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Renaissance & Reformation Europe

About this page - primary sources

Now is a great time to be researching history!  More and more content once accessible only in special collections and archives is now being scanned, digitized, and shared on the web.  This page will assist you in locating primary sources for your topic


A primary source in history is an artifact or document that is contemporary to the time period you are studying.  

Library Search suggestions

Search Library Search to find to locate collections of primary sources.

Example searches:

"Renaissance AND sources"

"Reformation AND documents"

Also try:

"Personal narratives"

"Correspondence"

"Diaries"

When you find a relevant source, click on the subject heading in Library Search to find more items on the subject.

Library Search

Search "Library Search" to find books by a particular person using the "Advanced Search" Author/Creator field, e.g. "Calvin, Jean, 1509-1564." You might also want to limit the language to "English". 

Reformation primary sources

Renaissance primary sources

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a collection of over 30,000 e-texts in the Public Domain.  Use the "Author" and "Title" searches to locate works by a particular person.

Google Book Search

Books published before 1923 are in the Public Domain, so the full-text of many historical books may be found via Google Book Search.

Google Book Search

Naxos Music Library

Search for recordings of Renaissance and Reformation music in Naxos.