Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources - History: Open Primary Sources

Open Educational Resources Guide Key

 Open - free to use and repurpose

 Free - free to use

 Affordable - available at low cost

 Free North Shore - available to NSCC students and faculty

Library of Congress - American Memory

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.  These materials come from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions.


Making of America

Making of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project

Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebook Project links to primary sources in Ancient, Medieval and Modern History. Subsidiary contextual sourcebooks have also been created. Links are to public domain and also "copy-permitted" historical texts.


American Presidency Project

The American Presidency Project from University of California, Santa Barbara:  includes links to presidential speeches, documents and papers.

Documenting the American South

Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an all-digital library that aggregates metadata — or information describing an item — and thumbnails for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.

Library of Congress - State Digital Resources

Complied by the Library of Congress, this is a compilation of state and regional digital projects and collaborations. For each project, the primary institution or institutions overseeing the project are noted. 

History Matters provides links to primary sources in U.S. history.

Chronicling America

Use Chronicling America to search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project consists of an electronic collection of primary source materials relating to the Salem witch trials of 1692 and a new transcription of the court records.

Foreign Relations of the United States

The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity ranging from 1869-1980. There are 189 volumes are currently available in E-book format and users can browse policy decision by administrations from 1945 to 1980.