History - Recommended Sources

Resources Bought for Your Course

Themes covered include: childhood and family, food, the body, women, dress and fashion, theatre, animals, work, leisure and consumption etc. Each theme goes from antiquity through to the 21st century giving you a vast selection of online chapters to access. You can search by time or place as well as by theme.

A brilliant source containing essays, maps, primary sources and an interactive chronology on the theme of Empire across the last 5 centuries

Read in-depth coverage about empires across the world from ancient to modern times. Entries include the Suez Crisis of 1956, the partition of Africa, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Dutch East Indies, propaganda and empire, decolonization in the French and British empires, postcolonialism and much more. 

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

Migration to New Worlds explores the movement of people from Britain, Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia. Thematic areas include motives for emigration, port conditions and organisation and journey conditions.

Oxford History Handbooks offer thorough introductions and a survey of the current state of research in key topics, including oral history, witchcraft, genocide, nationalism, Reformation, Cold War, the English Revolution, end of empire etc. Chapters review key issues and major debates and indicate how the debates might evolve.

Early Modern

A high quality online reference source bought specially for the early modern History courses at Portsmouth.

The full text of thousands of books published in Britain from 1475 to 1900. This collection comprises Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), plus nineteenth century books from the British Library collection.

This key resource for the early modern period brings you original historical documents ranging from high level international politics and diplomacy to the charges against a steward for poisoning people. The correspondence, reports, memoranda, and parliamentary drafts from ambassadors, civil servants and provincial administrators present a full picture of Tudor and Stuart Britain in terms of domestic and foreign policy. In addition, Eighteenth Century Part 1 gives you access to State Papers Domestic, Military, Naval and Registers of the Privy Council 1714-1782, so naval historians can read all papers covering Lords of the Admiralty and Naval Commanders, plus casualty lists.

Victorian

Papers, notebooks and casebooks from the survey into London life and labour, 1886-1903. Booth family papers are also included.

Explore primary sources for gender history, women's suffrage, the feminist movement, the men's movement, the body, domesticity and the family. The records available include some from pressure groups giving details of 20th century lobbying and activism.

Access a range of primary and secondary sources covering London from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. As well as documents, you will find interactive maps, illustrations and photographs to really bring the streets to life.

An extensive range of primary and secondary sources, plus thematic essays on multiple aspects of feminism from 1776 to 1928.

An essential resource for the study of popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries containing everything from full-text books, to posters and performance tickets.

20th/21st Century

Explore 20 collections of documents, including minutes of meetings and conferences, press releases, fliers, brochures, press clippings, US government memoranda and reports, private correspondence, surveys and photos.

Access 40 years of self-regulation and censorship in the film industry via detailed case files for nearly 20,000 film projects that were submitted to the Production Code staff. The collection also includes several hundred files for films reviewed by the Studio Relations Committee between 1927 and 1929, and a small number of files for films released after 1968. The selection includes films from every studio and genre, as well as examples of important foreign productions and independently made films. The Production Code Administration files document the self-regulation process from the first submission of a script, play, or literary property to the final approval of the finished film. The core of the files is the correspondence between the studios or producers and the staffs of the PCA and the MPAA. However, the files are also filled with letters to and from theater owners, censor boards, religious organizations, government entities, and other special interest groups that were concerned with the content of films.

This archive contains analysis, research, debates and speeches from the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1920-2008. Topics covered include the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War, energy security, nuclear disarmament, decolonisation etc. You can also listen to recordings of meetings and speeches as well as seeing the transcript in many cases.

Access 800,000 pages of primary source documents produced between 1874 and 1965. You will find handwritten letters to and from Winston Churchill, plus the typed manuscripts of his speeches. The Teaching & Research section also contains academic overviews on key topics such as women and social change, empire and imperialism, the origins of the First World War, the Cold War and nuclear weapons, the "special relationship" between Britain and America and Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty - all have links to relevant documents within the archive.

Disability in the Modern World: History of a Social Movement encompasses an international set of resources to enrich study in a wide range of disciplines from media studies to philosophy.

Digital images of a wide range of original documents, including diaries, letters, personal narratives, trench journals, scrapbooks etc. Supplementing the primary sources is a wealth of secondary resources including interactive maps, 360° panoramas and walk-throughs of the Sanctuary Wood Trench System, the Memory Wall, In Their Own Words feature, scholarly essays, a chronology and glossaries. The Visual Perspectives and Narratives module has greater emphasis on the role of women, plus the home front.

Explore primary sources for gender history, women's suffrage, the feminist movement, the men's movement, the body, domesticity and the family. The records available include some from pressure groups giving details of 20th century lobbying and activism.

A key source about daily life in the 20th century. You can look at topic collections (1938-65) on juvenile delinquency, holidays, leisure, industry etc., or view diary entries (1939-51) and day surveys. File reports (1937-1972) cover subjects such as propaganda, morale, popular culture, shopping, sex, fashion and much more.

Explore documents, fanzines, photos and newsreel footage to help understand these key decades when consumer culture and pop music took off and protest movements were big news.

Naval History

A primary source for historical research, the Annual Register - first edited by Edmund Burke - is a complete and detailed chronicle of events in Britain and across the world from 1758 to the current year. The link here lets you access the volume for 1758. To find the others, just type Annual Register plus the year you need into the Portsmouth library catalogue.

Access 800,000 pages of primary source documents produced between 1874 and 1965. You will find handwritten letters to and from Winston Churchill, plus the typed manuscripts of his speeches. The Teaching & Research section also contains academic overviews on key topics such as women and social change, empire and imperialism, the origins of the First World War, the Cold War and nuclear weapons, the "special relationship" between Britain and America and Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty - all have links to relevant documents within the archive.

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

Access rare and original documents on naval history.

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The national record of over 58,000 men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century – extremely useful for detailed biographies about literary figures.

You can log onto this using your Public Library membership number in the Library Card Login box.

This key resource for the early modern period brings you original historical documents ranging from high level international politics and diplomacy to the charges against a steward for poisoning people. The correspondence, reports, memoranda, and parliamentary drafts from ambassadors, civil servants and provincial administrators present a full picture of Tudor and Stuart Britain in terms of domestic and foreign policy. In addition, Eighteenth Century Part 1 gives you access to State Papers Domestic, Military, Naval and Registers of the Privy Council 1714-1782, so naval historians can read all papers covering Lords of the Admiralty and Naval Commanders, plus casualty lists.

Audio Visual Resources

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

The British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent lets you search over 90,000 images of socio-political cartoons from British newspapers and magazines. You can download images free of charge for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the source according to this example: British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent: 06646, Michael Cummings, Daily Express, 4 January 1965.

This website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 films are available to view in full - advanced search lets you limit to those which have videos.

Over 100 films covering different aspects of India 1899-1947 from the British Film Institute National Archive

World War I image archive

Other Key Sources to Try:

A gateway to thousands of the UK’s richest archives held in over 220 institutions across the country. The Archives Hub helps you discover unique and often little-known sources to support your research.

An invaluable research tool providing biographical information about individual clergymen and the succession of clergy in individual parishes. You will also find details about patrons, schools and schoolteachers.

If you want to trace details about a specific person or place, or perhaps need inspiration for creative writing, this could be just what you need!  Connected Histories provides an all-in-one search across electronic content available on various sites such as 19th Century British Pamphlets, the Clergy of the Church of England, Charles Booth Archive, Convict Transportation Registers, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, British Newspapers 1600-1900 etc. If you find something useful on a resource we pay for e.g. British Newspapers, you may need to follow the link to that resource from the Finding Articles page within these Subject Pages.

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Links to primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.

Use one search to look across over 18 million digital items from 48 libraries across Europe. Look out for the Historic Newspapers link which lets you view a range of newspapers from the 19th and early twentieth centuries.

• Europeana 

A cultural gateway into documents and images from across Europe.

Digitised documents, images and film of the First World War contributed by members of the public to a project hosted by the University of Oxford.

• Hantsphere 

Use this online local heritage resource to search and explore digitised local studies collections from across Hampshire, including Southampton and Portsmouth.

Digitised local studies collections from across Hampshire.

The UK national centre for History based at Senate House, University of London.

This gives a wide range of statistics on population, education, (un)employment, agriculture, industry, motor vehicles, railways, TV and radio etc. 

Data can be viewed as PDF (downloadable) or Excel format which can then be exported. When you use the search box beware - it is not just searching this source but the whole of Palgrave's e-books (which we have bought via Ebook Central where applicable). You can narrow down to this resource by using Advanced Search and selecting International Historical Statistics in the Book Collection box. Click the Reference Products button if you want to get back to the stats home page quickly.

An online archive of printed material covering aspects of everyday life in Britain in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. You will find posters and handbills for theatrical and non-theatrical entertainments, broadsides relating to murders and executions, book and journal prospectuses, popular topographical prints, and a wealth of different kinds of printed advertising material.

Over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages providing historical records on over 3.35 million people. Facilities are provided to allow you to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals (free registration required if you want to do this).

The Royal Naval Museum, in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, is one of Britain’s oldest maritime museums. The Museum’s aim is to preserve and present the history of the 'Fleet' - the ships and the men and women who manned them.

The national record of over 58,000 men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century – extremely useful for detailed biographies about literary figures.

You can log onto this using your Public Library membership number in the Library Card Login box.

London’s Central Criminal Court records 1674-1913 – just under 200,000 trial details are available.

Useful advice defining primary sources, then how to find and evaluate them on the web. This is provided by the American Library Association so some of the sources mentioned are most useful for those doing American history.

A major collection on women’s history held within the London School of Economics and Political Science Library but available to those who need to use it.

Access a digitised collection of annual reports, pamphlets and newspapers held at the LSE but made available to everyone.

Produced in 2014, this site includes around 500 sources from across Europe. It examines key themes such as origins of the war, race, empire and colonial troops, propaganda, life for soldiers and civilians. A historical debates section looks at how historians’ views of the war have changed over time.

Your Subject Team

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian

Email: Anne.Worden@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3243

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian

Email: sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3234

Further Information