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Europe and the US in the 20th Century: Primary Sources

Using Secondary Sources to locate primary materials

Secondary sources on topics related to your research may be useful in locating primary sources which further your argument.


Mine the bibliography of  Books, Dissertations and Articles to locate sources pertinent to your research.

Dissertations Online

Dissertations and Theses Full Text


Dissertations are often comprehensive and up to date.  This full text database includes more than a million  dissertations and theses in all subject areas from around the world  from 1982 to the present.

You can use the bibliographies or the 25 page summary to assist in your research. Often the dissertations themselves are several hundred pages in length.


Periodicals  Indexes



Individual periodicals and collections you might consider. You can search themn in the Duke Library Catalog

  • Alt-Press Watch, 1970-present
    Alt-Press Watch showcases unique, independent voices from grassroots newspapers, magazines, and journals. The database features over 670,000 articles from more than 210 publications, offering a wide range of unfettered, critical coverage of the news.
  • Alternative Press
    The Alternative Press Index and its archive, covering 1969 - present, are widely regarded as the leading guide to the alternative press in North America. Citations are drawn from roughly 250 alternative, radical, and left publications.
  • American Spectator, 1967-present
    Digital archive of the conservative opinion magazine.
  • Commentary, 1945-present
    Digital archive of the neoconservative opinion magazine.
  • Commonweal, 1924-present
    Digital archive of the Catholic opinion magazine.
  • Ethnic News Watch
    Ethnic, minority, and native press content from 1959-1989. The other side of the story is presented on local, national, and international events that changed the course of history across three turbulent decades, the 60s, 70s and 80s. Pivotal events in these decades are covered - the civil rights struggle, Vietnam War protests, dramatic changes in immigration law, trickledown economics, and the status of migrant workers.
  • Harpers Magazine, 1850-present
    Since 1850, Harper's Magazine has been one of the leading periodicals of culture and opinion. This digital archive makes every issue of Harper's monthly allows users to browse individual issues or search the database by keyword.
  • Harpers Weekly, 1857-1912
    Searchable full-text database of all the pages of Harper's Weekly from 1857-1912 with scanned images, together with a series of indexes. The subject index provides information on domestic and foreign news, editorials, and people.
  • The Nation, 1865-present
    Digital archive of a seminal American magazine. Classical liberal orientation in the 19th century; left-of-center in the twentieth century.
  • National Review, 1955-present
    Digital archive of the important conservative opinion magazine founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.
  • New York Review of Books, 1963-present
    Digital archive of the influential book review publication from the first to the current issue. Note: You must be on the Yale network to have access to all of the archives.
  • New Yorker Magazine
    Full text of every issue since the beginning of the magazine in 1925.
  • The New Republic, 1914-present
    Digital archive of the American political opinion magazine.
  • Public Interest, 1965-2005
    Digital archive of the seminal neoconservative publication founded by Irving Kristol in 1965.
  • Time Magazine, 1923-Present
    Selected issues of the weekly magazine.


  • America's Historical  Newspapers
    A collection of digital newspapers from smaller towns. Dates and places vary widely, making search results very much hit or miss ends in 1923.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers
    Full-text database of several important 20th century newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), The Christian Science Monitor (1908-1996), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), The New York Times (1851-), among others.
  • Chronicling America
    This is a digital library project run by the Library of Congress. It contains selected newspapers between 1880-1922.
  • African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
    African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience.
  • Times of London  A full, digital run of the London Times newspaper, from 1785-1985.
  •  Guardian and Observer  British papers 1791 to 2003
  • Lexis Nexis Academic  Access to world newspapers 1980 to present\

Primary Source Compilations

    Your Librarian

    Carson Holloway's picture
    Carson Holloway
    Librarian for Military History, History of Science and Technology, Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth

    Perkins and Lilly Libraries