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The French Revolution and Napoleon: Primary Sources

HIST 508

Searching DiscoverE for 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.

Try searching disvcoverE for primary sources. It will allow to you limit by language.

France History Consulate and First Empire, 1799-1815 Sources

France History Revolution, 1789-1799 Personal narratives

France History Revolution, 1789-1799 Sources

France Politics and government 1789-1799 Sources.

Prussia (Germany) Kings and rulers Correspondence

France History Revolution, 1789-1799 Influence Sources

Other useful research guides

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.

Government Documents

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. Extremely important primary sources for British, European, U.S. and world history.

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.

Newspaper databases

Times Digital Archive (1785 to 1985)

The Times Digital Archive offers full page and article images of the Times (London) with searchable full text, including searchable advertisements and photographs, back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue. This archive does not include the Sunday Times, a newspaper independent of the Times.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (1604 to 1800)

The largest single collection of 17th and 18th century English news media available from the British Library. The collection includes more than 1000 pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers from the period. The collection covers more than 200 years of accounts from newspapers from England, Ireland, Scotland and a handful of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.

19th Century British Library Newspapers Digital Archive (1801-1900)

This database consists of full-text national and regional newspapers from Victorian Britain, digitized from the collection of the British Library. It is the sister product to 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (1604-1800).

America's Historical Newspapers  (1690-1922)

Cover-to-cover, fully searchable and browsable facsimile reproductions of over 1000 historic U.S. newspapers from all 50 states.

ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online (1716 to 1936)

A digital collection of newspapers published in the Hapsburg Monarchy and Austria. Users can either browse the titles of the newspapers or choose a specific date.

Primary source journal and literature databases

19th Century British Pamphlets 

This collection contains the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in UK research libraries. More than 20,000 pamphlets from seven UK institutions provide an immensely rich and coherent corpus of primary sources with which to study the socio-political and economic landscape of 19th century Britain. A good number of these pamphlets cover topics germane to the French Revolution.

British Periodicals I (1691-1937)

British Periodicals Collection I consists of more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (1701-1800)

Digital images of every page of 150,000 books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of approximately 33 million pages, Eighteenth Century Collections Online allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.

Eighteenth Century Journals (1685-1815)

This portal to newspapers and periodicals provides full-text access to rare British newspapers and periodicals from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Gallica Digital Library

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. It has lots of both primary and secondary sources.

Google Book Search

Google Book Search provides access to full-text primary sources in the public domain.

HathiTrust Digital Library

HathiTrust is a very large scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via the Google Books project and Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Additional Primary Sources Online

French Revolution Pamphlet Collection

Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert: Collaborative Translation Project

First published over the course of more than twenty years (1751-1777), the 32 volumes of the Encyclopédie include 21 volumes of text with more than 70,000 articles on subjects ranging from asparagus to zodiac.

Liberty, Equality, Eternity: Exploring the French Revolution

This is a website put up by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It has more than 600 primary documents.

Modern Editions of Early Modern French Sources Translated into English

EuroDocs: France 1789-1871

French Revolution: A Resource Guide

CESAR: calendrier electronique des spectacles sous l'ancien regime et sous la revolution

The database contains information on all aspects of the French theatre between 1600 and 1800. The scope is all-inclusive, covering plays, operas, ballets, fairground productions, street performances and other incidental theatrical entertainments of all kinds, whether they were performed or published or merely described in contemporary documents.

Napoleonica - Database of Napoleonic primary sources

Center for Research Libraries

The Center for Research Libraries has a particularly strong collection of foreign newspapers.

Primary microfilm collections

Subject Guide

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Chella Vaidyanathan
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