A digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history.

Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website

The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937.

Memories of War

Provides resources relating to the Second World War, including oral testimonies and photographs.

19th Century British Pamphlets Online

This website focuses on 19th Century British pamphlets. It describes pamphlet collections, has links to catalogues and digitised pamphlets, and provides resources to assist those wanting to use pamphlets within their research or teaching.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Fully searchable archive of 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court between 1674 and 1913.

Scotland's People

Provides free access to the index of wills and testaments in Scotland, 1513-1901.

Victoria County History 

Victorian Web

Provides a comprehensive general overview of nineteenth century British history and literature.


Online image resource for England's history by English Heritage, including the collection England at Work.


For information on Latin American topics, see the Library's Latin American Studies subject guide.


United States

African American Studies Resource Guide

This guide from Suffolk University in Boston, MA, provides selected information resources supporting African American Studies and Literature.

Cold War International History Project

Document library, maintained by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Ellis Island Passenger Arrivals

Full image access to ship manifests and arrival records.

Library of Congress American Memory Site

Online collections of primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United State. It contains substantial parts of the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, written material on African-Americans, women's suffrage and first-person narrative of the American South, 1860-1920, collections on folk music, and many photographs - including over 100,000 photographs taken by government photographers in the 1930s, showing conditions across rural USA.

Lincoln/Net: Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization project

Presents historical materials from Abraham Lincoln's Illinois years (1830-1861), including Lincoln's writings and speeches, as well as other materials illuminating antebellum Illinois.

National Security Archive

Collects and publishes declassified US documents.

Office of the Historian (State Department)

Provides links to key documents in US foreign policy.

US National Archives and Records Administration

Duke University digital collections

Provides access to digitised collections of resources, including material on the Women's Liberation Movement, African American women, and women in the Civil War.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

An electronic collection of primary source materials relating to the Salem witch trials.

Valley of the Shadow

A digital archive of sources relating to the American Civil War, focusing on the experiences of two opposing communities.


The Retreat Archive

Digitised archive of administrative, financial, staff, estate and patient records from The Retreat in York - one of the most important institutions for the care and treatment of mental health patients. The archive spans the period 1792-2000, and includes over 650,000 digital images (note that patient records from 1920 onwards were excluded from the digitisation project). The original papers are held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York.



Cornell University Library Witchcraft Collection

An online selection of titles from the Cornell University Library's extensive collection of materials on Witchcraft.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

Digitised collection of primary source materials relating to the Salem witch trials of 1692, and a new transcription of the court records.

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft

An electronic resource for the history of witchcraft and witch-hunting in Scotland. It is in two parts: an interactive database, and supporting web pages. The database contains all people known to have been accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland.

University of Glasgow's The Damned Art virtual exhibition

The Damned Art is an exhibition of books relating to the history of witchcraft and demonology, drawn mainly from the Ferguson collection at the University of Glasgow.


American Historical Association

English Heritage

Historical Association

Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Museum of London

National Archives

Oral History Society


The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192