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HIST 178B: Britain and India: Connected Histories

Recommended resources and strategies for research in Professor Hannah Weiss Muller's HIST 178B: Britain and India: Connected Histories

Tips for Using Collections of Digitized Primary Sources

If you are using a database with an Advanced Search form, try using the Advanced Search features to refine your search.

Since these databases cover many decades, it can be helpful to limit your search to a specific date range.

Think about what terms that might have been used to in articles about your topic during the time period. For example: the name of a specific person or organization or even a term that wouldn't be used today.

Some databases allow you to limit your search to articles from a specific geographic area. Try doing this when researching events from a specific region.

These databases often sort results in chronological order. In some cases, it might be helpful to sort by relevance/best matches first.

In addition to searching, try browsing these collections to learn about sources that you wouldn't have necessarily thought of searching for.

Recommended Databases

Parliamentary Papers

Brandeis has a variety of parliamentary papers available on microfilm.

For example, for the 1790s, we have The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, covering 1743-1801.

There are also options for viewing digitized Parliamentary Papers. A digital edition of Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England (1066 to 1803) is  available through the BPL database Making of the Modern WorldCobbett's Parliamentary History of England is also available through Oxford Digital Library. (The full text searching options might be better in the Making of the Modern World database from the BPL though.)

British History Online also has:

Historical Newspapers & Periodicals

Newspapers of Interest from Other Parts of the World


This page includes suggestions for many digitized collections of primary source materials, but remember to consider sources that may not have been digitized. Try searching the Library Catalog. Search by an author from the time period or enter a subject in combination with any of the subject headings used to define primary sources:

Early works to…
Government documents
Legal documents

To search primary source collections beyond Brandeis:

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library has a number of excellent databases withe primary source materials, including:

  • 19th Century British Newspapers
  • Slavery and Anti-Slavery
  • Sunday Times (London) Digital Archive
  • Times (London) Digital Archive
  • Listener Historical Archive (1929-1991)
  • Making of the Modern World
  • Financial Times Historical Archive (1888-2009)

 You can sign up for a BPL ecard which will allow you to use these databases.