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This guide created by Monica Burney, September 7, 2018.
Primary Source Databases
British Online Archives
The British Online Archives contain a wide range of materials related to British history, including the colonization of America, Africa, and the West Indies. The collection contains sources that relate to both politics and history.
Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice
This digital collection documents key aspects of the history of slavery worldwide over six centuries, with 16 key areas of focus: slavery in the early Americas; African coast; the Middle Passage; slavery and agriculture; urban and domestic slavery; slave testimony; spiritualism and religion in slave communities; resistance and revolts; the Underground Railroad; the abolition movement and the slavery debate; legislation and politics; freed slaves, freedmen and free black settlements; education; slavery and the Islamic world; varieties of slave experience; slavery today and the legacy of slavery. The collection also includes case studies from America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Cuba.
Slavery and Anti-Slavery Archive
Slavery and Anti-Slavery includes collections on the transatlantic slave trade, the global movement for the abolition of slavery, the legal, personal, and economic aspects of the slavery system, and the dynamics of emancipation in the U.S. as well as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and other regions.
Early Encounters in North America
Searchable and browsable database documents the relationships among peoples in North America from 1534 to 1850. The collection focuses on personal accounts and provides unique perspectives from all of the protagonists, including traders, slaves, missionaries, explorers, soldiers, native peoples, and officials, both men and women. The project brings coherence to a wide range of published and unpublished accounts, including narratives, diaries, journals, and letters.
America's Historical Newspapers
Search or browse early American newspapers including titles from all 50 present states. Includes: Early American Newspapers, Series 1 (1690 - 1876), Early American Newspapers, Series 2 (1758 - 1900), Early American Newspapers, Series 3 (1829 - 1922), Early American Newspapers, Series 4 (1756 - 1922), Early American Newspapers, Series 5 (1777 - 1922), Early American Newspapers, Series 6 (1741 - 1922), Early American Newspapers, Series 7 (1773 - 1922), Hispanic American Newspapers (1808 - 1980), African American Newspapers (1827 - 1998), African American Newspapers Series 2 (1835 - 1956), Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection (1799 - 1971), Caribbean Newspapers, Series 1 (1718 - 1876) and American Business: Agricultural Newspapers (1788 - 1894).
Consists of digitized reproductions of more than 1,100 eighteenth and nineteenth century American newspapers and periodicals. Derived from the acclaimed American periodicals series microform collection I, II, and III. This database contains periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals. American Periodicals Series Online (APS Online) includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladie's Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groundbreaking journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries
North American Women's Letters and Diaries (NAWLD) is a full-text database of the personal experiences as reflected in the letters and diaries of 1,325 women who lived in North America before 1960.
Archive of Americana
Comprehensive historical collections, containing books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, government documents and ephemera. Collections include: American broadsides and ephemera, series I; Early American imprints, series I: Evans, 1639-1800; Early American imprints, series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819; America's historical newspapers; and government publications including American state papers, 1789-1838; and U.S. Congressional serial set, 1817-1980.
ProQuest History Vault: Southern Life, Slavery, and the Civil War
The Plantation Records in this module documents the far-reaching impact of plantations on both the American South and the nation. Plantation Records are both business records and personal papers because the plantation was both the business and the home for plantation owners. Business records include ledger books, payroll books, cotton ginning books, work rules, account books, and receipts. Personal papers include family correspondence, diaries, and wills. As business owners, the commodities produced by plantation owners--rice, cotton, sugar, tobacco, hemp, and others--accounted for more than half of the nation's exports.
America: History & Life
Index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. The database indexes journals from 1964 to present and includes citations and links to book and media reviews.
Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. Provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955.
Provides page images of back issues of the core scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. Users may browse by journal title or discipline, or may search the full-text or citations/abstracts. New issues of existing titles and new titles are added approximately on a weekly basis.
Full-text articles from more than 200 scholarly journals in history and the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. Disciplines covered include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others. A brief bibliographic description of each title is given. Searches can be conducted across the full text of all journals in the database.
- The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery
- Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery
- Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia
University of Illinois Library Catalog
Use the Library Catalog to identify books, journals (but not journal articles), microform collections, and digital collections owned by the University of Illinois. The Library Catalog is the primary tool for exploring the collections of the University of Illinois Library, the second largest academic library collection in the United States. In the Library Catalog you can search for books by subject, and you identify the location within the Library of a particular book or journal. Books and journals are organized in the library by subject. Each item is assigned one or more subject headings and a unique call number. Subject headings are standardized terms from the Library of Congress. The call number is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification
or Library of Congress Classification
. Boolean operators must be capitalized if used: AND, OR, NOT. Interface automatically truncates some search terms unless Boolean operators are used within the same query line. You can also browse catalog records by call number, creating a "virtual shelf browsing" experience.
Sample Search Terms
- Slavery - United States - History
- Slave trade - United States - History
- Slavery - Atlantic Ocean Region - History
- Slave Trade