Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History - Historical Research

A general guide to historical research

How to find openly accessible digital collections online

Locating openly accessible digital collections may seem tricky at first, but once you learn what to look for and how, it will be a skill that will serve you well.

Many academic libraries, archives, non-profit institutions, and government resources are good places to begin looking for digitized content and collections.  These publicly-available digital collections make excellent places to discover primary sources.

(Note: For Kentucky-specific digital collections see "Research in UK Special Collections & Archives" tab.)

Try searching Google with one of the following search strings:

digital collections site:.edu 

This search will look for the keywords "digital collections" among .edu (educational) institutions.

digital collections site:.gov

This search will look for the keywords "digital collections" among .gov (government) institutions.

You can also try adding a topical keyword to the search string such as:

digital collections japanese site:.edu 

digital collections american west site:.edu 

These are just a few examples of the many ways you can search the web for credible, scholarly, digital content.

Google Web Search