Online Primary Sources

Every day primary sources are being digitized and placed online. While there is nothing as exciting as handling “the real thing,” digitized primary sources can make history more accessible. Some archives (such as the Library of Congress’ American Memory and the National Archives’ Digital Vaults) are free while others (such as and are fee based. Many public libraries have memberships to these databases.

The Online Activity provides an introduction to some of these major sites by linking directly to particular primary sources.

Sample Online Primary Source