In recent decades, more and more archives and research libraries have made their materials freely available online. However, whether a student or a scholar, it is not always easy to know of these available sources or where to find them. Below you will see links to digital resources that early modernists at Pitt regularly use or have found useful in their own work. The page is still being build so do return to find more available archives as we expand our list. If you know of any that we have not listed here, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Description by the Archive: "From the founding of the colony in 1672 to the sale of the islands to the USA in 1917... This is where you can search in about 5 million image files of records from the Danish West Indies across the databases of the Danish National Archives. The 5 million image files of digitally scanned records are made up of 15,000 series of images and contains 130,000 transcribed entries."
Official documents on the French colonies of Algeria, Guadeloupe, Indochina, and Martinique. Those on the colonies of Guadeloupe and Martinique reach back to the 17th century.
Description by the Archive: "The Sound Toll Registers (STR) are the accounts of the toll which the king of Denmark levied on the shipping through the Sound, the strait between Sweden and Denmark. They have been conserved (with gaps in the first decades) for the period from 1497 to 1857, when the toll was abolished. From 1574 on, the series is almost complete."
Description by the Library: "The Newberry Library's French Pamphlet Collection primarily consists of material published between 1780 and 1810 from the French Revolution Collection (FRC), the Louis XVI Trial and Execution Collection, and several smaller collections of French Revolution era material." See also their Digital Newberry for the library's large digital collections.
Description of the hub by the Collaborative: "[A]n online repository of links to international library and archive collections, bibliographies, images, sound and text documents for use in research or the classroom. Explore the opportunities of and in German Studies through online exhibitions, blogs, oral histories, interactive maps or primary sources like newspaper and magazines." The hub includes links to numerous collections with early modern content as well as links to more modern materials.
Description by the Library: "High resolution images from the Library's archive of early American images, map collection, and political cartoon collection are available through Luna. Scans of over 10,000 full books are available through Internet Archive."
Description by the Old Bailey Online: "A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."
Description by Slave Voyages: "This digital memorial raises questions about the largest slave trades in history and offers access to the documentation available to answer them. European colonizers turned to Africa for enslaved laborers to build the cities and extract the resources of the Americas. They forced millions of mostly unnamed Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas, and from one part of the Americas to another. Analyze these slave trades and view interactive maps, timelines, and animations to see the dispersal in action."
Description by Electronic New France: "where all the best websites pertaining to French colonial America are gathered." Far from all archives and collections listed on this website include free online digital collections but several do. Those who do not, still include valuable research guides and inventories.
Links to library, university, and institute digital collections that deals with the history of Early America in global context.
Description by Northeastern University: "The Early Caribbean Digital ARchive is an open access collection of pre-twentieth-century Caribbean texts, maps, and images. Texts include travel narratives, novels, poetry, natural histories, and diaries that have not been brought together before as a single collection focused on the Caribbean."
Description at the Digital Archive: "The Slave Societies Digital Archive (formerly Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies), directed by Jane Landers and hosted at Vanderbilt University, preserves endangered ecclesiastical and secular documents related to Africans and African-descended peoples in slave societies. SSDA holdings include more than 700,000 digital images drawn close to 2,000 unique volumes dating from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries that document the lives of an estimated four to six million individuals. This collection contains the most extensive serial records for the history of Africans in the Atlantic World, and also includes valuable information about the indigenous, European, and Asian populations who lived alongside them."
Colonial North America at Harvard Library provides access to remarkable and wide-ranging materials digitized as part of an ongoing, multi-year project. When complete, the project will make available to the world approximately 650,000 digitized pages of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th- and 18th-century North America. Each item is connected to countless stories—of lives lived quietly and extravagantly, of encounters peaceful and volatile, and of places near and far – providing an opportunity to travel back in time, to rethink familiar stories, and to discover new ones.
BDPI (Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano) is a project launched by the Asociación de Bibliotecas Nacionales de Iberoamérica (ABINIA). Its objective is the creation of a portal which provides access, from a single search point, to the digital resources of all the participating libraries.
A large collection of digital archives with documents from different periods of Swedish history from the time of the Kalmar Union until the present.