This guide is intended to provide you with places to locate primary sources for your research papers on British imperial history. Please feel free to reach out to me for individual help regarding your specific topic, as these resources will vary in value depending on what you are researching. 

Also please note that the vast majority of the documents you will find in these resources were created and curated by the British and as such provide a British-centered perspective. Understanding the perspective of colonized peoples will require careful and critical analysis of these sources.

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Subject: 
Semester and Year: 
Fall 2020
Course number: 
HST 487/587
Instructor: 
Townend, Paul

Primary Source Collections

The National Archives: The Cabinet Papers

Archival resource for British government cabinet papers from 1915-1986.

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Documents on British Policy Overseas

A fully searchable collection of primary source documents from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), shedding light on diplomatic history throughout the 20th C. It is based on three print series which form a record of British peacetime diplomacy since the end of the 19th C: British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1918-1939 and Documents on British Policy Overseas. DBPO is produced in collaboration between ProQuest and the FCO.

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Documents on Irish Foreign Policy

The official record of Irish foreign relations from about 1921 to the 1960s.

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HathiTrust

Partnership of major research institutions and libraries that is a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

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Imperial War Museum Collections

Included many digitized documents and images concerning 20th century British military history, including the era of decolonization and the Cold War.

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Making Of The Modern World

The Making of the Modern World provides digital facsimile images of primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth. Full-text searching across millions of pages of works from the periods 1450-1850, 1851-1914, and 1890-1945 provides researchers access to material for research in the areas of history, political science, social conditions, technology and industry, economics, area studies and more. Includes books, serials, pamphlets, essays and more.

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Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO)

Primary source collections of the “long” nineteenth century. Content includes monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, statistics, and more.

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Nineteenth-Century Fiction

A collection of 250 British and Irish novels from the period 1782 to 1903, stretching from the golden age of Gothic fiction to the Decadent and New Woman novels of the 1890s. Major novelists of the period such as Austen, Scott, Mary Shelley, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy and the Brontës feature alongside popular romances, sensation fiction, colonial adventure novels and children's literature.

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Political Extremism & Radicalism in the 20th Century

Political Extremism and Radicalism in the Twentieth Century is a compilation of rare and unique archival collections covering a wide range of fringe political movements. The collections cover the 1900s to the 2010s when the world saw the formation of several civil rights movements for the rights of minorities, women's rights, and gay rights.

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Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive

Primary source materials for the study and understanding of slavery from a multinational perspective. Our access includes the collections Debates over Slavery and Abolition, Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, The Institution of Slavery, and The Age of Emancipation. Includes newspaper collections, books and a broad selection of documents from several different archives.

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U.K. Parliamentary Papers

Includes papers, debates, and member profiles from the House of Commons and the House of Lords from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

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Benjamin Disraeli Letters

Correspondence of Benjamin Disraeli, former UK Prime Minister who helped develop the modern Conservative Party. Collection provided through Randall Library.

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Newspapers and Magazines

19th Century UK Periodicals

19th Century UK Periodicals is a major multi-part series which covers the events, lives, values and themes that shaped the 19th century world. It is mainly based on the repositories of the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of South Africa, the National Library of Australia, and many others.

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British Library Newspapers

A comprehensive range of regional and local newspapers in Britain between the mid-eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, providing a range of publications to reflect the social, political and cultural events of the times. The British Library Newspapers' collections feature London national newspapers, English regional papers, home country newspapers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and titles in specialist areas such as Victorian radicalism and Chartism

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Economist Historical Archive

The Economist Historical Archive is the fully searchable facsimile edition of The Economist, the weekly paper which is essential reading for anyone engaged in politics, current affairs and all aspects of business and trade worldwide. Containing every issue since its launch in 1843, EHA offers full-color images, multiple search indexes, topic and area supplements and surveys.

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Financial Times Historical Archive

Financial Times Historical Archive is the complete searchable facsimile run of the world's most authoritative daily business newspaper. Every article and advertisement ever printed in the paper since 1888 can be searched and browsed. This is an essential, comprehensive and unbiased research tool for everyone studying public affairs, and economic and financial history of the last 120 years.

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Guardian and The Observer (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)

Digital archive for The Guardian and The Observer from 1791-2003. This historical newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.

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National Geographic Virtual Library

This comprehensive collection includes National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1888-1994, National Geographic Magazine Archive, 1995-Current, National Geographic: People, Animals, and the World, and National Geographic Kids, as well as a cross-searchable collection of National Geographic books, maps, images and videos.

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New York Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)

Digital archive for the New York Times dating back to 1851. An excellent database for history, including full-text and full-image articles. For most dates, the collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--in downloadable PDF files. For access to recent issues, go to the New York Times online or search US Newsstream.

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News, Policy & Politics Magazine Archive

An archival collection comprising the backfiles of 15 major magazines (including the Newsweek archive), spanning areas including current events, international relations, and public policy. These titles offer multiple perspectives on the contemporary contexts of the major events, trends, and interests in these fields throughout the twentieth century. The collection will provide valuable primary source content for researchers in fields ranging from history and political science, through to law and economics.

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Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2006

Since 1822, The Sunday Times has provided thoughtful analysis and commentary on the week's news and society at large. Murder, theatre, sport and politics - all collide in its pages in an abundance of glorious narrative detail. In more than 800,000 pages, The Sunday Times Historical Archive is a gateway to the greatest crimes, careers and culture of the last 180 years.

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Times (London) Digital Archive

The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2006 makes 221 years of this highly regarded resource available for students and researchers of 19th-, 20th-, and early 21st-century history, literature, culture, business, art, art history, architecture, and more. Every complete page of every issue is full-text searchable — every headline, article, editorial, announcement, image and advertisement.

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History Librarian

Portrait of Stephanie Crowe
Stephanie
Crowe
Coordinator of Liaison Librarian Services
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL 2056

Twitter: @shcrowe

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