The Earl H. and Anita F. Hess Archives and Special Collections is located on Level 1 of the High Library. Our rich collections include the College Archives, materials related to the Church of the Brethren, and collections that support the work of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.
Primary Sources Online
There are thousands of options for finding primary sources online. Here are a few of our favorites. Having trouble finding what you need? Ask the Archivist or stop by the Reference Desk.
A collaboration between WGBH Boston and the Library of Congress. The collection of 40,000 hours contains regional and local programs that document American communities during the last half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first.
An extensive collection of digitized resources about the Civil Rights Movement across the United States. Includes an interactive map, keyword search, and browsable index of people, places, and topics related to Civil Rights in America.
Hear the story of the Japanese American incarceration experience from those who lived it, and find thousands of historic photographs, documents, newspapers, letters and other primary source materials from immigration to the WWII incarceration and its aftermath.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an all-digital library for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States.
Provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to interviews with women engineers from the 1970s.
Making of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.
The Vietnam Center and Archive collects and preserves the documentary record of the Vietnam War, and supports and encourages research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam Experience.
The East Asian Collection includes historical images that present a visual archive of 20th century East Asian cultural heritage. Currently, the collection consists of images that document early 20th century China including the the Sino-Japanese Conflict (1937-1945), a visual history of Buddhist practices and temples in China, and other images of daily life in both rural and urban China.
The KITLV Digital Media Library is a collection of more than 190,000 digitised photographs, prints, drawings, maps, pamphlets, publications and songs particulary from Indonesia, the Dutch Indies, Suriname and the Caribbean. Additionally there are images of migrants from these areas who resided temporarily or resettled in the Netherlands.
Propaganda was central to Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic. The German Propaganda Archive includes both propaganda itself and material produced for the guidance of propagandists. The goal is to help people understand the two great totalitarian systems of the twentieth century by giving them access to the primary material.
Through AM Explorer, you can now search millions of pages of primary sources spanning the 15th – 21st centuries. There are 88 different collections spanning historical periods from medieval times to the present. Important themes such as political borders and migrations, gender and sexuality, global history, and war and conflict can be studied with these archival documents.
Includes every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Consists of books, pamphlets, broadsides, and ephemera. With full-text searching across millions of pages, researchers have access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.
An archive of indexed publications related to the Americas and written in Europe before 1750. It includes thousands of valuable primary source records covering the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples.
This database brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Includes pamphlets, books, legal commentary, journals, Congressional debates and modern histories.
An online collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, from the time of their discovery to the early 1900s. Includes original accounts of discovery and exploration, pioneering and westward expansion, the U.S. Civil War and other military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition, religious history and more. Based on Joseph Sabin's famed bibliography, Bibliotheca Americana.