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American Historical Review Digital Primary Sources

A list from the American Historical Review of open access databases containing digitized primary sources for historical research.

DigitalNZ (National Library of New Zealand)
“Partnering curiosity with information, DigitalNZ began with a purpose: to bring the wealth of digital New Zealand content into one, accessible place.” This site invites visitors to browse or search a vast collection of over thirty million digitized items—such as videos, images, newspapers, maps, audio recordings, and artwork—from libraries, museums, galleries, government departments, the media, and community groups in New Zealand.
Regions: New Zealand
Dates: 1000 B.C.E.-present

The Papers of Sir Joseph Banks (State Library of New South Wales)
A digitized archive of the papers of British naturalist Joseph Banks, a member of James Cook’s first Pacific expedition and a proponent of British settlement in Australia. The papers “amount to approximately 10,000 manuscript pages and include correspondence, principally letters received, but also reports, invoices and accounts, journals, plus a small quantity of maps, charts and watercolours.”
Regions: England; Australia; Pacific Islands
Dates: 1767-1822

South Seas (National Library of Australia; Australian National University)
"South Seas offers the full text of the holograph manuscript of James Cook’s Endeavour Journal ... together with the full texts of the journals kept by Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson on the voyage. You will also find the text of all three volumes of John Hawkesworth’s Account of the Voyages undertaken ... in the Southern Hemisphere ... (1773) ... This first phase of South Seas also contains online editions of several important works illustrative of indigenous Pacific cultures before and during the years between 1760 and 1800, as well as a number of literary works revealing how the experiences of voyagers captured the imagination of Europeans during the second-half of the eighteenth century."
Regions: Australia
Dates: 1768-1901

Trove: Digitised Newspapers and More (National Library of Australia)
Scans of historic Australian periodicals.
Regions: Australia
Dates: 1803-2013

Papers Past--National Library of New Zealand (National Library of New Zealand)
This website contains four sections: newspapers, magazines and journals, letters and diaries, and parliamentary papers. The newspapers and magazines and journals sections cover New Zealand and Pacific publications from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and both sections include numerous publications that primarily served Māori populations. The letters and diaries section is currently limited to the papers of the politician Sir Donald McLean. “The Parliamentary Papers section contains digitised reports from volumes of the Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHRs) and the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives.”
Regions: New Zealand
Dates: 1837-2017

Papers Past (National Library of New Zealand)
Papers Past is an online archive of over three million digitized pages of New Zealand newspapers, magazines, diaries, government papers, and other historical textual sources. The collected-newspapers archive contains issues from over twenty traditional Maori newspapers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Regions: Oceania and the Pacific Islands; New Zealand
Dates: 1839-1948

Oceania Digital Collection (University of California, San Diego)
“Drawn primarily from the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology, this collection illuminates aspects of the vibrant cultures and diverse peoples of the Pacific Islands through 20th-century photographs, dissertations, and films.” Visitors can browse primary source collections or search by format, creator, date, or topic.
Regions: Oceania and the Pacific Islands
Dates: 1903-2013

Digitized Collections (The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies)
The Australian Institute aims to promote “knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.” The collections range from digitized newsletters of the Evangelical Aborigines’ Inland Mission to items documenting Indigenous soldiers’ service in the Australian military.
Regions: Australia; Torres Strait Islands
Dates: 1907-present