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Historical Research

guide to select resource for historical research, including online digital collections, and print and microform collections in the Blume Library, including primary sources

Primary Sources by Region

The online sources listed below are just a small sample of the archival materials available on the Internet.  A small number are archival databases from the Blume Library.

I selected these collections because of either their prominence or their potential to interest students at St. Mary's University. 

Primary sources are arranged by geography. Choose a region to see a list of primary source collections for the area. 



Central & South America, Caribbean


Multinational, General Sources

Additional Sources

These sources are more narrow in their focus but are very useful to find primary material for specific research topics.

Middle East

United States

Best Bet
Additional Sources

These sources are more narrow in their focus but provide primary material for specific research topics.


Note: Several sources listed in the United States box are also relevant to Texas history researchers.

Use Google Advanced Search to Locate Primary Source Collections

Google Advanced Search can be a good tool to locate online primary source collections IF you do not find ideas from the Online Primary Source page list of resources.  

Feel free to copy and paste the following into the Google Advanced search box labeled "any of these words"
repository digital archive virtual digitized primary

I recommend limiting your search to the site or domain.  For instance, edu for educational institutions or gov for government websites, or various country code for non-United States website.

You should always evaluate all sources you use. Ask yourself questions about the website: Who created it?  Why did they create it? When was it created or last updated? What is it; what do you know about it? Where does this material come from?

Video: Finding Primary Source Collections with Google Advanced Search.

Use the SIFT Method to assess a website. One idea, search for the URL you found in Wikipedia to see if you can find basic information about the website. This tip comes from the SIFT Method to assess a website.