This guide is an introduction to what primary sources are in the field of history, how to use primary sources, how to read and transcribe original documents and links to on-line primary sources by historic topic.
This is a selected bibliography of primary source collections pertaining to the American Civil War and Reconstruction available online. Please note, the library is not responsible for the content on these sources and it is the student's responsibility to properly cite from the proper location. There may also be secondary sources included in these collections and it is up to the student to evaluate if the item qualifies as a primary or secondary source.
Transcription of significant primary sources pertaining to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Documents include: Homestead Act (1862), Pacific Railway Act (1862), Morrill Act (1862), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), Gettysburg Address (1863), 13th Amendment to the Constitution (1865), Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (1865), Treaty with Russia for the Purchase of Alaska (1867), 14th, Amendment to the Constitution (1868), 15th Amendment to the Constitution (1870), and the Act Establishing Yellowstone National Park (1872)
Over 2,000 digitized maps pertaining to the Civil War can be found here. "The maps, charts, and atlases depict battles, troop positions and movements, engagements, and fortifications. Also included are reconnaissance maps, sketch maps, coastal charts, and theater of war maps."
Digitized primary sources pertaining to the Civil War. Materials include: Official Records, Addresses & Speeches, Acts, Bills, & Orders, Military Correspondence & Documents, Personal Correspondence & Narratives, Prints & Photos, and Maps.
Includes four sets of papers and letters from women who lived during the Civil War, including a Confederate spy, an intelligence worker for the Union Army, an enslaved African American woman and a young 16 year old southern girl. Also includes links to other relevant sources.
The artist Henry Mosler (1841 -1920) kept a diary in October 1862. This site provides a digitized copy of his diary during the month of October 1862 when he served as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly and with the Union Troops.
Digitized primary and secondary sources pertaining to American history from the antebellum period to reconstruction. Collection features documents that focus on education, psychology, sociology, religion, science and technology.