Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Great Web Sites: General Research Guide: Literature and History

Need to find quality material on the open web? Has your professor asked you to find a web page for your paper or Powerpoint, well look no further.

Literature Web Sites

books as literatureHumanities -- Literature

The web is a great place for finding stories, poems, essays, and other primary source literary material. The sites featured here are just a small and fairly good sample of what is available. For literary criticism, you should search a variety of databases on the library web page.

Arts and Letters Daily
A collection of full text articles, essays, and book reviews compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Blue Letter Bible
The full text of over a dozen Bibles with concordances and links to definitions of unfamiliar terms, maps, and study tools.

Directory of Open Access Journals
Though not all these scholarly journals are current, nearly all of them are full text and most of them are credible. Subjects include: history, literary criticism, and philosophy, among many others.
This web site has full text of assorted public domain fiction books, ranging from Harvard classics to early Twentieth Century novels and short stories.
This site offers free e-books that you can download in a variety of formats including PDF and Word document. Many titles are relatively recent works released under Creative Commons licensing.
OAIster claims to "harvest the pearls" by providing access to over seventeen million electronic documents which include history, literature, philosophy, plus a whole host of other subjects. OAIster's robust, Worldcat-powered search engine is fast and fairly intuitive.

Project Gutenberg
An incredibly large ad-free collection of public domain works that include both fiction and nonfiction in plain text, html, Kindle, and EPub formats.

EdSitement: A K-12 site that features arts and humanities links called lesson plans, features, and student resources. This makes this site a fertile field for browsing. The site also has a search engine. Just fill in the box, and click the deep red Go button at the top of the page.

Historical Web Sites

Humanities -- Historythe town crier for history

The web is a great place for history, espcially primary source documents as well as free articles that provide background information and museum exhibits and multimedia. The sites featured here are just a small and fairly good sample of what is available. For articles about history, you should search a variety of databases available at the library web page. Note: not all history sites cover your particular topic or interest. If you come up blank, just try another site.

American Memory
The Library of Congress makes primary source materials on all aspects of Americana easily accessible, on display, and browsable by category or searchable with a speedy engine.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
A collection of primary source law-related documents including constitutions, edicts, and treaties. The emphasis is American and Eighteenth Century or later. The collection's newest document dates from 2005. The site has not received an update since 2008.

Ethnicity -- African -- African American -- History
A diverse list of links to sites dealing with all aspects of African American history. Sites vary in their depth, breadth, and subject coverage. This section of Curlie received an update less than a year ago.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project
This well maintained site mixes lecture outlines with links to assorted primary source documents from ancient,  medieval, early modern, modern, nonwestern, and global history. There are also midi (low bandwidth music) and some links to images available. Nearly all the primary source material is in the public domain.

World Wide Web Virtual History Library
An extensive and fairly current list of history links. You can browse by country or subfield or try the search engines near the bottom of the page. Not all countries include a history that reaches the present. This site's last revision date is 2013. Watch out for dead links.