Skip to Main Content

Tudors and Stuarts: Primary Sources (Online)

Primary sources for research in Early Modern Britain


Avalon Project:
Documents in law, history and diplomacy.

Ango-American Legal Tradition
Documents from Medieval and Early Modern England from the National Archives in London

National Portrait Gallery:
Images of prominent people.

Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts online from the University of Cambridge.

Complete Works of Shakespeare:

Early Stuart Libels:
a web-based edition of early seventeenth-century political poetry from manuscript sources

Maps of the British Isles:

British Library Online Gallery

British Printed Images to 1700

Renascence Editions
An Online Repository of Works Printed in English Between the Years 1477 and 1799

Anthology of English Literature


Online Primary Sources

  • British History Online
    Digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.
  • Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online MEMSO
    Provides a collection of digitized editions of texts covering Britain and its place in the world during the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800).
  • East India  Company 1600-1947
  • Colonial State Papers  
     provides access to thousands of papers concerning English activities in the American, Canadian, and West Indian colonies between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries..
  •  Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    Describes English or English-language letterpress materials published before 1801, including books, lists, advertisements, rules, songs, election propaganda, and other ephemeral items. Contains records for items of all types published in Great Britain or its colonies or in English from 1473 to 1800. 
  • Making of the Modern World
    Provides full-text and full-page-image access to books from the 1460-1850 period, and pre-1906 serials. It focuses on economics interpreted in the widest sense, including political science, history, sociology, and special collections on banking, finance, transportation and manufacturing.
  • State Papers Online: the Government of Britain, 1509-1714.
    a collection of English government documents originating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--when the King or Queen acted as Prime Minister as well as Monarch. The papers feature the office archives and correspondence of the secretaries of state serving the Monarch as facsimile manuscript documents accessed directly or via the fully searchable Calendar entries (abstracts or transcriptions).
  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries
    Contains approximately 100,000 pages of published letters and diaries written from the 1500s to 1900s, plus several thousand pages of previously unpublished materials.
  • 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
    full-text access to the British Library's collection of the newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817).
  • Slavery, Abolition, and Social Justice, 1490-2007
    documents key aspects of the history of slavery worldwide over six centuries.
  • Sabin Americana
    contains works about the Americas published throughout the world from 1500 to the early 1900's.
  • Empire Online
    British Empire full-text documents from the 15th century to the 20th century.
  • Witchcraft in Europe and America 
    a comprehensive collection offering a wide range of writings on the subject of witchcraft dating from the 15th-20th century. The majority of texts are in Latin, English and German,