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Research Guides


During fall quarter, September 29, 2021 through January 1, 2022, no group visits will be allowed. There will be no tours or orientations for K-12 visitors. Individual students are welcome to visit the Libraries once buildings reopen. Check with AskUs Services staff regarding libraries' hours and restrictions for visits to Special Collections and the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers collections.

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This guide provides suggestions for doing historical research using freely available resources from the University of Washington, local public libraries, and on the web. The Topic Tips page offers advice in choosing a topic that will work given the limitations on resource availability.

@ UW

The following digitized collections of primary sources are freely available for anyone to use.


Please contact us if you have questions about this guide or about specific collections.

@ Public Libraries

Local public libraries have many specialized databases that can be useful for History Day Research - both primary and secondary sources. These databases are available to anyone with a library card for that system. Check your local public library to see what resources they have.

@ Web

There are thousands of primary source collections available on the web. Keep in mind that many of these collections pre-date 1925 due to copyright concerns. A few major ones are listed below. For additional freely available resources, check the primary sources pages on the suite of History Research Guides (especially by region and by topic)  -- most of the links on these pages lead to freely-available collections though some are UW-restricted and will not be accessible until the Libraries reopens.