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English & American Literature: Primary Sources

Digital Humanities Projects

Many primary sources have been digitized in recent years. Find them through these databases and Internet portals:

See also these notable projects:

Digital Libraries & Catalogs

These comprehensive collections document the development of American culture from discovery through the 20th century.

BRITISH (and Colonial America). See also the "Texts" section of the database Literature Online (LION).

English Short Title Catalog

  • A comprehensive catalog of works published in Britain and the colonies, 1473-1800; includes links to full text in EEBO and ECCO.

Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1473-1700)

  • Scanned images of books published in Great Britain and the colonies before 1700; based on the titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue, Wing's Short-Title Catalogue, and the Thomason Tracts.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

  • An extension of EEBO, including significant English- and foreign-language texts published in Great Britain and the colonies during the eighteenth century.

19th Century Collections Online

  • A primary source collection of the long 19th century, including books, newspapers, periodicals, diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, pamphlets, maps, and more.

Artemis Primary Sources

  • A search interface that permits simultaneous searching of Eighteenth Century Collections Online, 19th Century Collections Online, and Sabin Americana.

British Periodicals

  • A digital archive of 460 publications, c. 1680-1930.

Shakespeare Collection

  • A database of both secondary and primary sources, including the First Folio and multiple Quartos; significant editions from the 16th through the 19th century; and the most recent Arden editions.


Evans Digital Edition (1639-1800)

  • A collection of more than 36,000 works, based on Charles Evans' bibliography of early American publications.

Shaw Shoemaker Digital Edition (1801-1819)

  • American imprints - an extention of Evans Digital Edition.

American Periodical Series Online (1740-1920s; strongest for 19th c.)

  • Digitized images of over 1,000 American magazines and journals.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection, 1691-1877

  • 7,600 fully digitized periodicals.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926

  • Books, pamphlets, serials and other documents about the Americas, published throughout the world; provides original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions, and more.

Black Drama

  • 1200 plays from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries, mid-1800s to the present.


For a comprehensive list of newspapers, see the "Newspapers" page of the Libraries' History Guide.


17th & 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers

19th Century British Library Newspapers

Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers

Times Digital Archive

AMERICAN - Contemporary:

Proquest Newspapers - full text of U.S. and international news sources; includes

America's News -  recional newspapers from all states; includes Birmingham News, Mobile Press Register, Montgomery Examine, Anniston Starr and Huntsville Times.

LexisNexis Academic - full-text access to U.S. and world newspapers and wire service, in addition to business, financial, and legal information.

Newspaper Source - a collection of regional, national, and international newspapers and wire services.

American - Historical:

Proquest Historical Newspapers

Early American Newspapers, 1690-1876

19th Century U.S. Newspapers