Skip to Main Content

Primary Sources: Finding Primary Resources in History

This guide will discuss the difference between primary and secondary resources for use in research.

Primary Resources in History

Listed below are locations for finding primary resources in history found on the Jerry Falwell Library website as well as online.

Primary History Resources on the Jerry Falwell Library Website

Primary Online Resources in History

British History Online

  • This is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. It is created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust.

Digital Public Library of America

  • A vast trove of primary source material from libraries, archives, and museums around the U.S. and related to every country and era.

Hanover Historical Texts Collection

  • Digital versions of historical texts for use in history and humanities courses. These are not photos of the original documents, but transcriptions of the contents.

Making of America

  • Making of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.

National Archives Catalog

  • This resource is a gateway to all sorts of documents and information related to the United States. It includes guides to help you find what you need. One interesting feature is their Online Exhibits.

Our Documents

  • The Our Documents initiative is a cooperative effort among National History Day, The National Archives and Records Administration, and USA Freedom Corps. It contains resources pertinent to the important documents of United States history. To get the most out of this website you will want to download Adobe Flash.

Women Working

  • Primary source material related to women's roles in the U.S. economy in the 19th and early 20th century.