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HIST 3072 (special collections): PRIMARY SOURCES: Digital Primary Sources--all kinds of perspectives and formats


In addition to the voices of people in government and coverage in the newspapers, you will want to explore digital databases for other voices in a range of formats.  Start with the Digital Library of Georgia to search for Georgia voices/perspectives. Next explore the Digital Public Library of America and the Library of Congress. If your initial keywords don't get you useful results, try names of people or organizations related to the issue.

Digital Library of Georgia

Digital Public Library of America

Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an all-digital library that aggregates metadata — or information describing an item — and thumbnails for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. 

Search Tips
Type whatever you’re looking for—a subject, a name, a place—into the search box at the top of any page on the DPLA website and either click the magnifying glass to the right or hit return/enter on your keyboard.

How to explore/refine/navigate your search results:

  • Refine DPLA lets you refine your search by type, subject, location, date, and language. The menus on the left side of the search results page display all of the types, subjects, locations, dates, and languages among your search results.You can also filter items by Contributing Institution and by Partner. A Contributing Institution is a library, archive, museum, or other cultural heritage institution that contributes metadata from its digital collections via a Hub to DPLA. A partner organization, or Hub,  provides essential services and content directly to DPLA.
  • Display You can view 10, 20, 50, or 100 items per page by selecting your preference from the “Items per page” drop-down menu.
  • Sort order By default, DPLA sorts search results by relevance to your search term(s). You can sort alphabetically or by date by choosing a different sort order from the “Sort by” drop-down menu.

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Search Tips:

Matches all word(s) entered in the search box.

  • Enter words in any order: gettysburg battle or battle Gettysburg

  • Use quotation marks ( " " ) to denote exact phrases: "war of the worlds"

  • Use a percent sign ( % ) as a single-character wildcard, either inside or at the end of a search word: wom%n
    Note: if your search terms contain a percent sign, remove the %. Enter "100% solution" as "100 solution"

  • Use a question mark ( ? ) for truncation (different forms of a root word) and as a multiple-character wildcard, either inside or at the end of a search word: entrepr? or col?r

  • Most punctuation marks (hyphens, slashes, periods, etc.) are replaced by spaces. Because spaces are used to divide words, use quotes to treat your search term as a phrase when punctuation occurs in the middle of your term: "1:100,000" or "9/11"

  • Enter more words to increase the relevance of your search results.

  • Capitalization does not matter.

  • Limits can be added.