Skip to main content

HIST 287: What If? Alternate Pasts: Websites


More at the Primary Sources Guide from your librarians


Highly Recommended

Cold War International History Project
Includes historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War.
Foreign Relations of the United States
The official documentary record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions that have been declassified and edited for publication. From the University of Wisconsin.
Foreign Relations Volumes: 1861 to Date Volumes post-1960 online can be found here.
Central Intelligence Agency Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room
CIA website containing thousands of redacted documents released by the agency through FOIA requests. Documents were created between 1940 and the present.
Central Intelligence Agency Freedom of Information Act --
Baptisim by Fire: CIA Analysis of the Korean War
CIA collection of more than 1,300 documents, including national estimates, intelligence memo, daily updates, and summaries of foreign media concerning developments on the Korean Peninsula during 1947 - 1954. The release of this collection, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the start of the war, makes available to the public the largest collection of Agency documents released on this issue. The release of these documents is in conjunction with the conference, "New Documents and New Histories: Twenty-First Century Perspectives on the Korean War," co-hosted by the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and the CIA in Independence, Missouri.

The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

East Asia History Sourcebook from Fordham University
The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts for educational use.

Asia For Educators from Columbia University
Primary Sources and history timelines of East Asia

Primary Sources East Asia from University of California Berkeley

Primary Sources East Asia from University of Washington

World Digital Library from the Library of Congress and UNESCO

Internet Archive
Project that offers permanent access to historical collections in digital format to researchers & the general public.

Internet Archive : Moving Image Archive
Includes television news broadcasts and historical film clips.

Digital Public Library of America 
The DPLA contains metadata records-information describing an item-for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Each record links to the original object on the content provider’s website.

Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
Focuses on the United States, also includes international images. More than 1.2 million digitized images.

Life Magazine via Google Digitized issues back to 1935.


Google News Archive
Search historical news archives back to about 1880. Google automatically creates a time-line with results from each decade. Some content is free and and some is fee-based - check our library resources before paying for articles.

History Channel : Speeches
Contains hundreds of speeches that can be searched by speaker, subject or time period.

Life Magazine Photo Archives
Digitized images including photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

NYPL Digital Gallery
Access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.

National Library of New Zealand. Papers Past
Digitized pages from 68 New Zealand newspapers and periodicals published between 1839 and 1945.

World History Sources from The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University
Primary sources links orgainzed by region and time period. Prepared by The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University.

About using Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great tool for a summary of a topic. Wikipedia content is constantly revised, and entries vary in quality. Some of the content is excellent, some is questionable.

Many educators frown on the use of Wikipedia. Why?

  • Wikipedia content is not necessarily written by subject experts, and may be inadequate or incorrect.
  • Articles in Wikipedia may be changed or deleted between viewings.
  • For research papers, you need authoritative resources, so it is absolutely necessary to consult other sources.
  • Anyone can search Google or find a Wikipedia article. To demonstrate academic skill, it is important to go beyond these basic tools.

How can you use Wikipedia in a way that benefits your research process?

  • Scan the article to get general information and terms you can use as keywords for further searching.
  • Scan the article for references. Sometimes these can lead you to excellent books or articles that you can find at the LCC Library or in the Summit catalog.
  • Don't reference Wikipedia articles in your paper, unless you are pointing out something specific to Wikipedia.
  • As you read Wikipedia articles, you may read notations that call for more evidence, or call attention to bias. These are very constructive principles that apply to your own work. What if Wikipedia editors read your work? Would they mark areas for revision?

Research Rescue!

Need Help?  Research Rescue is here!

Sign up for Research Help with a Librarian