Primary sources online

State and national libraries are digitising rare and fragile documents and other printed material for use online.

Primary sources like these, which give first-hand accounts of what life was like in the past, are valuable resources for any assignment. If used well, they can give your work a unique perspective.

The Explore history section of this site contains lots of quotes from a range of original sources, plus links to hundreds of documents and images that you can use in your assignments.

The State Library of Victoria has digitised hundreds of thousands of photographs, posters, pamphlets, sheet music, paintings and manuscripts. Many of these relate to Victorian history, such as:

The Library's catalogue also contains over a million digitised photographs, paintings and objects. These, and other digitsed online materials, are a great resource that you can use in your assignments.


Another useful resource is Trove, a website from the National Library of Australia which lets you search over 400 million items from library collections all over the country.

Not only can you search for books, the real power of Trove comes from the wealth of digitised sources available at your fingertips.

With over 135 million journal articles, 600 thousand maps, 150 million newspapers, almost 20 million books and over 8 million digitised images, Trove is a treasure trove of online sources for study.

You can search the pictures catalogue by going to the search window in the top right-hand corner of this site.