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Boston History  

Resources for studying Boston History, including primary sources, secondary sources, maps.
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

General Resources / Starting Place Print Page

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Primary Sources

What is a primary source?

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied (documents, newspaper articles, letters, speeches, fiction), or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (memoirs) and they reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.  Many libraries and museums may be sources for primary materials, although not listed in this category.


  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
    Academic Search Premier is a scholarly, full text database designed for academic institutions. The database includes full text for 1800 publications as well as images, for nearly every academic field of study.
  • Boston Globe 1872-1979 (Proquest)
  • Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale)
    From arts and the humanities to social sciences, science and technology, this database meets research needs across all academic disciplines. Access scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspapers - many with full text and images!
  • History Cooperative
  • Humanities Int'l Complete (EBSCO)
    Humanities International Complete is an essential collection for comprehensive coverage of the humanities with full text content.
    JSTOR ( is a not-for-profit organization with a dual mission to create and maintain a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, and to provide access to these journals as widely as possible. Content in JSTOR spans many disciplines, primarily in the humanities and social sciences.

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