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Europe and Germany After 1945: Primary Sources


Primary Sources

A primary source is a document, recording or other source of information created at the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described.

Primary sources include diaries, letters, family records, statistics, speeches, interviews, autobiographies, film, government documents, or original scientific research.

Primary sources can be found in Woodruff's Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

You can also find many primary source materials via discoverE.

Using Databases to Find Articles

Databases like JSTOR, LexisNexis, and Academic Search Complete provide citations and/or full text of journal articles, books, and other materials. Emory University Libraries pay for access to the contents of more than 400 databases. See our Databases page for a complete listing. For help with searching databases, see our Finding Articles at Woodruff research guide.

Access from off-campus is available only to current Emory University students, faculty and staff, and requires an Emory Network ID and password.

Primary Source Databases

Emory University makes a good deal of primary sources available to students in a digital format. To see the complete list of primary source databases available to students, click here

Below you will find a select list of databases that are particularly appropriate for your coursework. This list is not exhaustive.

Primary sources in electronic format

US Congressional Serial Set

This digital collection is comprised of the Reports, Documents and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that have been bound in sequential volumes since 1817. These materials are a rich source of primary source documents on all aspects of American History. Presently covers up to the year 1980.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)

Full-text digital copies of British Parliamentary publications including Hansard, official parliamentary debates, and the British sessional papers, the working papers of government.

Digital National Security Archive

The Digital National Security Archive contains numerous searchable full-text collections of declassified documents in areas of U.S. foreign policy and intelligence.

Foreign relations of the United States

This version is generally regarded as difficult to search. Another option for searching through this set is to use the version made freely available by the U.S. Department of State, Note, that the Department of State version may be incomplete for certain years. Woodruff Library also has the print version in Government Documents, SuDoc number S1.1.

Macmillan Cabinet Papers 1957-1963

Macmillan Online provides historians and political scientists with direct access to over 30,000 documents from the highest level of the British Government during the Macmillan Administration. Covers not only domestic politics but also major foreign policy challenges including the erection of Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile, Crisis and the dissolution of the British empire. Includes scholarly essays to provide context.

Post-War Europe Series I: Refugees, Exile and Resettlement, 1945-1950

Post-War Europe: Refugees, Exile and Resettlement, 1945-1950 provides a unique perspective on the lives of the survivors — Jewish and non-Jewish — of the Holocaust and World War II. The collection contains documents from British government files as well as those of the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad and the Jewish Relief Units — including surveys, leaflets, reports of relief workers, U.S. zone reports, War office memos, Exodus Camp records, Displaced Persons Assembly Centre weekly reports and correspondence of relief organizations. It covers the international politics leading the administration, care, repatriation and emigration of Displaced Persons (DPs) and the daily plight of the refugees themselves.

Archives Unbound, East Germany from Stalinization to the New Economic Policy, 1950–1963

Digital archive of the records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of East Germany. Documents within the collection provide an in-depth look into the creation of the East German state, living conditions, and its people.

Archives Unbound, Holocaust and the concentration camp trials prosecution of Nazi war crimes

This collection provides unique documents on the investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed by Nazi concentration camp commandants and camp personnel. Documents include: correspondence; trial records and transcripts; investigatory material, such as interrogation reports and trial exhibits; clemency petitions and reviews; photographs of atrocities; newspaper clippings; and pamphlets.

Hein Online

Includes a number of primary documents on legal history. For example, see Selected documents on Germany and the question of Berlin, 1944-1961 and Court of Restitution Appeals reports.

Newspapers and the Press

Opinion Press

Opinion Archives

Opinion Archives provides access to current issues and backfiles of a number of leading U.S. opinion publications (from the left and right sides of the political spectrum) including the Nation (1865-present), Commentary (1945-present), the American Spectator (1967-present), the National Review (1955-present), New Republic (1914-present), Commonweal (1924-present), the New York Review of Books (1965-present), Harper's (1850-present) and the NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America) Report (1966-present). The metasearch option provided by Opinion Archives allows one to search concurrently across issues. All issues are also available via eJournals@Emory.


Current Newspapers

Factiva lets you quickly search nearly 8,000 publications in 22 languages, including the world's most prestigious publications, local sources and the Reuters and Dow Jones newswires.

LexisNexis Academic Universe
Full-text access to news, business, medical, educational and legal sources. The sources include international, national, and regional newspapers; magazines; trade journals; newsletters; wire service reports; and transcripts of television and radio news programs.

Newsbank Access World News
Access World News coverage includes domestic newspapers, international newspapers, news wires, transcripts, and broadcasts, including 13 German news sources. All titles are the full electronic version of record.

Google News
Google News is a computer-generated news site that aggregates headlines from news sources worldwide, groups similar stories together and displays them according to each reader's personalized interests.


Historical Newspapers
For a full listing of online newspaper sources, click here. For a listing of Woodruff Library's newspaper holdings in print and microform, click here.


Times Digital Archive
Articles from the Times (London) from the years 1785 to 1985.


Atlanta Constitution Historical (1868-1949)

Boston Globe Historical (1872-1981)

Chicago Tribune Historical (1890-1989)

Christian Science Monitor Historical (1908-1999)

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971
Contains the Jewish Journal and the Jewish Chronicle.

New York Times Historical (1851-2009)

Wall Street Journal Historical (1889-1989)

Washington Post Historical (1877-1996)


Jerusalem Post Historical (1932-1988)

Subject Guide

Chella Vaidyanathan's picture
Chella Vaidyanathan
Emory University
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