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Primary Sources (U.S. History)

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.

Texas Primary Source Collections Available Online


This is a selected bibliography of primary source collections pertaining to Texas history 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.

Links to Primary Source Collections

  • Archive of the Texas Almanac since 1857

    • The Texas Almanac Online provides access to digitized copies of the Texas Alamanac since 1857.

  • East Texas Digital Archives from SFA

    • ​Photographs, documents, maps, books and other archival materials pertaining to East Texas geographical region from the the Gulf of Mexico north to the Red River and east of the Trinity River to Western Louisiana, which was once part of Texas.
  • Portal to Texas History

    • From the University of North Texas, this is a vast collection of primary sources that span from prehistory to modern day Texas. Collections include articles, artwork, books, clippings, images, journals, magazines, newsletters, legal documents, legislative documents, letters, maps, musical scores, newspapers, pamphlets, papers, patents, photographs, postcards, oral histories, and so much more.

  • Rosenberg Library Galveston and Texas History Center

    • The Rosenberg Library offers access to a small collection of digitized primary sources such as manuscripts and photographs that pertain to the Galveston area.

  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - Texas 1877-1922 UT Austin

    • The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from the Perry-Castaneda Library map collection provide access to digital copies of Texas towns and communities dating from 1877 to 1922.

  • Texas Constitution

    • Transcription of the Texas Constitution from the Texas State Legislature.

  • Texas General Land Office

    • The archives of the Texas General Land Office consists of land grant records and maps since the sixteenth century.

  • Texas Slavery Project from the University of Virginia

    • Database of primary source documents which tell the story of those who lived with slavery in early Texas.

  • Texas State Historical Association

    • The Lone Star History Links from the Texas State Historical Association provides brief secondary source information on Texas history from the sixteenth century to the twenty first century with links to the primary sources that are discussed throughout. 

  • Texas State Library and Archives Commission

    • The Texas Digital Archives from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission includes photographs and prints, sheet music, papers, correspondence, government and legal papers, videos, audio clips and much more.

  • University of Houston Digital Library

    • Provides a variety of primary sources on subjects such as arts and music, civil rights, Latino culture, military history, women's history, etc. that pertain to Texas and Houston area.

  • Walker County Treasures

    • Collection of digitized copies of photographs and documents pertaining to Texas history with a focus on Walker County. Of special interest are the Sam Houston Memorial Museum documents and image collections.

  • West Texas Digital Archives

    • Over 100,000 unique historical photographs, newspapers, yearbooks, letters, oral histories, periodicals, manuscripts, journals, documents, maps, audio/video files and more pertaining to the history of west Texas.

  • Yale Law School Avalon Project (Texas from Independence to Annexation 1836-1845)

    • The Avalon Project from Yale Law School provides transcripts to primary source documents from early Texas history.

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