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EDLA 7150: Children's and Adolescent Literature (McGrail/Spring 2020): Digital Primary Sources: Freely Available

Searching for Digital Collections

 

Many libraries and organizations are making digital materials available online.

To find these collections, use this search string in Google or another search engine, in addition to keywords relevant to your topic, for example:

digital collection site:.edu "world war II" returning veterans

You can also try the same search limiting to site:org rather than site:edu BUT:

Be careful!

EDU = educational institution
ORG = organization, which can mean almost ANY kind of noncorporate organization. If you aren't familiar with the organization, do some research on it! Who are they? What do they promote? Are they reliable?

In this era of "fake news," don't just trust the information you see on a website's "About Us" tab or page. 
Google the organization and learn more about them
from other sources

Questions to ask when you are assessing online primary-source collections:

  • Who is the author or creator of the page/site? Is there an institution involved? What is the name of the institution?
  • What are the credentials of the author or institution (what qualifies the author or institution to present these sources objectively? Do they represent a university? A library? An individual?)
  • Who sponsors the site? Is there information about funding?

Use Google and other sources to research the authors, organizations, or institutions responsible for the page and for its funding. Don't just trust the About page!

  • What is the purpose of the site - To inform? To entertain?, To sell you something? To argue for a certain point of view?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Are the sources cited? Where did the author(s) get the information?
  • Can the information on the page be verified with other sources? 
  • How current is the information? How recently has the website been updated?**
    (**This question may be less important for historians looking for historical primary sources.

Every resource on this page is freely available EXCEPT for the resources in the box "Digital Primary Sources Available Through GSU Library" (right-hand column) which are available only to GSU students/faculty/staff.

Books Available Online

These online collections include digital versions of many out-of-copyright works including government documents, historical magazines and other periodicals, and books published before 1923. Coverage can be spotty, but these sites are worth searching...  just in case.

Digitized Primary-Source Book Collections

Freely Available Digital Collections Used for Materials In-Class Exercise (March 28)

Selected Web collections: US History

Selected Web Collections: World History