Research Databases

OCLC FirstSearch (Foundation users only) - FirstSearch provides access to a group of databases, including WorldCat, ArticleFirst, and PapersFirst.

Primary Source Materials

Books and Pamphlets

American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I (Foundation users only) - Full text of 15,000 broadsides printed between 1820 and 1900 and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between 1760 and 1900.

American History and Culture Online: Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to more than 29,000 works about the Americas, published around the world between 1500 and 1926.

American Pamphlets, Series I, 1820-1922: From the New-York Historical Society (Foundation users only) - Full text of more than 25,000 pamphlets from the collections of the New-York Historical Society.

America's Historical Imprints (Foundation users only) - a single search interface that includes American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I; American Pamphlets, Series I, 1820-1922; Early American Imprints, Series I; and Early American Imprints, Series II.

Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans (1639-1800) (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to more than 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published between 1639 and 1800.

Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker (1801-1819) (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to over 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published between 1801 and 1819.

Early English Books Online (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to "virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700."

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to hundreds of thousands of works published in the U.K. and the Americas during the 18th century.

The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, 1620-1926 (Foundation users only) - full-text access to published records of the American colonies, documents published by state constitutional conventions, state codes, city charters, law dictionaries, digests and more.

The Making of the Modern World: The Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to more than 61,000 books and periodicals published between 1450 and 1850 relating to economics and related topics - e.g. trade, manufacturing, slavery, politics, etc.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online (Foundation users only) - Library access includes British Politics and Society (includes papers of British statesmen, Home Office records, ordnance surveys, working class autobiographies, and other unique collections), and Science, Technology and Medicine, 1780-1925 ("more than 3.5 million pages of journals, books, reports, and personal documents to explore the rapid acceleration of scientific, technical, and medical knowledge").

Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to more than 12,000 books and pamphlets, 170 newspaper and periodical titles, and 71 major manuscript collections (including the American Colonization Society Papers) dealing with the abolitionist movement, arguments for and against slavery, colonization, and other related topics.  Foundation access includes Part I: Debates over Slavery and Abolition; Part II: Slave Trade in the Atlantic World; Part III: The Institution of Slavery; and Part IV: The Age of Emancipation.

Newspapers and Periodicals

American Periodicals Series Online (Foundation users only) - Search the full text of more than 1,000 American magazines and journals published between 1740 and 1900. 

America's Historical Newspapers (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to thousands of American newspapers from 1690-1900.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to approximately 1,270 newspaper titles, pamphlets and broadsides published during the 17th and 18th centuries in the United Kingdom, mostly in London.  (Cross-searchable with 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, and 19th Century UK Periodicals in Gale's NewsVault interface.)

Eighteenth Century Journals: A Portal to Newspapers and Periodicals, c1685-1835 (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to hundreds of unique and rare newspapers and periodicals published in English between ca. 1685 and 1835.  The Jefferson Library has access to sections I through V.

19th Century British Library Newspapers (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to 48 national and regional newspapers published in the United Kingdom during the 19th Century.  (Cross-searchable with 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, and 19th Century UK Periodicals in Gale's NewsVault interface.)

19th Century UK Periodicals (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to nearly 600 magazines, journals and other periodicals published in the United Kingdom during the 19th Century. Includes Series I: New Readerships and Series II: Empire.  (Cross-searchable with 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, and 19th Century U.S. Newspapers in Gale's NewsVault interface.)

19th Century United States Newspapers (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to a range of urban and rural newspapers published in the United States throughout the 19th century.  (Cross-searchable with 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, and 19th Century UK Periodicals in Gale's NewsVault interface.)

Access NewspaperARCHIVE (Foundation users only) - Millions of searchable newspaper pages from the 18th to the 20th centuries.  Includes newspapers from the United States, Europe, the UK, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Jamaica, and Canada. 

Chronicling America - Search the Library of Congress's full-text database of 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.

Gale NewsVault (Foundation users only) - A single search platform for 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, and 19th Century UK Periodicals.

Personal Papers

Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Includes volumes 1-36 (covering 1760 to March 1802) of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson published by Princeton University Press, and volumes 1-4 of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series.  Other volumes will become available as more material is digitized and new volumes are published.  Note: a free version of this resource is available through the Founders Online project.

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606-1827 (Library of Congress) - Scanned black-and-white images of most documents in the Thomas Jefferson Papers collection at the Library of Congress. Transcriptions are provided for some documents.

Thomas Jefferson Papers (Massachusetts Historical Society) - Color images of selected documents in the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Papers at Massachusetts Historical Society, including a draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson's Farm and Garden Books, a large collection of architectural drawings, and Jefferson's draft of Notes on the State of Virginia.  Full transcriptions are available for the Farm and Garden Books.

Thomas Jefferson Collection, 1773-1826 (Missouri History Museum) - Missouri owns approximately 890 Jefferson documents, many of which are now available through its digital archive.  Scans are in color.

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1761-1931 (Swem Library, College of William and Mary) - Swem Library holds a collection of approximately 700 Jefferson letters and other documents, which have been digitized.   Digital versions are available through the Jefferson Project website.

*See also Researching Thomas Jefferson: Primary Sources

The Gilder Lehrman Collection - The Gilder Lehrman Institute owns approximately 300 Jefferson letters. Images and transcriptions are available online.

Family Letters Digital Archive - Search the correspondence of Thomas Jefferson's extended family.

Nicholas Philip Trist Papers, 1765-1903 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds a collection of approximately 6,000 documents from Nicholas Philip Trist, Thomas Jefferson's grandson-in-law and personal secretary, and his extended family.  Large portions of this collection have now been digitized.

American Founding Era Collection (Foundation users only) - Simultaneously search the Adams Papers, Dolley Madison, and George Washington Digital Editions (listed individually below).  A free version of this resource is available through the National Archives' Founders Online Project.

Adams Papers Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Includes all volumes of the Adams Papers published by Harvard University Press to date.  A free version of this resource is available through the Founders Online project.

Papers of Alexander Hamilton Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Includes all volumes of the print edition published by Columbia University Press.  A free version of this resource is available through the Founders Online project.

Dolley Madison Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Search an ever-growing database of Dolley Madison's letters.

Early Encounters in North America: People, Cultures, and the Environment (Foundation users only) - Search the full text of over 100,000 pages of letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of early encounters between native peoples and Europeans in North America.

North American Women's Diaries and Letters, Colonial to 1950 (Foundation users only) - Fully searchable archive of "the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters."  This database also includes biographies and an annotated bibliography.

Papers of George Washington Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Includes all of the Papers of George Washington, published by the University Press of Virginia, to date.  A free version of this resource is available through the Founders Online project.

Papers of James Madison Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - By July 2010, this database will include all material published in the letterpress Papers of James Madison volumes through 2009.  A free version of this resource is available through the Founders Online project.

Government and Public Documents

Actes Royaux Français (French Royal Acts), 1256-1794 (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to approximately 16,000 pamphlets documenting the financial and political administration of France; nearly 75% of the pamphlets are from the 18th century.

American Memory (Library of Congress)

Century of Lawmaking - U.S. Congressional documents and debates, 1774-1873

City and Business Directories: Virginia, 1801-1929 (Foundation users only) - A searchable database of Virginia residents and businesses covering the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including addresses, city and county officers, heads of families, firms and names of those doing business in the city, lists of city residents, occupations, and street directories.

Colonial State Papers (Foundation users only) - "...provides access to thousands of papers concerning English activities in the American, Canadian, and West Indian colonies between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries." Also includes a digital version of Calendar of State Papers, Colonial: North America and the West Indies 1574-1739.

The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution Digital Edition (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to thousands of documents that trace the U.S. Constitution’s progress through each of the thirteen states’ conventions.  Includes the first twenty volumes of the print edition.

The Early Republic: Critical Editions of the Founding of the United States (Foundation users only) - full-text access to the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, including all volumes published to date.

Lost Records Localities Database

State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782, Part I: State Papers Domestic, Military, Naval and Registers of the Privy Council (Foundation users only) - online access to approximately 300,000 rare British government manuscripts from the reigns of King George I, King George II and part of the reign of King George III plus Military, Naval, Plantation Registers, Sheriffs Lists and State Papers Scotland and Ireland.

Virginia Chancery Records Index

Virginia Company Archives (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to several collections of papers pertaining to the Virginia Company of London.

Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants

The War of 1812: Diplomacy on the High Seas (Foundation users only) - full-text access to thousands of U.S. State Department documents concerning the War of 1812.

The War Department and Indian Affairs, 1800-1824 (Foundation users only) - full-text access to letters and attachments received by and letters sent to the War Department regarding Indian affairs between 1800 and 1824.

Biographical & Genealogical Sources

American National Biography (Foundation users only)

Ancestry Library Edition (Foundation users only)

AskART.com - Biography and directory on American artists

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Burned Jurisdiction Database

Dictionary of National Biography (Foundation users only) - Brief biographies of more than 56,000 people relevant to British history, provided by Oxford University Press.

HeritageQuest Online (Foundation users only)

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts Craftsman Database

New England Historic Genealogical Society (Foundation users only)

Virginia Runaways (Virginia Center for Digital History) - Runaway slave advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers

Find Books, Journals, and Manuscripts

ACLS Humanities E-Book (Foundation users only) - Full-text access to over 4,000 titles in the humanities, selected by scholars.

Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network

Index to American Botanical Literature

JSTOR (Foundation users only) - full-text access to back issues of hundreds of journals, including the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography and the William & Mary Quarterly

National Archives - Access data and digitized records from the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), selected series from Access to Archival Databases (AAD), over one million electronic records from the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), all of the web pages from Archives.gov, and all of the web pages from the Presidential Libraries.

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections

Smithsonian Institution: Archival Manuscript and Photographic Catalog - descriptions of papers, oral history, manuscripts, images...

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Digital Library 

Project MUSE (Foundation users only) - full-text access to hundreds of journals in the humanities and social sciences

Virginia Heritage - Guides to Manuscript & Archival Collections in Virginia

Virginia Newspaper Project

General / Reference

Art & Architecture Thesaurus (Getty Foundation)

Bartleby.com - encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations, reference works, King James Bible...

Chicago Manual of Style (Foundation users only)

Credo Reference (Foundation users only) - a general reference site that provides full-text access to hundreds of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations and subject specific titles as well as 200,000+ images and audio files and nearly 100 videos.

Electronic Enlightenment (Foundation users only) "...unrivalled access to the web of correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the long 18th century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers."

Encyclopedia Mythica - a free encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and legend

Find It Virginia - Search indexes and full text with your Virginia public library card

Great Buildings Online - digital images of 18th century American Architecture

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Foundation users only)

Oxford English Dictionary Online (Foundation users only) - The world's premier historical dictionary of the English Language. 

Questia (Full access to Foundation users only)

Discussion

says

This is a fantastic collection of resources--a one-stop shop, really--of Jefferson-related research material. In the course of helping to answer questions from visitors, I especially use the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition and JSTOR. The former is great for getting TJ's exact words, and the latter is a great source of journal articles written about him (and many other topics). The other primary source material, such as period newspapers, is endlessly fascinating as well.

says

A one-stop shop for access to research databases of 18th and 19th century books, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, documentary papers, and genealogical resources. I have access to hundreds and thousands of period documents right from my desktop at work! It’s amazing what’s possible. I can’t imagine doing without any of these vital resources for my research today.

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