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Primary Sources

This guide will provide access and links to the substantial and ever-growing wealth of primary sources available through ASU Library or freely-accessible through the Internet

Southern States Archival Collections

 The ADAH Digital Collections (Alabama):  The ADAH Digital Collections consist of digitzed photographs, documents, audio, and video material drawn from the vast holdings of the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History.

Documenting the America South Digitized primary materials in the Southern Collections at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offer Southern perspectives on American history, literature and culture. Collection includes texts, images and audio files of value to all educational levels for reference, studying, teaching and research.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) Digital Archives  The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) Digital Archives site offers a variety of materials spanning official government documents to oral histories and donated materials.  The MDAH is likely most well known for hosting the Sovereignty Commission Online website, which collects the records of Mississippi's state-sponsored counter-civil rights agency.

Virginia Memory Digital Collections ( Library of Virginia)  Virginia Memory is part of the online presence of the Library of Virginia, the state archives and reference library. The Library maintains vast and varied collections of print materials, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, and fine art that tell the history of the commonwealth and its people.


Civil War, 1860 - 1865

The American Civil War Home Page  Links to hundreds of resources, including timelines, overviews, images, letters, accounts and diaries, bibliographies, state studies, specific battles and rosters. A good place to start any search for Civil War information.

American Civil War Resources: Civil War materials from the Digital Library & Archives, Virginia Tech Libraries containing letters and diaries from both Union and Confederate soldiers, homefront letters, memoirs, and contemporary research files.

Causes of The Civil War: "This site was founded with the intent of collecting copies of or links to as many primary documents from the period of the secession crisis as is reasonably possible, with the goal of shedding light on the causes of secession, hence of the war."

Civil War Newspapers (Access through ASU Library) This database is from ACCESSIBLE ARCHIVES FULL-TEXT DATABASES. It contains the full text of major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865. Included are descriptive news articles, eye-witness accounts and official reports of battles and events, editorials, advertisements and biographies. A great effort has been made also to include articles which describe other than military concerns of the day.

Civil War Washington  Civil War Washington examines the U.S. national capital from multiple perspectives as a case study of social, political, cultural, and medical/scientific transitions provoked or accelerated by the Civil War.  Drawing on material ranging from census records to literary texts  we examine how Washington changed from a sleepy Southern town to the symbolic center of the Union and nation.

Civil War Women: Primary Sources on the Internet: A webpage sponsored by Duke University Special Collections Library containing diaries, letters and photographs.

Richmond Daily Dispatch, 1860 - 1865  The Richmond Daily Dispatch is a collaboration between the University of Richmond, Tufts University's Perseus Project, and the Virginia Center for Digital History. There are currently 1384 issues of the paper available online, ranging in date from November 1860 through December 1865.


Secession Era Editorials Project  Currently contains newspaper editorials about the following seminal events:  the Nebraska bill debates, Dred Scott, and John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, and the attack on Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina representative Preston Brooks.

The U.S. Civil War Center (Louisiana State University)
A collection of web links to indexes, letters, diaries, museums, discussion groups, newspapers, university archives, and Web-accessible documents. The 'historic places' portion leads to information on battlefields, cemeteries, forts, and historic sites.

The Valley of the Shadow: Living the Civil War in Virginia and Pennsylvania
Text and documents dealing with two communities: Chambersburg, Pa., and Staunton, Va. project attempts to find ways to learn about and portray people who left no records other than a few lines in the census, court records and newspapers. Links to related readings available elsewhere on the Internet.

The War of the Rebellion: Both The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1880 - 1901) and the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (1894 - 1922) are available full text online at Cornell University's Making of America site. These are obviously two of the most significant civil war resources.

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