Digital Collections

... for German History
... for European History
... for North American History
                    Special on the Civil War
                    Special on the American West
... for Transatlantic History


Here we introduce you to a selection of online sources and digital collections dealing with transatlantic cultural history. All collections are free of charge. We do not take responsibility for the contents of external websites.

Collections for German History

German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) is a comprehensive collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present. It comprises original German texts, all of which are accompanied by new English translations, and a wide range of visual imagery. The materials are presented in ten sections, which have been compiled by leading scholars. All of the materials can be downloaded free of charge for teaching, research, and related purposes; the site is strictly intended for individual, non-commercial use. GHDI is an initiative of the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC.

Collections for European History

The online teaching and research guide provides a range of written and audio-visual resources as well as articles, bibliographies, chronologies and links related to the experience of the sixties in Europe.

A glimpse of 19th century British life is available online, courtesy of Emory University Libraries’ Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL). More than 1,200 novels known as yellowbacks have been digitized using a cutting-edge robotic digital book scanner purchased from Kirtas Technologies, which enables the Libraries to scan thousands of rare and out-of-copyright books in its research collections.

Yellowbacks were cheap, 19th century British literature sold at railway book stalls, with colorful, sensational covers to attract buyers. “They were the equivalent of a popular novel you’d read on a plane today,” says David Faulds, MARBL’s rare book librarian. (source: Emory Library)


Collections for North American History

The Printed Ephemera collection at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. An American Time Capsule, the online presentation of the Printed Ephemera collection, comprises 17,000 of the 28,000 physical items. More are scheduled to be digitized in the future. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets. Rich in variety, the collection includes proclamations, advertisements, blank forms, programs, election tickets, catalogs, clippings, timetables, and menus. They capture the everyday activities of ordinary people who participated in the events of nation-building and experienced the growth of the nation from the American Revolution through the Industrial Revolution up to present day. A future final release will include thousands of oversize items in the collection.

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

The Library of Congress Web Archives (LCWA) is composed of collections of archived web sites selected by subject specialists to represent web-based information on a designated topic.

The collections include webpages on U.S. American elections and 9/11.

Collections for Transatlantic History

This digital archive has three main goals: First, it will gather and preserve materials on an important, but little known chapter of American and African American history as well as transatlantic relations after the Second World War. Second, it will make these materials available world wide and free of charge to scholars and teachers in the humanities. Third, it will foster the growth of a community of scholars, teachers, and students who are engaged in teaching and learning about the African American civil rights movement and its reverberations outside the U.S.

In cooperation with various international institutions the Library of Congress offers several digital libraries covering different aspects of the history of the United States' binational relationships. The collections are bilingual (English and the national language). The collections are as follows:

For Europe:

For the Americas:

The DFG national licence for electronic media is only available for institutions or permanent residents of the Federal Republic of Germany.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Books provide online access to critical declassified records on issues including U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, intelligence policy, and more.  Updated frequently, the Electronic Briefing Books represent just a small sample of the documents in our published and unpublished collections.