Many organizations, such as archives, historical societies, museums, universities, and libraries provide digital images of historical documents. These documents are often available to the public online.  Consider the following websites:

Library of Congress:

The Library of Congress has a collection of more than 147 million items. It includes more than 63 million manuscripts and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music, and sound recordings. Primary document collections available through the Library of Congress include:

National Archives and Records Administration:

NARA is the nation's record keeper. Not only does it house the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but also more than 9 billion pages of text, maps, drawings, photos, film, and other documents pertaining to the business of the U.S. government. Browse a portion of the NARA collections at DocsTeach, a resource designed for teachers.

Smithsonian Institution

Search more than 6.4 million records for images, video, sound, journals, and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives, and libraries.

Della Lewis Jones
Della Lewis Jones, 1903-2009, from the Della Lewis Jones Papers, Special Collections. Della, an educator and school librarian, was a life-long resident of Grant County.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
"Contains more than 60,000 documents detailing the political and social history of the United States. The collection's holdings include manuscript letters, diaries, maps, photographs, printed books, and pamphlets ranging from 1493 through modern times."

The New York Public Library
This website provides access to hundreds of thousands of images from the original and rare holdings of the New York Public Library. The images span a wide range of historical eras, geography, and include images of drawings, maps, posters, prints, and more.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History
"These links connect to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social, and cultural history."

Internet Archive
This Internet library provides the public with access to historical collections in digital format. The library includes texts, audio, images, and archived web pages.

Kentucky Digital Library
The Kentucky Digital Library is a gateway to rare and unique digitized collections housed in Kentucky archives. Search more than one million images.

Kentucky Oral History Commission
This is the only state agency in the United States dedicated to oral history. Search or browse by collection. Not all materials are digitized, but collection locations are provided.

Greater Cincinnati Memory Project
This is a cooperative project of members of the Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium. It has made nearly 6,000 local history images available on the Web.

Pass the Word
A project of the Kentucky Oral History Commission. The site provides researchers with a database indexing more than 30,000 oral history recordings throughout Kentucky. The search results will point the researcher to the library/archive providing access to the recordings.

Online Finding Aid Repositories

Finding aids provide a researcher with a description of the primary documents held in a collection and they tell the researcher where that collection is held. Search these consortiums to find collections of primary documents. These resources won't link you directly to the document, but will tell you which institution owns the collection.

OhioLink Finding Aid Repository
This repository will show you the collections held in archives, libraries, and other institutions across the state of Ohio.
Similar to the OhioLink repository, except that it searches only the institutions in Kentucky.
Library of Congress
Browse the Library of Congress finding aids by collection.
Repositories of Primary Sources
"A listing of over 5,000 websites linking the researcher to descriptions of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar."

Google Searching Tip

To find credible websites with primary documents, do a Google search while limiting the website's domain to ".edu". This will search for colleges and universities that may have a page dedicated to a historical topic. You can limit your search by domain if you use the "Advanced Search" option in Google (located to the right of the search box) or type your domain directly into the search box, like this: - notice there are no spaces.

Advanced Google search - Elijah Lovejoy

To find more collections of primary documents, you can also do this search using ".org" or ".gov" in place of ".edu".

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457