Research sources | freely accessible online material

This page provides links to a wide range of freely accessible online material, consisting of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources suitable for research on a variety of topics.

Primary historical sources

  • Internet History Sourcebooks Project
    • Welcome to The Internet History Sourcebooks Project, a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use. Primary sources are available here mainly for use in high-school and university/college courses. From the outset the site took a very broad view of the sources that should be available to students and as well as documents long associated with a “western civilization” approach to history also provides much information on Byzantine, Islamic, Jewish, Indian, East Asian, and African history. You will also find many documents especially relevant to women’s history and LGBT studies.
  • ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World
    • For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
  • The Cornell University Witchcraft Collection
    • While the entire physical Witchcraft Collection is available for in-person research in Cornell Library’s Rare and Manuscript Division, 104 English language books from the collection can be read online in the Digital Witchcraft Collection. These titles were digitally scanned from microfilm by Primary Source Media in 1998. The resulting full text scans were later made available to Cornell University Library to enable free public access.
  • Guide to Online Primary Sources: University of California San Diego
    • Subject listings of primary sources available online: free web collections as well as UCSD subscription-based resources.
  • Finding Historical Primary Sources: Primary Sources Online: Berkeley Library
    • A guide to finding primary sources in history at the UC Berkeley Libraries.
  • Archives of Appalachia
    • The Archives of Appalachia is a repository for memories — the written words, images, and sounds that document life in southern Appalachia. We steward nearly two miles of rare manuscripts, 300,000 photographs, 100,000 audio and moving image recordings, and 15,000 books.

Specific subject texts

Scholarly journal articles

If you find a journal article online which is behind a paywall, you can use the browser extension Unpaywall to discover any copy of that article which has been uploaded legally elsewhere on the internet, and available for free. Many articles can be found this way, though by no means all.

  • Academia
    • Find scholarly books, chapters, & articles. If you see a paper you want to read but it isn’t available to read or download from the site, you can contact the author directly through the site. They will often provide you with free book chapters or articles they’ve written.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals
    • Find open access journals & articles.
  • Cambridge Open Access
    • Find open access journals & articles.
  • Connected Papers
    • You can use Connected Papers to: (1) Get a visual overview of a new academic field, (2), Make sure you haven’t missed an important paper, (3) Create the bibliography for your thesis, (4) Discover the most relevant prior and derivative works
  • Google Scholar
    • Find general journals & articles; some paywalled, many free.
  • Oxford Open Journals
    • Find open access journals & articles.
    • PubMed
    • Find medical journals & articles.
  • Research Gate
    • Find general journals & articles; some paywalled, many free.
  • Sage Journals
    • Find general journals & articles; some paywalled, many free.
  • Science Direct
    • Find science journals & articles; some paywalled, many free.
  • Semantic Scholar
    • Find science journals & articles; some paywalled, many free.

Scholarly bibliographies