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The first newspaper in the United States was printed in 1690. The list below provides links to free online resources for historical newspapers.
Brooklyn Newsstand - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was published from 1841 to 1955, then revived from 1960 to 1963. Phase I, which can be found on this site, covers the period from October 26, 1841 to December 31, 1902, representing half of the Eagle's years of publication. This period includes all of the years for which there is no index as well as the eleven years during which an index was published. Approximately 147,000 pages of newspaper in various digital formats are contained in this online repository. Access can be gained either by date of issue or by keyword searching.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, this site provides access to newspapers from 1837 - 1922. You can also search the the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present
Google News Archive
This can also be a source for articles from newspapers. While searching is free, it appears that most of the older material in the archive is only available via subscriptions. This may change, however, as Google's Newspaper Archive Partners Program develops.
U.S. History Sites
The sites listed below contain a number of primary sources for US History. Primary sources are original materials and first hand accounts of an event, and they are typically created at the time the event took place.
100 Milestone Documents
A list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.
American Memory (Library of Congress)
A collection of historical documents and materials assembled by the Library of Congress. The collections have photographs, maps, government documents and other examples of primary source material.
American Presidency Project
This project contains a searchable database of tens of thousands of documents from U.S. presidents from 1789 to the present. It covers inaugural addresses, press briefings, signing statements, and debates. Also features data on topics such as popularity and number of public appearances, election results back to 1828, and an archive of audio and video clips.
American Rhetoric: Online Speech Bank
An index to and growing database of 5000+ full text, audio and video (streaming) versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and more.
Landmark Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court
Key excerpts from the majority opinion
Key excerpts from the dissenting opinion
Full text of the majority opinion
Summary of the decision
Making of America (Cornell)
The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is a 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. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The project represents a major collaborative endeavor in preservation and electronic access to historical texts.
The National Archives preserves historically valuable archives of the U.S. government, including documents, photographs, images, maps, audio clips, letters, speeches, and films.
New Perspectives on the West
Contains journals, letters, memoirs, reports and images of the American West, assembled for Ken Burn's PBS documentary, "The West."
Search the museum collections and exhibitions for digital images of documents, photographs and other artifacts.
Population data and facts.