Keyword search on your topic to find original historical documents, personal papers, and more held in archives, special collections, and manuscript collections around the world. Please note, while in SOME cases links to digital copies MAY be available, the purpose of this database is to enable you to locate collections in their original format, the vast majority of which are not available in a digital format anywhere.
Similar in function to ArchiveGrid, but focused on the holdings of California archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, etc. OAC is a collection of finding aids (and some digitized materials) that describe the manuscript and archival holdings of hundreds of libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and more, throughout the state of California. The contents of these collections span a wide range of subject and geographical areas or research. Keyword search across finding aids to locate collections with materials related to your topic area.
Listing of over 5000 websites worldwide describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources. Browse by region, country or (for U.S. and Canada) state or province
The Society of American Archivists' formal and comprehensive guide to primary source material relating to the history and culture of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered (LBGT) people held by repositories in North America.
Looking for historical photograph collections? The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division has created lists of resources and collections on a variety of topic areas.
What is a Finding Aid?
A finding aid is essentially an inventory of the contents of a manuscript or archival collection.A finding aid will provide an overview of the collection, some background information, and a list of the contents of the collection - sometimes only at a very general level. In most cases, finding aids do not list each item contained within the collection, but rather identify the given names of boxes or folders of materials. The onus is on the researcher to suss out which sections of the collections may be worth investigating more closely, and then arrange a visit to the collection for in depth researhch, and/or correspond with a librarian or archivist regarding reproductions.
Governmental Primary Sources
For further information on Government Information as a primary source, check out the page of this guide titled, "Finding Government Information" from the tabs at the top of the guide.
As a teaser, here's the link to the National Archives (US):
The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA, or National Archives) is the nation's record keepers, maintaining those records of lasting legal or historical interest, that originated in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the federal government.
Limit your searches in WorldCat or Melvyl (the UC's interface for WorldCat) to locate primary source materials. Limit by date, material type, # of libraries with holdings, and keywords to weed out secondary sources and hone in on the type of source you need (oral history, manuscript/archival materials, published government documents, etc.)
The UC San Diego Library Digital Collections website currently features more than 50,000 digital objects, including documents, photographs, audio, video, and data sets.
Digitized primary sources from the libraries collections cover topics such as art, film, music, history and anthropology. In addition, UCSD Research Data Collections contain research data generated by campus researchers and supported by the Research Data Curation Program.