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World History - Primary Documents: Appendix: Databases for World History Primary Sources

This guide contains two bibliographies for research projects using historical primary documents in the field of world history and is for use both by students and faculty; see the Introduction for further details.


The purpose of this supplemental bibliography is to direct world historians to websites and online databases that are rich in diverse primary sources for their own research needs. The main bibliography of this LibGuide details over 200 specific primary documents; this additional list provides fourteen sites that were particularly useful in creating this main bibliography so that other world historians may find the primary sources that match their academic interests.

Most of the sites are freely available to all; some of the databases are available by paid subscription through the Library and hence are free for Moorpark College students.


Each entry contains the following information.

1. Name of database

2. Link to the resource

3. The author(s)/publisher/provider of the site

4. A description of the site as given by the provider

5. A user overview of the site’s strengths and limitations

6. Any special accommodations to enhance accessibility

7. The license or copyright information for the site


Voices of an Era Series

These ZTC sources are available to students for free only if they are provided by the college through a paid subscription.

This resource is a series of books with various editors all subtitled “Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life,” including some of relevance to world historians as follows.

Series provider: Gale Ebooks, ABC CLIO
Overview for use of series:
There are many documents to work through in these collections; it helps to open the ‘Content’ link on the landing page of each book first to see all the documents available before opening individual sources.  The document extracts themselves are carefully edited with full notes for comprehension.  Each is introduced with a ‘Keep in Mind as you Read’ section; at the end there are suggested questions and topics to consider along with further places to find out more information.  They also have ‘Aftermath’ sections that provide short supplemental sources to expand on one specific aspect of the documents to bring deeper understanding to the content.
Series accessibility:
No specific accessibility accommodations are provided.
Series copyright: ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Editor: Rosalie David (2014)
This book's 51 documents include schoolboys' letters and exercises, prayers, hymns, love poems, narratives, historical inscriptions, medical and mathematical texts, and religious and funerary inscriptions. Most of the texts are penned by Egyptians, but another perspective is added through the inclusion of commentary about Egypt by the Greek historian Herodotus.”

Editor: David Matz (2012)
This book collects documents from the writings of ancient Greek and Roman authors to provide a glimpse of what life was like in ancient times and to illustrate the relevance of these long-ago civilizations to modern life.”

Editor: Kevin W. Katz (2013)
This resource examines the day-to-day lives of early Christians, as depicted through documented accounts of the period, from the beginning of Christianity through 325 CE.”

Editor: Constantine Nomikos Vaporis (2012)
Based on fresh translations of historical documents, this work offers a revealing look at Japan during the time of the Tokugawa shoguns from 1600-1868, focusing on the day-to-day lives of both the rich and powerful and ordinary citizens.”

Editor: Priscilla Roberts (2012)
This book collects a wide variety of primary-source documents drawn from across the United States, Europe, and Asia that illuminate the events and experiences of World War II, the most devastating war in human history.”