Use Reliable Web Sites to Find Primary Sources
The websites below contain databases with digital images of primary sources.
For better results, take the time to explore the different
databases and learn about the search options that are available.
Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 200,000 digitized items—including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts—reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations across California.
The Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative represents an ambitious and comprehensive effort to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web. The struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s is among the most far-reaching social movements in the nation's history, and it represents a crucial step in the evolution of American democracy. The initiative promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement through its three principal components: 1) a digital video archive of historical news film 2) a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Movement, and 3) a learning objects component delivering secondary Web-based resources.
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.
Imagine Santa Monica, home to the digital collections of the Santa Monica Public Library. The collections include the Santa Monica Image Archives, Pacific Palisades Historical Collection, Santa Monica Evening Outlook (1895-1925), Santa Monica Facts, Historical Maps of Santa Monica, and Santa Monica Newspaper Index.
Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved in the National Archives and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family's history, need to prove a veteran's military service, or are researching a historical topic that interests you.
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
The Social Movements & Cultures websites are designed for students, teachers, journalists, scholars, activists, and anyone else interested in learning more about popular culture, digital cultures, social movements, environmental justice, and/or cultural theory. All the sites aim to further a progressive cultural politics of social justice.
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