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Primary Source Collections

Primary sources for teaching and research

Adam Matthew’s unique research and teaching resources span the social sciences and humanities and provide over five centuries of primary source materials from leading libraries and archives around the world.

The growing portfolio of multidisciplinary titles range from African American Communities and American History, 1493–1945 to Empire Online,Mass Observation Online, and more.

These thematic-based resources are aimed at students, faculty, and educators at universities, colleges, and libraries. Their editorial mission is to “aid scholarly research by making important primary sources available to a global audience.”


Content and Features

  • More than 60 interdisciplinary collections
  • In addition to millions of pages of manuscript and type-script documents, Adam Matthew resources include*:
    • Video: From the earliest “movies” (Victorian Popular Culture) to video lectures (American History, 1493–1945) and 1960s and 1970s advertising (Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1955–1975)
    • Image galleries: Photographs, paintings, drawings, and illustrations, all available for download and use in coursework, academic reports, or classroom presentations
    • Mapping: Explore interactive and high-resolution maps, from the first drafts of the Australian coastline in Empire Online to exploring British government files in Archives Direct by selected continents
    • 360-Degree Objects: View historical objects from every angle at the click of a button with Adam Matthew’s 360-degree object features
    • Contextual and thematic essays written by experts in the field
    • Interactive chronologies

*not all features available in all collections

How Adam Matthew resources support research

  • Students have access to rare materials without having to travel vast distances
  • Researchers have access to multiple thematic collections within a single portal for cross-referencing sources
  • Tools to enable teachers and faculty to enhance courses and engage students are in-built
  • Contributing archives’ holdings are digitized and preserved for future generations
  • Contributing archives and libraries receive financial dividends enabling investment in obtaining further archives/ private collections

"The First World War: Personal Experiences gives users an unparalleled opportunity to see the Great War through the eyes of the generation of 1914. …It’s as close to history from the bottom up as we can get."—Professor Jonathan Vance, University of Ontario

"This collection is an immensely powerful new resource for our understanding of the early Cold War era in China." [Foreign Office Files for China, 1949–1980] —Professor Rana Mitter, University of Oxford

"Anyone working on the Modern Middle East will find the Confidential Print: Middle East collection extraordinarily useful. This collection is an absolutely invaluable resource for both researchers and teachers." —Professor Michael Gasper, Yale University

"Engaging with these materials is a deeply enriching experience." —Professor Nigel Smith, Princeton University