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History Resources: History Databases

All non-government resources useful for historical research at Purdue, with links. Only some government databases. For those, see the LibGuides created by Bert Chapman, via the link under the tab, "History Databases."

History Databases at Purdue

This guide to History Resources includes only some of Purdue Libraries' government information databases. For all databases of government information, both U.S. and non-U.S., created by Bert Chapman, click here.

1. The top-quality history databases for modern history

2. American history: primary source material (databases in alphabetical order)

3. Primary source material in early modern and modern history, especially of Europe and of Britain and its colonies

4. Ancient history and medieval European history

5. Journal indexes and abstracting services

6. Journal databases for full text

7. Biography

8. Particular groups of people

9. Political Science databases furnishing data for history

 

1. The top-quality history databases for modern history

  • America: History and Life: Some links to full text. Abstracts of selected journal articles, citations of book and media reviews, and dissertations covering the history of what is now the United States and Canada from about 1500 onward. Published since 1964.
  • Historical Abstracts: Some links to full text. Abstracts of selected journal articles, citations of books, book reviews and dissertations on the history of all parts of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to present. Published since 1954.
  • ACLS Humanities E-Book: American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) History E-BookProject provides searchable full-text of over 1,400 books published from the 1700s to 21 st century in several fields of history. These are frequently cited works of major importance to historical studies.
  • GovInfo:  U.S. Government Publishing  Office database providing access to legal, legislative, and regulatory government information resources.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States: thousands of annual time series of quantitative historical information covering virtually every quantifiable dimension of American history: population, work and welfare, economic structure and performance, governance, and international relations. Chapters are preceded by essays that introduce the quantitative history of their subject and provide a guide to the sources.

2. American history: primary source material (databases in alphabetical order)

  • African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century: U.S. and some Canadian cultural life and history during the 1800s.
  • American Counties to 1900: covering Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • American Periodicals Series Online: over 1,240 American magazines and journals that began publishing between 1740 and 1900, including general magazines, literary and professional journals, and other historically-significant periodicals. For periodicals that continued into the 20th century, the cut-off date is 1940. About 10% of the material is newspapers.
  • Annual Reports to Shareholders: Full Text at Purdue: an electronic index to paper resources in the Repository of Hicks Undergraduate Library, room B849 (lower level). These are available to be borrowed.
  • ArchiveGrid: searchable historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.
  • Archive Finder tells where to find particular primary source material among nearly 4,500 manuscript repositories in the U.S. It describes each repository's holdings and includes catalog records, complete with detailed indexes, of nearly 100,000 manuscript and other special collections. 
  • Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003): Mar 18, 1932-Dec 25, 2003, with exceptions. A historically African American newspaper.
  • Black Studies Center: cross-searchable combination of three resources: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP) which has partial full text, and The Chicago Defender (1910-1975).
  • Black Thought and Culture (colonial times to present): Non-fiction (books, essays, articles, speeches, interviews, and letters) by African American leaders and others on racial issues from colonial times onward.  Appropriate for research in black studies, political science, American history, music, literature, and art.
  • Chicago Defender, 1910-1975: part of the Black Studies Center database.
  • Chicago Tribune, 1985 to present: Each issue of every newspaper is indexed thoroughly: news, the arts, sports, business, popular culture.  editorials, editorial cartoons, obituaries, and letters to the editor from well-known people.
  • The Civil War: Part I: A Newspaper Perspective: full text of major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, Charleston Mercury, and Richmond Enquirer, published November 1, 1860 to April 15, 1865.    Part II: The Soldiers' Pespective: primarily regimental histories, books focusing on individuals, rosters, muster lists, and names of casualties. All Union regiments are represented.    Part III: The Generals' Perspective: mostly Union, some Confederate, with emphasis on strategies and tactics as planned and executed, with a long-term view.    Part IV: A Midwestern Perspective: seven newspapers published in Indiana between 1855 and 1869.    Part V: Iowa's Perspective: memoirs, pamphlets, and regimental histories from the Civil War holdings at the University of Iowa.
  • .Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans (1639-1800) Digital Edition, alias "Digital Evans": Full-text, comprehensive archive of early American publications based on Charles Evans' American Bibliography; a chronological dictionary of all books, pamphlets, and periodical publications printed in what is now the United States from the first printed page in 1639 down to 1800.
  • Godey's Lady's Book, 1830-1885: intended to entertain, inform, educate, and empower the growing audience of middle-class women in America.
  • HarpWeek Archives, 1857-1912: a searchable, full-text archive of Harper's Weekly, one of America's leading illustrated newspapers. Contains facsimile images of all pages, including advertisements.
  • Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense:  Contains biographical information and histories of Secretaries of Defense from 1949-present, the histories of U.S. weapons system acquisition, and lecture webcasts.
  • Hoosier State Chronicles:  Indiana State Library database of selected Indiana newspapers featuring selected coverage from 1804-2011.
  • iPoll Databank (1930s to present): This is actually a growing collection of many databases primarily useful in political science, made available by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, at the University of Connecticut. It is the acknowledged best tool for locating and accessing the results of national U.S. public opinion polls. Contains nearly half a million survey questions, with answers, asked in the U.S. by more than 150 survey organizations, including Gallup and Harris. The Roper Center continually acquires and adds more past and present polling databases to iPoll. Covers national subpopulations but not state or foreign samples, which are available separately from the Roper Center.
  • Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005): May 17, 1934-Dec 29, 2005, with exceptions. A historically African American newspaper.
  • Newspaper Source: content from newspapers and newswires, 1994 to present.
  • New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993): A historically African American newspaper.
  • New York Times Historical: complete cover-to-cover backfiles of the New York Times from Sept.1851 up to three years prior to the current year (through the end of 2007 if you are using it in 2011, through 2008 as of 2012, etc.) Fully searchable content includes articles, photos, ads, editorials, maps,graphics, and cartoons. ( some articles from current issues are in Lexis Nexis).
  • Nexis Uni:  Full text access to federal and state court cases, law revier articles, and newspaper articles.
  • Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers: from an era in which most small towns had their own newspapers, hundreds of newspapers are captured cover to cover, including every article, advertisement, and illustration. Over 18 million articles, with periodic additions.
  • Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1800: The newspaper of record for the eastern side of North America, the West Indies, and parts of South America during the nineteenth century. 
  • Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002) : A historically African American newspaper.
  • Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900:  Features medical coverage aimed toward the general public.
  • ProQuest Congressional:  Database providing access to historical U.S. government information from 1789-present including congressional committee hearings from 1824-1979 and many executive branch agency publications
  • ProQuest Historical Annual Reports (of U.S. businesses), 1844 to present: Over 800 companies' annual reports available through searchable pdf images of over 1.3 million pages found in more than 43,000 reports. Cross-searchable with other ProQuest historical periodical databases.
  • Reader's Guide Full Text : popular level only, consisting of The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, citations 1982 to present; full-text 1994 to present
  • Reader's Guide Retro : popular level only, consisting of The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, citations 1895 - 1981, but no full text. Can be accessed by first going to Reader's Guide Full Text, then clicking on "List databases" at upper left, then selecting Reader's Guide Retro. 
  • Sabin Americana, 1500-1926: Searchable full-text collection, based on Joseph Sabin's 29-volume Bibliotheca Americana, contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to 1926. Included are books, pamphlets, serials and other documents that provide information about North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Arctic. These include original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more.
  • State Department Historians Office:  Features information about U.S. diplomatic history including the seminal documentary series Foreign Relations of the United States.
  • US Declassified Documents Online:  Features declassified 20th and 21st century documents from various U.S. Government agencies including the National Security Council, State Department, White House, and intelligence agencies.
  • Virginia Gazette, 1736-1780 : published weekly in Williamsburg. News covered Virginia and  some other colonies, Scotland, England etc.  Not all the issues survived.
  • Wall Street Journal Historic:The Wall Street Journal, 1889-1988 
  • Washington Post, 1987 to current.
  • Women and Social Movements in the U.S., 1600-2000: Books, letters, images, scholarly essays, commentaries, and bibliographies documenting American women's reform activities from the colonial period into the 20th century.

3. Primary source material in early modern and modern history, especially of Europe and of Britain and its colonies 

  • ArchiveGrid: searchable historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.
  • British Newspapers, 1600-1900: comprises both Seventeenth-Eighteenth Century Burney Collection Newspapers---from the colonies and the British Isles, this collection contains newspapers, newsbooks, Acts of Parliament, addresses, broadsides, pamphlets, and proclamations---and Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers, which consists of national and regional within the U.K. 
  • British History Online (mainly 1500s to 1700s, some 1800s, some Parliament Rolls 1275-1509): House of Lords, House of Commons, Statutes of the Realm, Rushworth: Historical Collections (7 vols.), State Papers of John Thurloe, Thomas Burton's Diary, Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum 1642-1660, Roger Whitley's Diary, Committees for Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, London Politics 1713-1717.
  • Conditions and Politics in Occupied Western Europe, 1940-1945: The full text of over 200,000 pages of reports and correspondence from the British Foreign Office for these years. Detailed information, indexed by year and country, regarding Belgium, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Vatican, Portugal, and Luxembourg. Also, newly commissioned thematic essays with links to the documents, a World War II chronology, and clips from the film, "Now It Can Be Told" (1946). 
  • Confidential Print:  North America, 1824-1961:  Foreign and Colonial Office material providing British perspectives on North American trends and developments.
  • Daily Mail:  Articles from this London newspaper covering 1896-2004.
  • Early English Books Online (EEBO) (1475-1700): contains over 125,000 titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (STC I, 1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (STC II, 1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661). 
  • Economist Historical Archive, 1843-2003: The world's political, business, scientific, technological and cultural developments from the global perspective of the British newspaper, The Economist.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO): offers full-text English-language and foreign-language books published in Britain and its colonies (including North America), 1701-1800
  • Foreign Office Files for the Middle East (1971-1981):  Contains diplomatic correspondence, intelligence analysis, and other sources.
  • Margaret Thatcher Foundation:  Provides documentary access to materials on Britain's Prime Minister from 1979-1990.
  • Office of National Statistics:  Britain's national statistical agency includes population censuses and other data.
  • Parliament:  Contains the text of historic and contemporary House of Commons & Lords debates, committee hearings and reports from 1997-present, and material from support entities like the House of Commons and Lords libraries and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.
  • State Papers Online:  Early Modern Government in Britain and Europe:  British government foreign affairs, military, and domestic policy documents covering from 1509-1782.
  • Telegraph Historical Archive:  Articles from conservative London newspaper from 1855-2000
  • The Times Digital Archive, 1785-1985: Worldwide coverage in The Times, London's newspaper of record, with all articles, advertisements, illustrations, and photos.
  • Winston Churchill Centre:  Dedicated to commemorating and preserving the legacy of Winston Churchill.

4. Ancient history and medieval European history

  • Ann´┐Że philologique: International index of scholarship in classical studies covering journal articles and book chapters on ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Earlier, printed volumes (published 1924 to 2001), which include a key to abbreviations, are available in HSSE Reference [016.4 An74].
  • Humanities Abstracts: ancient history, arts, communication, history, linguistics, literature, religion, Egypt, Mesopotamia---published 1984 to present.
  • Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700): offers a suite of databases that includes the Iter Bibliography, which indexes over 1,346 journals published since 1784 and over 2,800 books published since 1980. There are four other Iter databases.
  • Middle English Compendium: access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: the Middle English Dictionary [MED], a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, as well as links to an associated network of electronic resources.
  • Patrologia Latina Database (200-1216): an electronic version of the first edition of Jacques-Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina, published between 1844 and 1855, and the four volumes of indexes published between 1862 and 1865. The Patrologia Latina comprises the works of the Church Fathers from Tertullian in 200 AD to the death of Pope Innocent III in 1216. The database contains the entire, cover-to-cover content of Patrologia Latina.
  • Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG): All Greek texts surviving from the period between Homer (8th century B.C.) and A.D. 600 and the majority of surviving works up the fall of Byzantium in A.D. 1453. Includes indexing from the Canon of Greek Authors and Works. (In Greek).

5. Journal indexes and abstracting services

  • The top-quality history databases for modern history:
    1. America: History and Life: abstracts of selected journal articles, citations of book and media reviews, and dissertations covering the history of what is now the United States and Canada from about 1500 onward. Published since 1964.
    2. Historical Abstracts: Abstracts of selected journal articles, citations of books, book reviews and dissertations on the history of all parts of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to present. Published since 1954.
  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index: Searches may focus on authors, contents of individual journals, ranges of publications dates, keywords, and by combinations of the above. Traces citations of works by given authors, etc. 
  • Black Studies Center: cross-searchable combination of three resources: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP) which has partial full text, and The Chicago Defender (1910-1975).
  • Directory of History Dissertations:  American Historical Association database listing dissertations completed or in progress at 203 U.S. and Canadian universities including Purdue.
  • FRANCIS International: Covers disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, publications 1984 - present. Half in French, half in English.
  • Humanities Abstracts: Ancient history, Arts, Communications, History, Linguistics, Literature, Religion---published 1984 - present.
  • International Index to Black Periodicals: IIBP Full Text includes current and retrospective bibliographic citations and abstracts from over 150 scholarly and popular journals, newspapers and newsletters from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean--and full-text coverage of 58 core Black Studies periodicals. International in scope. Some coverage dates back to early 1900's.
  • Periodicals Index Online indexes its sister database, Periodicals Archive Online, and much more: Periodicals Archive Online currently contains the full-text backfiles of over 350 journals, including many in foreign languages 1665 to recently. It also indexes and links to articles in JSTOR.

6. Journal databases for full text

  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI): Three databases in Chinese language feature full-text articles in history, literature, & philosophy, including subtopics such as archaeology, the arts, biography, folklore, language, psychology, religion, and sports: 1) China Academic Journals (CAJ) published 1994 onward; 2) China Dissertations and Master's Theses (CDMD), written 2000 onward; 3) China Conference Proceedings (CPCD), published 2000 onward.
  • [See International Index to Black Periodicals in previous section.] 
  • JSTOR: the Scholarly Journal Archive: Full-text digital archive of over 450 scholarly journals published from the 1800s onward. The full-text journals it makes available are a good but severely narrow selection within the mainstream of thousands of journals in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to its very narrow range, it does not provide the most recent issues. Therefore, researchers who only use JSTOR should not imagine that they have done a thorough job of research. It should be used but also supplemented with more thorough coverage. J-STOR's strength is in back issues; holdings generally begin at the journal's inception but stop a few years short of the present.
  • Periodicals Archive Online (indexed by its much more comprehensive sister database, Periodicals Index Online): currently contains the full-text backfiles of over 350 journals, including many in foreign languages ;published 1665 to recently. It also indexes and links to articles in JSTOR. 
  • Project Muse, Premium Collection, published 1990 through current issues, provides full-text, online editions of over 340 scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For some journal titles Project Muse provides links to the previously acquired JSTOR.
  • Two huge aggregate databases provide some material on practically the whole university curriculum and are the default if materials are not found elsewhere:
    1. Academic Search Premier: articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers published 1984 to present; full text, 1990 - present.
    2. ProQuest Research Library: articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers, including many in full text, published 1986 to present.

7. Biography

  • Biography Resource Center: worldwide coverage of past and present noteworthy people. Narrative biographies, key facts, selected full-text articles, and more.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index: a master index to biographical reference works, each containing multiple biographies.
  • Contemporary Authors: Biographical and bibliographical information on 20th and 21st century U.S. and international authors--- not just literary authors, but historians, et al. Covers publications 1962 - present.

8. Particular groups of people

  • Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003):  Mar 18, 1932-Dec 25, 2003, with exceptions. A historically African American newspaper.
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies: All subjects (especially humanities and social sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia, publications 1971 -present.
  • Black Studies Center: cross-searchable combination of three resources: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), and The Chicago Defender (1910-1975).
  • Chicago Defender, 1910-1975: part of the Black Studies Center database.
  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases in Chinese language: China Academic Journals (CAJ) published 1994 onward; China Dissertations and Master's Theses (CDMD), written 2000 onward; and China Conference Proceedings (CPCD), published 2000 onward. (There are hundreds more full-text databases in CNKI.) Works in these three databases are in history, literature, & philosophy, including the subtopics archaeology, the arts, biography, folklore, language, psychology, religion, and sports.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch: the American ethnic, minority, & native press, 1970 to current.
  • HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index: Index to Latin American journals primarily in the area of social sciences and humanities, 1971 to present.
  • Index Islamicus: Indexes the literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews, 1906 to present.
  • Informe (English) and Informe (Spanish): Hispanic reference material on culturalissues, health, parenting, entertainment, politics, & current events.
  • Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005): May 17, 1934-Dec 29, 2005, with exceptions. A historically African American newspaper.
  • New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993): A historically African American newspaper.
  • Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002): A historically African American newspaper.
  • Women's Studies International: Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Gender Studies published 1972 to present.
  • Women and Social Movements in the U.S., 1600-2000: Books, letters, images, scholarly essays, commentaries, and bibliographies documenting American women's reform activities from the colonial period into the 20th century.
  • : Mar 18, 1932-Dec 25, 2003, with exceptions. A historically African American newspaper.

9. Political Science databases furnishing data for history

  • iPoll Databank (1930s to present): for U.S. national opinion polls; see description under 2 above, "American history: primary source material."
  • PAIS International: (PAIS ["pace"] =Public Affairs Information Service) is a biblio-graphic index with abstracts covering the full range of political, social, and public policy issues--- any topics that are or might become the subject of legislation. It abstracts selected journal articles, books, statistics, yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, pamphlets, reports, and government documents. Coverage includes documents published worldwide in any of six languages including English.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts: up-to-date indexing, abstracts, and full-text links to vetted web sites in political science, international relations, law, sociology, economics, and public administration/policy. Combines the back-files of two mainstream political science abstracting services. Book & film reviews; dissertation info.; abstracts of journal articles, books, & book chapters. Relevant items in 34 languages. Advanced searching includes author affiliation. Thesaurus available. Thorough coverage: 1975 - present. Some coverage 1960-1974. A few earlier items.