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American Memory from the Library of Congress [Freely available electronic resource]
Run a search for 'diary' in the search interface to see a list of the thousands of diaries and related materials that are available or browse through specific sections.
American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography [Penn only]
Transcriptions of narratives collected under the direction of the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1939, and initially published under the title Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves.
Documenting the American South [Freely available electronic resource]
Resource from the University of North Carolina. Collections include "First-Person Narratives of the American South," "North American Slave Narratives," and "True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina." The included narratives cover the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Run a search for 'diary' in the search interface to see a list of the hundreds of diaries and related materials that are available or browse through specific sections.
In the First Person [Freely available electronic resource]
"In the First Person is a free, high quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world. It lets you keyword search more than 700,000 pages of full-text by more than 18,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to some 4,300 audio and video files and 30,000 bibliographic records. The index contains approximately 20,500 months of diary entries, 63,000 letter entries, and 17,000 oral history entries."
To limit your results to diaries available in full-text through this resource, click on the box next to "full text" in the search form.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950 [Freely available electronic resource]
Fulltext of letters and diaries, published and manuscript, of American women during the Colonial period through 1950.
The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War [Freely available electronic resource]
"The Valley Project details life in two American communities, one Northern and one Southern, from the time of John Brown's Raid through the era of Reconstruction. In this digital archive, you may explore thousands of original letters and diaries, newspapers and speeches, census and church records, left by men and women in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania." To search just diaries, click on "Letters & Diaries" in the appropriate time period and then "Search the Letters & Diaries." You will then see an option to search only diaries.
Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1800 [Penn only]
American publications from 1639 to 1800. Browsable by subject, genre, author, etc.
Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker 1801-1819 [Penn only]
Continuation of Readex's Early American Imprints: Series I (Evans). Provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first nineteen years of the nineteenth century.
Early English Books Online (EEBO), 1475-1700 [Penn only]
Full-text page images of approximately 100,000 titles from the Short-Title Catalogue of English works 1475-1640, Wing's continuation for 1641-1700, and their revisions. Information is presented in the form of online images as well as downloadable PDF copies. Includes English language works not published in England but focuses on works published in the United Kingdom.
Book digitization project including mainly public domain works held by major library systems around the world. The great majority of works available in full text were published before 1923.
Making of America, 1850-1877 [Freely available electronic resource]
A digital library of over 10,000 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.
An effort to index every book ever published. It includes publication, author, and date information, as well as links to full text versions provided by Google Books and the Internet Archive. However, it does not allow for full text searching and does not provide links to books in the Million Book Project or other full-text digitization projects.
Universal Digital Library: Million Book Collection
Digital book collection of over 1,000,000 mostly out-of-copyright books, including books written in many languages but focusing on Chinese language, Indian language and English language works.
More online books
Legal treatises, trials, government documents, abolitionist works, historic home economics literature, and much more.