Track down material from the Civil War and after—including much more recent material!—here.
Open-Access Texts & More
The sources here are all freely available online, anywhere you have internet access.
- American Prison Newspapers from JSTOR includes covers newspapers created within the U.S. prison system from 1800-2020. Most of the included material is open-access. More information on the collection is available at JSTOR Daily.
- Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy, Yale University Law School
- Black Freedom from ProQuest centers on African American experiences and histories beginning in the 1700s and continuing through the present. All material is open-source.
- CARLI Digital Collections
- Chicago Collections
- Civil Rights Digital Library: Includes television footage and newsreels, texts, photographs, oral histories, and more.
- Densho focuses on the Japanese American experience during internment. It includes archival material in addition to oral histories.
- Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library
- Digital Collections at Northwestern University
- Digital Collections of the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas Austen
- Digital Collections, Smithsonian Libraries
- Digital Collections at the University of Chicago
- Digital Collections at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Digital Collections from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Rare Books & Manuscript Library
- Digital Library, Smithsonian Libraries
- Digital Newberry (the Newberry Library's digital collections)
- Digital Repository at Michigan State University Library
- Digital Transgender Archive contains photos, texts, and more.
- Google Arts & Culture
- Harvard Library Collections: Includes a range of open-access digital collections
- HathiTrust: Contains scanned books, pamphlets, and other documents from a variety of eras and regions and in a variety of languages.
- Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Internet Archive: Contains scanned books, pamphlets, audiovisual materials, and other documents from a variety of eras and regions and in a variety of languages. Houses the Wayback Machine as well.
- Iowa Digital Library from the University of Iowa includes a wide variety of digitized material, from cookbooks to photographs and oral histories.
- Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: digital archive from the Bancroft Library.
- Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery is an open-access collection of newspaper ads placed in hopes of finding family separated by the slave trade. Ads begin before the Civil War and continue into the early 1900s, and transcription is ongoing.
- Library of Congress
- National Agricultural Library Digital Collections contains historical documents pertaining to agriculture in the United States. Post are post-Civil War.
- National Archives, United States of America
- National Security Archives, George Washington University
- NYPL Digital Collections includes a variety of primary source materials from the United States and abroad, ranging from 18th century letters to 20th century fashion plates and beyond.
- Office of the Historian of the United States
- Project Gutenberg: Contains scanned books, short stories, and other printed material, from a variety of eras and regions and in a variety of languages. Includes some audio books as well as texts of all new books entering the public domain.
- Smithsonian Collections
- Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives
- Tenement Museum Photo Archive includes photos of urban life from the 1880s to the present.
- UW-Digitized includes a wide range of digitized material from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; it can also be browsed by collection.
- Wilson Center Digital Archive
Open-Access Oral Histories
You'll find oral histories elsewhere as well—but these archives focus strictly on testimonies and oral histories, often including audio of the initial interview as well as transcriptions.
These are all databases—you'll need to log in with your SXU credentials—and all contain primary source documents pertaining largely to the United States.
- African American History Serials covers material from the African American community from the 1830s through the mid-1900s and includes everything from social organizations and school registers to church documents.
- American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals covers material from the late 1600s through the early 1900s, and includes everything from maps, recipes, and jokes to newspaper, journal, and magazine articles.
- Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection includes a wide range of material, from broadsheets, newspapers, and letters to literature, speeches, yearbooks, and beyond.
- Chicago Tribune Historical Files includes articles from 1849-1984
- HarpWeek: Articles, images, and more from Harper's Weekly, 1857-1912.
- New York Times Historical Files includes articles from 1851-2010.