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Finding primary sources: non-literary works

EEBO is a full-text and full-image database of books printed in the British Isles, British America, and other countries from 1475 to 1700. It includes:

  • Thomason Tracts: collection of 22,000 broadsides ranging from political speeches to religious tracts to newspaper articles from the period 1640-1661.
  • Tract Supplement: broadsides, pamphlets and scrapbooks primarily from the British Library.

The full text is searchable for about 60,000 of the 125,000 books, identified by: TCP Full Text.

Eearly English Books Online - Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) contains the fully searchable full text of the first 60,000 texts that have been transcribed and encoded into regular text by the Text Creation Partnership, Phase I, which is now freely available under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0 Universal).


ECCO includes every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain during the eighteenth century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas. Concordia's holdings include Parts I and II.

NCCO is a digitized collection of primary sources from the 'long' nineteenth century, currently including the following archives: British Politics and Society; European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection; Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange; British Theatre, Music, and the Arts: High and Popular Culture.

Produced with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the National Endowment for the Humanites, and published by the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, the Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus is a complete record of surviving Old English, with a dictionary and more than 3000 texts.

The Middle English Compendium includes three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary (MED), a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse.

InteLex Past Masters includes a collection of English Letters originally published in print by Oxford University Press and Pickering & Chatto. This collection encompasses the letters, correspondence, and in some instances the diaries and the notebooks of the most significant figures in English literature, letters, politics, the church and the arts.

  • It also includes the Women Writers collection, which contains not only the correspondence and journals, but also the primary works of important women writers in the English Language.
  • It also includes the History and Philosophy of Science collection, featuring works by Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein and others.

Canadiana Online consists of three themed collections: Monographs; Government Publications; and Serials (periodicals, annuals, and newspapers). These collections incorporate into a single interface all of the existing content of Early Canadiana Online (ECO), the microfiche coll. of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM), and many millions of pages of new content based around the three themed collections. Altogether, Canadiana Online includes 32 million pages of content. Coverage from 17th century to early 20th century.

Part of the Adam Matthew Digital Collections contain fulltext manuscripts, periodicals, rare printed sources, and images as well as scholarly overviews and teaching resources. The collections are: China: Trade, Politics and Culture, 1793-1980; Defining Gender, 1450-1910; Eighteenth Century Journals; Empire Online (cultural and social history of Britain from 1937 to 1972); Medieval Travel Writing; and Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007.

Part of the Adam Matthew Digital Collection Medieval Travel Writing contains original medieval manuscripts that describe travel - real and imaginary - from the 13th to the 16th centuries, mainly journeys from Europe to the Holy Land, India, and China. Supporting the manuscripts are relevant secondary texts of translations, as well as maps and images.

Part of the Adam Matthew Digital Collection Eighteenth Century Journals is a digital library consisting of two collections. Eighteenth Century Journals I contains 95 periodicals from the Hope Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Eighteenth Century Journals II consists of 17th and 18th century newspapers and periodicals from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Coverage is from 1693-1799.

C19: The Nineteenth century Index is a bibliographic index for 19th-century research, providing records for millions of documents ranging from books and newspapers to government documents and periodicals. It includes all the records listed in Poole's Index to Periodical Literature as well as the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (1824-1900), British Periodicals (1790-1931) and the American Periodicals Series (1791-1919). It also provides access to Palmer's Index to the Times (1790-1905), the full text of which is available on Times Digital Archive (1785-1985). It includes links to the full-text articles in Periodicals Archive Online and JSTOR. It also includes links to the full text of the British House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.

  • Includes access to Archive Finder, which "is a current directory of 5,596 repositories and 154,678 collections of primary source material across the United States."
  • C19 covers materials published from 1770 to 1931.

Periodicals Archive Online makes available backfiles of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences from 1802 to 2000.

  • Includes more than 500 titles in six separate collections.
  • Click on Article Search to begin.

American Periodicals consists of journals and periodicals published between 1741-1940.

British Periodicals consists of more than 460 full-text journals published between 1681-1939.

Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984 indexes articles and book reviews in nearly 1,100 periodicals covering a broad range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

An open-access website, the Internet Library of Early Journals is a digital library of selected issues of 18th and 19th century journals, such as the Annual Register, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Gentleman's Magazine, Notes and Queries, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and The Builder.

Literature Resource Center contains selected essays and articles reprinted in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, Drama Criticism, Short Story Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, and Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800.

Search Tips for Finding Primary Sources:

  • Search for a specific topic, such as a literary author.
  • In the box by publication title, type one of the criticism titles listed above, such as Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism.
  • In the set of results, change the Sort by to Publication Date (Ascending).
  • To view all the items, click on each of the tabs that contain material, such as Literature Criticism and Reviews & News.

Gale Literature Criticism provides full text or selections of full text of essays and articles re-published in the following reference works:

  • Shakespearean Criticism
  • Poetry Criticism
  • Short Story Criticism
  • Drama Criticism
  • Classical & Medieval Literature Criticism
  • Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800
  • Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism
  • Twentieth Century Literature Criticism
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism

Coverage is from the 15th century to 2000s. This database is NOT updated.

JSTOR: Arts & Sciences Collections: Concordia Library has access to the archival runs of more than 1000 core academic journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, including collections numbers I through VII, consisting mainly of 20th century journals.

The JSTOR: Ireland Collection, developed in cooperation with Queen's University Belfast, is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. It will contain a minimum of 75 journals, including journals with moving walls between 1 and 5 years and ceased journals from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Over 200 monographs and 2,500 manuscript pages will also be included.

  • Title list.
  • Each title can be searched individually after clicking on it.

The JSTOR: 19th Century British Pamphlets Collection, created by RLUK (Research Libraries UK), provides a corpus of more than 20,000 pamphlets dealing with the socio-political and economic landscape of 19th century Britain.

  • Title list.
  • Each title can be searched individually after clicking on it.

The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 is full-text and full-image newspaper archive of The Times (London) from 1785 to 1985.

  • For more recent issues, see Factiva.

The New York Times on ProQuest Historical Newspapers is full-text and full-image newspaper archive of the New York Times from 1851.

  • The most current 2 to 3 years are not included.

The Washington Post on ProQuest Historical Newspapers is full-text and full-image newspaper archive.

The Toronto Star (1894-2011) on Proquest Historical Newspapers is a full-text and full-image newspaper archive.

Globe and Mail on Proquest Historical Newspapers is full-text and full-image newspaper archive of The Globe from June 1844 and its successor The Globe & Mail.

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