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What is a primary source?
Written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
HathiTrust contains millions of digital books, journals, government documents, and other volumes, all digitized from research libraries.
Making of America
A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, covering education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.
19th Century Schoolbooks
Over 30 19th-century schoolbooks digitized by the U. of Pittsburgh libraries, including McGuffey Readers.
Nineteenth Century American Children & What They Read
Material written for (and in some cases, by) American children in the 19th century.
Education - Disability History Museum
Primary sources on the education and inclusion of people with disabilities in primary, secondary, and higher education. Includes resources related to Gallaudet and Perkins.
Educational Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries
"All 18th and 19th century board games in the John Johnson Collection (mostly single sheets) and all Educational writing blanks (also known as school pieces) from the Johnson, Opie and Harding Collections were digitised, together with other games of the same period, selected for their educational content, from both the John Johnson and Opie Collections."
Library of Congress Children's Books
A collection of 24 classic children's books free to use and reuse.
Using SuperSearch to find Primary Sources
SuperSearch can also be used to find primary sources.
Put your search terms in and, on the results page, use the filters to select content types like video, magazine articles, and government documents:
If your research is about a specific time period, scroll down to filter by time, too:
Early English Books Online This link opens in a new window
EEBO contains searchable and browsable page images of virtually every work printed in the English-speaking world from 1473 to 1700, as well as some items printed after 1700.
American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I, 1760-1900 This link opens in a new window
This database offers full-color, high-resolution facsimile images of approximately 15,000 broadsides printed 1820–1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed 1760–1900.
America's Historical Imprints This link opens in a new window
Monographs published in America up to 1819, including books, pamphlets, broadsides, and ephemera, covering every conceivable topic.