Skip to Main Content

HIS 562: British Histories/Global Histories, c. 1750-1950

Guide for students in HIS 562

The source-driven research paper

Often, the best work arises from close engagement with a primary source. As you read, you'll think of questions or begin to shape an argument. The hard part is to find a primary source that addresses the broad general area of interest. Here are some strategies for finding primary sources:

Primary Sources in the Library


Many primary source collections have been edited, printed and are housed in the library.  Use the catalog to search by your topic and add the words "sources" or "correspondence."



Princeton University libraries house many collections of primary sources, both in Firestone Library and at Mudd Manuscript Library.  Search the collections here



Digitzed primary sources: Britain

National Archives of the United Kingdom -- many papers are digitized and available for free download

We invite you to browse through the databases related to modern European history -- there is likely one that has digitized collections related to your topic.

British newspapers

  • English
  • Current issues in Periodicals Reading Room
  • Times London(Lexis-Nexis Academic) (July 1, 1985+) see Newspapers at Princeton
  • Palmer's Full Text Online & Index to the Times (1790-1905)
  • Official Index to The Times (1906-1980)
  • RECAP MICROFILM S00827 (1788-2009)
  • Note: back issues of the Times of London are available through two different services. The first includes full text, and the second combines full text with an online version of the print index (Palmer's). Note that some readers prefer to consult the paper version of the index, which is shelved in Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB): AI21.T5.

Newspapers from the Empire

Periodicals (Britain and U.S.)

News, Policy and Politics Magazine Archive
Consists of the backfile of 15 major magazines (including the Newsweek archive), spanning areas including current events, international relations, and public policy. Covers history, political science, law and economics. 1918-2015

Periodicals Index Online 
Periodicals Index Online is an index to a very substantial collection of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. Either through PIO, or separately, the reader can also access two full-text collections, British Periodicals and Periodicals Archive Online, which provide searchable full-text and page images of hundreds of periodicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Readers' Guide  (1890+; Select Full Text 1992+)
Indexing and abstracting of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and Canada, plus the full text of selected periodicals from the late 20th century.

PAIS: Public Affairs Information Service  (1915+) Citations to articles, books, reports, and select government documents on U.S. and international public policy issue. Generally considered to be a comprehensive index to policy literature.

Related guides