Washington and Lee University

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Reference Resources: Historic Texts

ACLS Humanities E-Book Project

This database (formerly called the History E-book Project) includes the complete contents of 2,800 high-quality humanities books from nearly 100 publishers and a working group of learned societies. About 500 works are to be added each year.
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AP Images

This database is used primarily for finding photographs from the Associated Press, but other information formats (audio, text, etc.) are accessible via the "More Media" options, near the top of the screen. The photography archive includes over 6 million photographs from the U.S. and elsewhere, all available moments after they move on the AP's spot photo system.
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ARTFL (American And French Research On The Treasury Of The French Language)

ARTFL, the implementation of the FRANTEXT database, consists of nearly 2,000 texts, ranging from classic works of French literature to various kinds of non-fiction prose and technical writing. The eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries are about equally represented, with a smaller selection of seventeenth century texts as well as some medieval and Renaissance texts. Genres include novels, verse, theater, journalism, essays, correspondence, and treatises.
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Alex Catalogue Of Electronic Texts

Collection of digital documents from American literature, English literature, and Western philosophy
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American Journeys

Over 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives.
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American Memory

Digital copies of over 7 million items from the Library of Congress's National Digital Library.
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American Presidency Project

Very useful compilation of documents, including "the only online resource that has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Washington - Taft (1789-1913); Public Papers of the Presidents, Hoover to Bush (1929-1993); Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Clinton - G.W. Bush (1993-2006)." Also other documents, statistical data, audio and video archive.
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American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank

Transcripts and audio of over 5,000 speeches.
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Avalon Project; Documents In Law, History, And Diplomacy

Hundreds of digitized documents in the subject areas of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy, and government.
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Cetedoc Library Of Christian Latin Texts

Note: This is not an online database. When you click "Connect" above, it will lead you to the record for the CD-ROM.

Latin texts with translations in English, French, German, and Italian, chiefly from the following corpora: Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina; Corpus Christianorum. Continuatio Medievalis; Corpus Christianorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum; Patrologiae cursus completus. Series Latina; Patrologiae Latinae supplementum; Sources chrΓ©tiennes; S. Bernardi opera omnia; and: Biblia sacra juxta vulgatam versionem.

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Clearinghouse Of Government Documents Digital Projects

Database of national, state, local, and international collections.
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Complete Works Of Charles Darwin

The largest collection of writings by and about Charles Darwin ever assembled, with the majority of works online here for the first time. Includes handwritten manuscripts, the Beagle diary and notebooks, many publications from periodicals, and correspondence. Most documents include HTML text as well as a photo representation of the original document. A manuscript catalog may be searched here.
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Constitution Finder

Current and past constitutions, charters, amendments, and other related documents for nations around the world.
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Corpus Of Middle English Prose And Verse

Digitized copies of about 150 works in Middle English. See the list at "Sources," above.
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Permanent access to defunct Federal Government agency and commission Web sites and their publications. Joint project of the U.S. Government Printing Office and the University of North Texas.
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Documents Of United States Indian Policy

Third edition (2000) contains over 200 documents (listed chronologically), with brief commentary on each. The library also has a printed copy.
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Early English Books Online (EEBO)

EEBO provides digital access to over 125,000+ literary and historical classics. All works are in full image format, meaning that images accurately reflect the way the works appeared in their original printed editions. Besides literary and historical works, the database also includes musical exercises, prayer books, pamphlets, proclamations, almanacs, calendars, and many other primary resources.
Funding was made possible by a gift from William Buice, Class of 1961.
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Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) provides access to the digital images of every page of 150,000 books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of approximately 33 million pages, ECCO allows researchers new methods of access to publications in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.
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Electronic Text Center

About 70,000 humanities texts in thirteen languages, with more than 350,000 related images (book illustrations, covers, manuscripts, newspaper pages, page images of Special Collections books, museum objects, etc.) . Some materials are available only at the University of Virginia.
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Encyclopedia Of Diderot And D'Alembert

Ambitious (and not yet complete) project to provide an English translation of this 32-volume 18th-century masterpiece.
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EuroDocs: Online Sources For European History

Links to "European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated."
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Founders' Constitution

Compilation of documents important to the development of constitutional government in the U.S.
The printed multi-volume set is available in the library collection.
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Harper's Weekly: The Civil War Era And Reconstruction (1857-1877)

Browse or search issues of Harper's Weekly, America's leading 19th century illustrated newspaper.
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Historic Documents

Contains texts and commentary on over 3,000 documents, ranging from "presidential speeches, international agreements, and Supreme Court decisions to U.S. governmental reports, scientific findings, and cultural discussions." Coverage begins with 1972.
Much of the value of the database lies in CQ's analysis of the actual document, summarizing the history, issues, personalities, and controversies surrounding the item.
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Internet Archive -- Wayback Machine

Specialized in storing and accessing "old" Web pages, with some coverage extending back to 1995. Includes over 30 billion pages.
As of January 2011, you also can use a new interface, which is still in the Beta test stage.
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Internet Sacred Text Archive

Archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language.
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Literature Online (LION)

Literature Online is the leading online resource for the study and teaching of literature in English. It is a fully integrated service that combines the full text of over 357,250 works of literature with huge resources of criticism and reference.
Contemporary criticism is available through the full text of over 320 current literature journals that can be accessed through the renowned literary index, Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL), which contains literary criticism from 1920 to current.
You can also search the author information to find answers to questions such as: Who wrote The Lord of the Rings? Which authors were in Virginia Woolf's literary circle, The Bloomsbury Group? What African writers were influential in the 20th century? Which women authors were part of the Harlem Renaissance? What is the latest literary criticism on Hispanic American writers?
Literature Online brings together the contents of the following individual databases: Poetry Collections: American Poetry – Over 40,000 poems from more than 200 American poets English Poetry, Second Edition – Essentially the complete English poetic canon from the 8th century to the early 20th. Over 160,000 poems by more than 1,250 poets drawn from nearly 4,500 printed sources African-American Poetry – Nearly 3,000 poems written by African-American poets in the late 18th and 19th centuries Canadian Poetry – Created in partnership with the University of New Brunswick, it includes nearly 20,000 poems from the 17th century through the early 20th century Twentieth-Century American Poetry – More than 52,000 poems from over 750 20th-century American poets Twentieth Century African-American Poetry – 10,000 poems by more than 75 critically acclaimed African-American poets Prose Collections: Early American Fiction, 1789-1875 – More than 750 complete works of fiction by more than 130 authors, the canon of early American literature Early English Prose Fiction – Over 200 complete works of fiction from 1500-1700 Eighteenth-Century Fiction – 96 complete works of fiction by writers from the British Isles from 1700-1780 Nineteenth-Century Fiction – 250 complete novels from 1781 to 1903, including Dickens, Eliot and Hardy, as well as landmarks of Gothic and other Romantic period fiction Drama Collections: American Drama, 1714-1915 – Over 1,500 plays from the beginning of American theater to the early twentieth century English Drama, 1280-1915 – Combination of English Prose Drama and English Verse Drama, which offers 4,000 plays by 1,200 authors from the late 13th century to the early 20th century Premium Collections: MLA International Bibliography Twentieth- Century Drama – A substantial collection of plays written in English from the most significant dramatists of the 20th century. Fully inclusive, it offers a comprehensive collection of women and men writers, all ethnicities and many nationalities Twentieth-Century American Poetry, Second Edition – Combining two existing Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections with over 500 volumes of newly licensed material, this essential collection brings together the most important and influential poems representing the full range of movements and traditions in American poetry from 1900 to the present day Other Collections: Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) – Includes over 950,000 bibliographic records from 1920 to current King James Bible – This version of the Bible was the standard edition of the Bible for nearly three centuries and offers a Bible for reference Bible In English – 20 different versions of the English Bible from the 10th to the 20th centuries Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare – The complete text of 11 major editions, 24 separate contemporary printings of individual plays, more than 100 adaptations from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries W.B. Yeats Collection – Yeats's complete works in electronic form Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged – This 1993 edition offers 450,000 vocabulary entries Bibliography of American Literature (BAL) – Bibliographic information on almost 40,000 American literary works by 300 American writers from the period of the Revolution to 1930, recorded in the BAL's nine volumes.
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Making Of America

Digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.
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Multilaterals Project

Texts of international multilateral conventions and other instruments, primarily in the fields of the environment, human rights, commerce and trade, laws of war and arms control, and other areas.
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National Security Archive

Collection of government documents (over 1/2 million pages) on a "wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States." Many of the items have been de-classified and are available here for the first time.
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National Union Catalog Of Manuscript Collections

The Library of Congress's index of manuscript collections in the U.S. (The texts of the manuscripts themselves may not be available electronically.)
The W&L library also has printed volumes dated 1959 to 1993.
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OAIster (Open Archives Initiative) "harvests" collections of digital resources from nearly 300 academic and research-related institutions, now totaling over 23 million items.
It focuses on materials (reports, studies, other documents) created at respected academic and research institutions.
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Online Books Page

Texts of over 20,000 books.
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Our Documents

100 milestone documents in U.S history from 1776 to 1965.
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PHI : CD ROM #5.3

Latin literature Bible -- Manuscripts Bible -- Versions
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Presidential Speeches

A collection of U.S. presidential speeches. The 20th-century speeches include audio.
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ProQuest Congressional -- Serial Set

August 2012 brings a new interface for ProQuest Congressional (formerly LexisNexis Congressional).
W&L's subscription includes access to Serial Set documents dating back to 1789.

Still being published in paper form in the 21st century, the modern Serial Set is now almost exclusively a collection of Congressional reports and documents. However, for most of its history, it was much more than that, including hundreds of thousands of reports in a wide variety of subject areas from dozens of government agencies. Here is more information on the Serial Set.
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Project Gutenberg

Texts of over 10,000 books, mostly older literary works in the public domain in the U.S.
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