World History Primary Source Collections

The Avalon Project ( is maintained by Yale University, and collects thousands of primary source document focusing on legal and diplomatic history and covering a variety of different time eras from antiquity to the modern with a large selection of US history topics. US political sources, foreign policy items (treaties, etc.) and others topics as well. The repository is dived chronologically, with collections of ancient and medieval documents, and then sources grouped by century from 1400 to the present day.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring The French Revolution ( Lynn Hunt of UCLA and Jack Censer of George Mason University served as principal authors and editors of this site, which was sponsored in a collaboration of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (George Mason University) and the American Social History Project (City University of New York). provides an accessible and lively introduction to the French Revolution as well as an extraordinary archive of some of the most important documentary evidence from the Revolution. The site was last updated in 2018 and includes 338 texts, 245 images, and a number of maps and songs. This site is very easy to browse and navigate, and can provide an excellent jumping off point for study of the French Revolution.

German History in Documents and Images ( is a repository of documents, images, and maps from throughout German history published and maintained by the German Historical Institute, a multinational association of scholars dedicated to the study of German, European, and American history. The collection is divided chronologically, with holdings sorted into eras from 1500-1648, 1648-1815, 1815-1866, 1866-1918, 1918-1933, 1933-1945, 1945-1961, 1961-1989, and 1989-2009. The page for each era includes a brief introductory essay accompanied by recommended secondary readings, and the primary sources provided are organized by topic, generally encompassing a broad spectrum of political, social, cultural, and economic topics. All of the hundreds of excerpted documents in this collection are provided both in the original German-language version and in English translation. This collection provides a rich, reliable body of documentary evidence for scholars researching topics related to German history. The collection continues to be updated and expanded by the GHI.

Internet History Sourcebooks ( The Internet History Sourcebook is hosted by Fordham University and appears to be the primary work of Paul Halsall. The sourcebooks cover most periods and areas of world history, with particularly good coverage of the Ancient, Medieval, and Modern World. Other sourcebooks cover Women’s, Lesbian and Gay, Jewish Islamic, Indian, East Asian, African, and Scientific history. The site is a mix of sources. Some are links to external sites, which are often broken. There is also a number of full text sources. Of special note are the numerous short excerpts from primary sources, which usually work as they are hosted at Fordham and can be rolled into usage with very minimal editing. Hundreds of sources are currently available. It is listed as having been updated in 2019, though the project itself goes back to 1996 and broken links to external sites can sometimes be an issue.

Marxists Internet Archive Library ( is non-profit archive maintained by a group of international volunteers and is dedicated to providing access to writings which are Marxist or relevant to the understanding of Marxism. The archive includes excerpts or complete versions of works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as well as those of other notable socialist thinkers such as Mikhail Bakunin, Simone de Beauvoir, Charles Fourier, Antonio Gramsci, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Karl Kautsky, V.I. Lenin, Georg Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg, Mao Zedong, Herbert Marcuse, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Josef Stalin, Leon Trotsky, and several hundred more. The site is regularly updated.

National Security Archive ( is hosted by George Washington University and organizes over 30 years worth of data from freedom of information action. This site has an amazing collection of Projects including: the Vietnam Project, the Torture Archive, Openness in Russia and Eastern Europe, The Nuclear Vault, Mexico Project, Korea Project, Iran-US Relations, Genocide Documentation Project, Colombia Project, Cuba Project. Each project includes any information that has been either de-classified or released through freedom of information efforts. One of the features of this website is a Virtual Reading Room where you can enter a topic to search and put in parameters in terms of dates, etc. There is a wealth of information available on this website and it includes information from all over the world and is updated weekly. The section on the Rwandan Genocide is particularly well-done and very useful in unpacking the multiple narratives and timelines to gain a greater understanding behind motives involved both inside Rwanda and on the global stage, and to analyze why the Rwandan genocide occurred and what can be done to prevent future atrocities.

The Victorian Web ( is a collection of both primary source documents and secondary scholarly literature focusing on British history, literature, and culture from the age of Queen Victoria. The nearly 100,000 complete and excerpted sources are organized by subject matter, encompassing a wide array of topics including literary authors, economics, gender matters, music and theater, philosophy, political history, science, social history, religion, technology, and the visual arts. The site was founded in 1987 by Professor George P. Landow of Brown University and is maintained by a group of independent scholars. It has not been substantially updated since 2016.

Wilson Center Digital Archive ( is maintained by the Wilson Center, a non-partisan policy research forum funded by the US government. The archive contains thousands of documents organized by topic, largely dealing with diplomatic and military history. The collections include a variety of topics related to the Cold War, and to the diplomatic history of Africa, China, India, Latin America, and the Middle East. The archive is updated frequently.

This directory was prepared with the assistance of Christy Judd, Michele LaFerrier, Jessica Legnini, Kelly Rosati, Anna Sigel, and Brian Vagts.