• Primary Source Websites (and more)

    Be sure to also visit NHD's page of Helpful Research Links to find an awesome number of websites to organizations, institutions, libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, primary sources and historical topics of interest.

    100 Leaders

    This website, created by the National History Day organization, provides a wealth of knowledge on 100 great leaders in history.



    A&E Biography

    Over 7,000 biographies and daily features that can be used for both primary and secondary source material.



    Biographical information in print, audio and video format. This site can be used to locate primary and secondary source material.




    The African-American Registry is an online database of secondary accounts of African-American history relating to the arts, business, education, entertainment, literature, military, politics, religion, sports and more. The database is an excellent resource for topic ideas, and can be browsed or searched by keyword.



    American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration. Students can view, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.



    On this website you will find thousands of photos, documents, maps, films, sound recordings, etc. Find information relating to women's suffrage, George Washington letter books, etc.



    University of California, Santa Barbara comprehensive collection of documents related to the study of the presidency. Documents include executive orders, State of the Union addresses, inauguration addresses, and addresses to the nation.



    The Army Heritage Center Foundation has developed interactive teaching tools that tell soldier stories using collections found at the Army Heritage and Education Center.



    Yale Law School. Documents in law, history and diplomacy, ranging from 4000 BCE to the present. Documents are grouped by century and listed alphabetically. Full text, and source of document listed at the end.



    Themed collections of primary sources.



    Provides free access to over 5 million pages of select digitized historic newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. Primary sources include newspaper articles, advertisements, images, literary prose, and other content that appears in historic newspapers.


    Digital Public Library of America

    Search over 17 million items from America's libraries, archives, and museums. Search by keyword, place or date. Hint: to access an item you have located in your search results, click the link that says, "get full text [or moving image, sound, item, etc] from [name of host library, archive or museum will appear here]."



    Speeches are provided from "The History Channel." Search Presidents, world leaders and more.



    60 famous trials from national and world history and provided information to understand and interpret the trial decision and results. Trial information includes chronology, primary documents and, when, available, images.



    Headquartered at the New York Historical Society, this collection contains more than 60,000 documents detailing the political and social history of the United States. The collection's holdings include manuscript letters, diaries, maps, photographs, printed books and pamphlets ranging from 1493 through modern times.

    HarpWeek: Explore History

    Harper’s Weekly. Collection of political cartoons dating from the 1860s, including each presidential election from 1860 to 1912, and mid-19th century political controversies. Also includes other features from “Harper’s Weekly”, simulations and a cartoon search engine by topic or date.

    Harvard University Library Open Collections Program

    Extensive collections of primary sources in different categories: Harvard in the 17th & 18th Centuries,  Islamic Heritage Project, Expeditions and Discoveries, Contagion, Immigration to the United States 1789-1930, and Women Working 1800-1930.



    Provides "case files" that allow students to record evidence from primary sources.



    Includes over 30,000 biographies arranged by category.





    Broad categories to organize a substantial portion of the Library's publicly available digital collections, whether digitized or born digital. The intent is to provide the general public with a bird's-eye view of many of the materials that are immediately available for viewing and downloading from the Library of Congress Web site. Additional resources are being added on an ongoing basis.

    The Living Room Candidate

    Museum of the Moving Image. Television commercials from presidential elections, 1952-2008



    The Roosevelt Institute is a nonprofit organization devoted to carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. A database provides  easy access to primary source materials including photographs, political cartoons, speeches, letters, and other historic documents gathered from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress, and other sources. Currently there are over 20,000 items in this database, many of them previously accessible only to scholars.



    Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved in the National Archives and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family's history, need to prove a veteran's military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you. Not all records are available digitally.

    National Archives Docs Teach

    Search for primary sources by time period or keyword.

    National Archives - Docs Teach (Primary Sources by NHD Topics)

    Explore primary sources by topics related to this year’s NHD theme.


    Find an incredible list of links designed to help students with their NHD projects. NHD does not maintain or necessarily endorse these sites and is not responsible for their content.

    Database of and index to 5000+ full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a declaration or two.


    List of primary sources from nationally known librarian, Joyce Valenza.  



    The Our Documents initiative provides online access to 100 milestone documents of American history. Resources include images of the actual document, transcriptions, and context.


    This site contains a collection of 1084 classic books in PDF format.


    Presents controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.



    Contains written speeches, letters, video recordings of political leaders from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Century.   



    Contains letters, speeches, documents, books, and articles on significant people and events in American political thought and history. Rather than being a comprehensive list of available resources, it is meant to be a list of the best resources available on the given subject.



    This online historical library of primary source material is published by the Worcester Women's History Project, which was set up to promote research into women's history.



    A database of more than 7,000 primary sources.



    This site includes the full text of dozens of World War One-related documents. These include treaties, speeches and diaries. There are also extensive collections of texts pertaining to the War at Sea and to World War One medicine.