Skip to Main Content

Primary Sources

Featured Database

Adam Matthew Digital Collections

Theme related collections of digitized historical primary source documents from over 60 collections, which include artwork, books, documents, correspondence,  magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, and video.

Finding Articles

Newspaper and magazine articles written during the period being studied can be excellent resources for primary source materials.
To find out what newspapers the Library has, search OMNI by newspaper title or search by subject heading, for example:   london england newspapers
More information about newspapers available at QUL can be found in the Newspapers guide.

Journal and Newspaper Indexes

Use periodical indexes to locate citations to articles published in journals, magazines and newspapers in earlier time periods, such as: 
Provides access to popular and general interest Anglo-American and European periodicals from the 19th century and early 20th century. Includes Poole's Index to Periodical Literature 1802-1906.
Print holdings: 1920 - 1998:
Index to a wide range of scholarly journals and numerous lesser-known specialized magazines.
An Index to Saturday Night: the first fifty years, 1887-1937
Index to articles published in a number of Canadian periodicals of historical significance, including Maclean's Magazine, The Financial Post, The Monetary Times of Canada, Massey's Magazine, The Canadian Bookman, The Canadian Magazine, Saturday Night and The University Magazine. Provides a window into the social and cultural life of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature
REF AP3.R496 (1890-1899)
Print holdings: REF AI3.R2 from 1983 to 2006 (Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature)
Indexes general interest and popular journals, magazines and newspapers published in Canada and the United States.

Primary Source Databases

There are several online databases to which the Library subscribes that provide access to full text articles from journals and newspapers along with book collections for earlier time periods. They include:
Documenting 200 years of cultural, political, social and historical events, this 17th and 18th Collection includes newspapers, newsbooks, proclamations and pamphlets in searchable digital format.
Collection of magazines, journals and specialty newspapers provides an in-depth view of life in the Victorian age.
The Collection contains more than 6,500 historical periodical titles dating from 1693 to 1877.
A collection of facsimile page images and searchable full text for hundreds of British periodicals. Topics covered include: literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
Access documents that reveal gender perceptions and realities from 1450-1910.
Newspapers and magazines covering the time period of the early European settlers to the 20th century in Canada.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online
A digital collection of books published in Great Britain during the 18th century.
Provides images of original documents related to the British Empire. The content is structured around five thematic sections: Cultural Contacts; Literature; The Visual Empire; Religion; and Race, Class, Colonialism and Imperialism.
A collection of primary source documents, videos and other information pertaining to the life on various frontiers that arose from the movements of Europeans to Africa, Australasia and North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Magazine intended to entertain, inform and educate the women in America. An important resource of 19th century American life and culture.
Electronic journal archive includes such titles as: Eighteenth-Century Studies, Journal of Modern History.
Full-text of letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies, oral histories, interviews, and other personal narratives of immigrants to America and Canada (1840 to the present, focusing heavily on the period from 1920 to 1980).
Access to over 150,000 pages of diaries and letters from colonial times to 1950.
Current and past issues of The New Republic - a journal of opinion on politics, foreign policy, culture, current events, the arts, and much more.
  • 17th-18th Century Burney and Nichols Collections Newspapers
  • 19th Century UK Periodicals
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive
  • Times Digital Archive
Facsimile page images and searchable full-text for approximately 500 international and scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.
Includes the New York Times (1851-2007), Chicago Defender (1849-1986), Chicago Tribune (1849-1986) and more.