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HIS496 - History Seminar

Finding primary source documents in books

Finding books in the online library catalog that are primary sources

Try adding one of the following words to your search to find collections of primary sources:

"documents," "sources," "letters," or "diaries"

e.g., "Korean War AND Sources" or "Civil War AND Diaries"

Finding primary sources in periodicals

These databases can lead you to magazine articles on historical, cultural and seminal events of the past 100+ years.

If the article is not available in full text (i.e., PDF or HTML format), request the article through the Interlibrary Loan link within the database or fill out our Interlibrary Loan form. Most articles are sent to us from other libraries within 1-3 days -- but plan for more time just to make sure.

Newspaper articles online

The Doane Library has a few databases that give you access to newspaper articles.

  • New York Times -- You must register for an account to have generally unlimited reading, though our subscription limits you to only 5 articles per day if published 1923-1980.
  • America's News -- This includes many newspapers and news transcripts for each state, regional and national news, as well as English-language international news sources. 
    • Nebraska Newspapers -- Search 38 Nebraska city, town and college newspapers for stories published in the last 30+ years.
  • Newspapers.com - Nebraska Collection -- Search 48 Nebraska newspapers, dating from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s
  • WestlawNext Campus Research -- Select "News" from the Content list, then navigate through articles by Reuters, or by state or international region.
  • ProQuest -- This large database includes two news databases -- US Newsstream and International Newsstream -- providing more recent news stories from the past 30-40 years approximately. 
  • MyHeritage -- This database provides access to many newspapers in the US and some other countries. It includes some of the newspapers in the Chronicling America project.

Free-to-the-public sites you might search for historical newspapers include:

  • Chronicling America -- The Library of Congress provides free access to digitized newspapers from 1836-1922 and a newspaper directory for papers published in the U.S. from 1690-present. 
  • Google's Advanced News Archive Search in order to find scanned images from historical newspapers
  • Historical Worldwide Newspapers Online -- This Libguide from Bowling Green State University library lists many free online newspaper sites. NOTE: The guide is no longer maintained, therefore, some links may be broken.
  • Europeana Newspapers -- This is a very large collection of historical European newspapers. In their original language, no translations.

Special Digitized Collections in the Doane Library

The library has purchased the following collections of primary source documents for your use:

Doane College Archives

If you are doing research on a Doane topic, refer to the Doane University Archives research guide to access the directory of the archives.

Digitized Collections - Nebraska

Here are websites specific to Nebraska:

Digitized Collections - Beyond Nebraska

This is a representative list of history websites that might be helpful in your research. Ask at the Circulation Desk to consult the following books, which are in Course Reserves (under Dr. Jarvis' name), for more websites:

  • The American history highway : a guide to Internet resources on U.S., Canadian, and Latin American history, by Dennis Trinkle
  • The history highway : a 21st century guide to Internet resources, by Dennis Trinkle
  • U.S. history matters : a student guide to U.S. history online, by Kelly Schrum


Interlibrary loan requests

Use our interlibrary loan (ILL) form to request resources from other libraries around the nation:

Perkins Library ILL Request