See the Find Primary Sources page of the Chinese History libguide for access to primary sources on Chinese history in English translation.
Keep in mind that the Women's History and Periodicals tabs of this page reveal additional online primary sources. Examples from the Periodicals tab:
Explore carefully, but please do not hesitate to make an appointment with me for a research consultation (see the guide's homepage) if you wish.
Online reproductions of primary sources in American history are now abundant thanks in large measure to the digitization efforts of archives and libraries. Find below some of the most important open access collections.
No search for primary sources is complete without a virtual visit to the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress (LOC). Search or browse this vast collection by topic, time period, or source types that include manuscripts, maps, motion pictures, photos, and more. LOC holds the Presidential Papers of 23 U.S. presidents spanning the period between George Washington (1732-1799) and Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933).
"The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science."
"Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes ten thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs" (University of North Carolina).
"Spanning a wide range of historical eras, geography, and media, NYPL Digital Collections offers drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, videos, audio, and more. Encompassing the subject strengths of the vast collections of The Library, these materials represent the applied sciences, fine and decorative arts, history, performing arts, and social sciences."
The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an extraordinarily rich repository of primary sources on United States history, but among major cultural institutions has been among the slowest to digitize. Begin with NARA's Research page, which includes access to:
The Archival Facility for NARA's Mid-Atlantic Region is located in Center City Philadelphia, approximately 45 minutes by car from TCNJ's campus.
The American Antiquarian Society provides access to numerous digitized collections, many of which are open access.
Students researching the Spanish invasion of the Aztec (Mexica) Empire might wish to consult primary source accounts, preferably written from both the Nahua (indigenous) and Spanish perspectives. Use our interlibray loan (or ILL) service to request books not held by Gitenstein Library.
Mexica and Tlaxcalan accounts, though mediated by the Spanish, are available in:
Spanish accounts can be found in English translations of:
Selections from other Spaniards who participated in the Conquest, especially the so-called anonymous conqueror, can be found in The Conquistadors: First-Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico (c1963).
Historians analyze and interpret surviving primary (i.e., eyewitness) accounts to create narratives (or histories) of the past. Those secondary histories are situated within a broader historiography that can span centuries. William H. Prescott's Conquest of Mexico (c1934), originally written in the nineteenth century, remains the standard history of the downfall of the Aztec (Mexica) Empire. (We can largely "thank" Prescott for popularizing the term Aztec, a word never used in ancient Mesoamerica. The people of Tenochtitlan referred to themselves as Mexica.) Prescott's engaging work is very much a product of its time. A better contender for a comprehensive secondary history is Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico by Hugh Thomas (c1993). Matthew Restall's Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest (c2003)—highly recommended—challenges claims made by numerous historians between the mid-nineteenth and late twentieth centuries (e.g., Did the Mexica nobility believe the Spanish to be gods? Answer: No.). Rutgers University historian Camilla Townsend's wonderful Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs (c2019) privileges a wide range of indigenous sources. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on the Conquest.
Find below links to online primary sources that relate to the history of indigenous peoples north of the Rio Grande. Find additional primary sources in print by performing an Advanced search in our library's discovery service for <"Indians of North America" AND (sources OR diaries OR narratives OR correspondence)>. Well worth consulting is Native American Studies: Primary Sources, a Michigan State University libguide.
Find below a selection of primary documents about the plague, epidemics, and pandemics in history. See also Previous Pandemics on our COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Pandemic Information Resources libguide.
Find in this category digitized reproductions of full-text primary source documents including advertisements, broadsides, cartoons, clippings, diaries, election tickets, letters, memoirs and other personal narratives, menus, oral histories, programs, scripts, songs, speeches, and even timetables.