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Digital collections are archival library collections available electronically. Libraries digitize their physical collections and make them available online. These collections can include photographs, manuscripts, maps, books, pamphlets, and audio and visual materials. See below for links to some digital collections.
You can use a search engine (such as Google) to see if archives exist that have materials on your topic.
- Many archives have an online presence. Try searching for your topic (ex. "Abraham Lincoln") + archive
- To find digital collections online, try searching for your topic + digital collection on a search engine
- (i.e. Dallas history digital collection OR Dallas history archive).
- Once you find a web site, make sure you click on the 'About Us' tab and evaluate the credentials of the institution.
- look at the domain (.edu, .goc, etc.)
Once you have found a site (and a collection on that site) , what info on the site (in addition to the digitized item itself) is useful for historical research?
- Hint: What is the context around the item?
- This can also be referred to as the metadata (data about the item), it is basically the data/information you need for a citation
Google Advanced Search
Remember, you can limit your search to a specific site (ex. loc.gov) or domain (.edu)
Google Advanced Image Search
This search will only bring up images. You will need to click through and see if this image is part of a collection. Remember to limit your search to a specific site (ex. loc.gov) or domain (.edu)
The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form
Online Archive of California
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
Documenting the American South
The University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sponsors Documenting the American South, and the texts and materials come primarily from its southern holdings.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper.
SMU Libraries Digital Collections
Find photographs, manuscripts, imprints, works of art, and audio/video on many historical subjects from SMU's special Collections
Duke Digital Collections
Digitized historic photographs, advertisements, texts & more from Duke's unique library collections.