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HIST 803: Irish History, 1798 to the Present

Finding Primary Sources

There is an abundance of primary source material in the Library. The form will vary from topic to topic.  It may be a diary correpondence, letters, newspaper accoints, a law, a debate in Parliament, editorials, a photo, etc. from the period of study, as well as electronic, microfilm, and printed collections of these documents published at a later date.
For detailed information on finding primary sources in the humanities and social sciences go to the Primary Sources guide.
Primary source materials and related websites can be freely reached on the web as well as the subscription databases to which the Library pays.
Selected databases that will help you locate primary source material include: 
  • General Collections
  • News and Magazines
  • Government Documents
  • Digital Subject Specific Collections
  • Images
  • Letters and Diaries
  • Other Collections of Note

General Collections 


News and Magazines

To search only this periodical index, click on the advanced search, then click on the Periodicals & Newspapers filter under ‘Show search page for:’ and select this title.

Government Documents

Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland
Access to selected Parliamentary Papers related to Ireland.
Use this guide for information on how to search in the Parliamentary Papers interface, and for information on the House of Commons and House of Lords papers. 

Digital Subject Specific Collections



Letters and Diaries

British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries
Includes the diaries and letters of 500 women from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
A collection of women's diaries and correspondence covering colonial times to 1950. 
Early Encounters in North America
Over 100,000 pages of letters, diaries, memoirs, and accounts by over 1400 authors document the relationships among peoples in North America from 1534 to 1850.
North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories
Search or browse letters and diaries, oral histories, interviews, and other personal narratives (most originating from 1920-1980) by over 1900 immigrants. 

Other Collections of Note

Celt Digital Initiative (University College Cork)

Searching Omni

You can locate items in the library by searching Omni by doing a keyword or subject search and then adding one of the special subject terms to your search:

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works to 1800
  • interviews
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • trials

Also try searching for keywords, such as memoirs or documents. For example:

history AND ireland AND sources  [keyword boolean search]

ireland AND women AND memoirs keyword boolean search]

Ireland  History  1837-1901 Sources  [subject heading search]

Famines Ireland History 19th century Sources [subject heading search]

Londonderry (Northern Ireland) History  Sources [subject heading search]