Online Primary Sources

An important part of your History Day project will be finding and learning from primary sources, documents created during the time period being studied by people who lived then. The websites listed below allow you to view primary sources by topic, time period, or type of primary source, such as amendments, petitions, speeches or editorials.

To access these websites, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY). If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call (573) 443-3161 or (800) 324-4806.

Don’t have a DBRL library card? If you live in Boone or Callaway Counties, you can get a free card at any age, but applications for those under 18 require a parent or guardian’s signature. Learn more.


  • Academic Search Elite
    This scholarly collection provides full-text journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study – including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature and more.
  • EBSCO MasterFILE Premier
    Provides full text for nearly 1,750 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. It also includes nearly 500 full text reference books, 86,017 biographies, 105,786 primary source documents, and an image collection of 341,655 photos, maps and flags.
  • MAS Ultra – School Edition
    Designed for high school students, this database contains full-text articles, biographies, primary source documents, reference books and images on topics ranging from science, history and literature to political science and more.
  • NewsBank
    Full text articles and archives from the Boone County Journal, Fulton Sun, Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Newspaper Source
    Cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 national and international newspapers as well as selective full text for more than 370 regional papers.
  • New York Times Recent & U.S. Major Dailies
    The New York Times Recent includes full-page images of this digitized newspaper. Coverage: 2008-recent (3-month embargo). US Major Dailies provides access to article text from The New York Times (1980-current), The Wall Street Journal (1984-current), The Washington Post (1987-current) Los Angeles Times (1985-current), Chicago Tribune (1985-current).
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers
    Search archives of New York Times (1851-2013), Chicago Tribune (1849-1993), St. Louis Post Dispatch (1874-2003), Wall Street Journal (1889-2000), and Washington Post (1877-2000). Includes ability to view articles on a specific date or range of dates.


  • African-American History Online
    Provides expansive and in-depth information on the people, events, and topics important to the study of African-American history.
  • American History Online
    Spans more than 500 years of political, military, social, and cultural history, highlighting the important people and events of the American experience.
  • American Indian History Online
    Offers thorough access to more than 15,000 years of Native American culture, history, and heritage.
  • American Women’s History Online
    Covers the important people, events, legislation, and issues relevant to the study of women’s history in the United States.
  • Ancient and Medieval History Online
    Explores the pre-modern world with in-depth focus on Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
  • Biography in Context
    Biographies of more than 340,000 people from key reference sources plus full-text articles from magazines and newspapers.
  • Black Freedom Struggle in the U.S.
    Discover primary source documents including historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more related to critical people and events in African American history.
  • Issues and Controversies in American History
    Builds a deeper understanding of how historical events have shaped our nation by exploring the key players and the battles they fought.
  • Modern World History Online
    Covers the people, places, and events in the broad expanse of history–from mid-15th century to the present.

Getting StartedPreliminary Research | Print Primary Sources