Marriage and Morals among the Victorians (History UN3334, Fall 2023): Historical Text Collections



  • AM Explorer Icon (Adam Matthew)
    Allows users to search across more than sixty-five unique primary-source collections reproduced from archives and special libraries around the world. British and American collections are especially well represented. Key thematic areas covered include: Area Studies; Cultural Studies; Empire and Globalism; Ethnic Studies; Gender and Sexuality; History; Politics; Literature; Theatre; and War and Conflict. Time periods covered span Medieval and Early Modern to 20th and 21st Century.
  • Gale Primary Sources Icon (Gale)

    Allows you to search across more than thirty databases providing access to primary sources from and/or relating to America, Britain, and countries around the globe. The majority of the documents date from a timespan that begins with the fifteenth and extends through the early 21st century. Substantial amounts of the content consist of documents and/or publications that are British or Irish in origin. Includes: Archives of Sexuality and Gender; Archives Unbound; British Library Newspapers; Eighteenth Century Collections Online; The Making of Modern Law; The Making of the Modern World; Nineteenth Century Collections Online; Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals; and many more.




Resources marked with this symbol Icon are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

  • Archives of Sexuality and Gender  Icon  (Gale)
    "Provides a robust and significant collection of primary sources for the historical study of sex, sexuality, and gender. With material dating back to the sixteenth century, researchers and scholars can examine how sexual norms have changed over time, health and hygiene, the development of sex education, the rise of sexology, changing gender roles, social movements and activism, erotica, and many other interesting topical areas. This growing archival program offers rich research opportunities across a wide span of human history." Parts I and II of this growing database focus on LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940, which is documented "with material drawn from hundreds of institutions and organizations, including both major international activist organizations and local, grassroots groups." Part III is concerned more broadly with Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century

  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries Icon
    "Includes approximately 100,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from 1500 to 1900, including several thousand pages of previously unpublished materials. Drawn from 290 sources, including journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings, much of the material is in copyright. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions, the famous and the not so famous."
  • British History Online    [Premium Content Version] Icon
    British History Online is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust.
  • Church Missionary Society Periodicals  Icon (Adam Matthew)
    "From its roots as an Anglican evangelical movement driven by lay persons, this resource encompasses publications from the CMS and the latterly integrated South American Missionary Society. Documenting missionary work from the 19th to the 21st century, the periodicals include news, journals and reports offering a unique perspective on global history and cultural encounter."
  • Defining gender, 1450-1910 Icon (Adam Matthew)
    "Ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature."
  • East India Company  Icon  (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947." 
  • Empire Online Icon (Adam Matthew)
    "This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of 'Empire' and its theories, practices and consequences. The materials span across the last five centuries and are accompanied by a host of secondary learning resources including scholarly essays, maps and an interactive chronology."
  • Food and Drink in History (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "Explore a wide range of primary source material, including printed and manuscript cookbooks, advertising ephemera, government reports, films, and illustrated content revealing the evolution of food and drink within everyday life and the public sphere. The unique material in this collection has been sourced from across the globe to reflect a wide range of food cultures and traditions, creating an unparalleled resource for research."
  • Frontier life : borderlands, settlement & colonial encounters  Icon   (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "This digital collection of primary source documents helps us to understand existence on the edges of the anglophone world from 1650-1920. Discover the various European and colonial frontier regions of North America, Africa and Australasia through documents that reveal the lives of settlers and indigenous peoples in these areas." 
  • Gender: Identity and Social Change Icon   (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "...Primary sources documenting the changing representations and lived experiences of gender roles and relations from the nineteenth century to the present. This expansive collection offers sources for the study of women's suffrage, the feminist movement, the men’s movement, employment, education, the body, the family, and government and politics."
  • Gerritsen Women's History Collection of Aletta H. Jacobs  Icon (ProQuest)
    Covers years 1543-1945, bulk is 1880-1920. The collection is especially rich in women's periodicals, scholarly medical and sociological studies, and housekeeping and advice manuals. The periodicals of the suffrage era are a particular strength.
  • Global Commodities : Trade, Exploration & Cultural Exchange  Icon (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Provides a vast range of visual, manuscript and printed materials sourced from over twenty key libraries and more than a dozen companies and trade organisations around the world. These original sources will help scholars to explore the history of fifteen major commodities and to examine the ways that these have changed the world.
  • Hathi Trust
    ​"HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items. HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law, computational access to the entire corpus for scholarly research, and other emerging services based on the combined collection."
  • India, Raj & Empire Icon (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Drawing upon the manuscript collections of the National Library of Scotland, this searchable online resource provides access to digital facsimiles of diaries and journals, official and private papers, letters, sketches, paintings and original Indian documents containing histories and literary works. The collection documents the relationship between Britain and India in an empire where the Scots played a central role as traders, generals, missionaries, viceroys, governor-generals and East India Company officials. The dates of the documents range from 1710 to 1937.
  • The John Johnson Collection : An Archive of Printed Ephemera  Icon (Bodleian Library,University of Oxford / ProQuest)
    "...Provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising."
  • Legacies of British Slave-ownership (University College London)
  • Literature Online: The Home of English and American Literature on the World Wide Web (LION) Icon (ProQuest)
    A fully searchable library of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama, and prose.
  • London low life : street culture, social reform and the Victorian underworld. Icon (Adam Matthew Digital)
    Full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 19th and early 20th century London; designed for both teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond. Will be of interest to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, cultural studies, urban studies, social history and the study of leisure and tourism. There is a strong emphasis on rare or unique material, particularly in the range of ephemera and street literature available.There is also an emphasis on visual material. The documents are drawn from the holdings of the Lilly Library, the rare books, manuscripts, and special collections library of the Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington.
  • The Making of Modern Law : Legal Treatises 1800-1926 Icon (Gale)
    Derived from two essential reference collections for historical legal studies, the Nineteenth Century and Twentieth Century Legal Treatises microfilm collections, The Making of Modern Law features a fully searchable database of more than 21,000 Anglo-American legal works including casebooks, local practice manuals, form books, works for lay readers, pamphlets, letters, speeches and more.
  • The Making of the Modern WorldIcon (Gale)
    Full texts from major specialized collections documenting "the dynamics of Western trade and wealth . . . from the last half of the fifteenth century" up to 1945. Provides a wide range of resources for research into the the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, "the railway industry, the cotton industry, banking and finance, and the emergence of the modern corporation. It is also strong in the rise of the modern labor movement, the evolving status of slavery, the condition and making of the working class, colonization, the Atlantic world, Latin American/Caribbean studies, social history, gender, and the economic theories that championed and challenged capitalism in the nineteenth century. In addition, The Making of the Modern World offers deep resources in the role of finance and taxation and the growth of the early modern monarchy."
    ►May be cross-searched with other databases covering similar time periods in Gale Primary Sources.
  • Migration to new worlds  Icon  (Adam Matthew Digital)
    "Migration to New Worlds explores the movement of peoples from Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia." Includes "collections from 26 archives, libraries and museums, Migration to New Worlds brings together the movement and memories of millions across two centuries of mass migration."
  • Nineteenth Century collections online  Icon (Gale)
    Provides access to twelve thematically based primary-source collections of materials from the long nineteenth century. Collections include: Asia and the WestBritish Politics and SocietyBritish Theatre, Music, and Literature; Europe and AfricaChildren's Literature and Childhood; Science, Technology, and Medicine: 1780-1925 (Parts I & II); Women: Transnational Networks and many more. "The content is sourced from the world's preeminent libraries and archives. It consists of monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages."
  • Nineteenth century literary society : the John Murray publishing archive. Icon (Adam Matthew)
    "Nineteenth Century Literary Society makes available more than 1,400 items from the archive of the historic John Murray publishing company....Held by the National Library of Scotland since 2006 and added to the UNESCO Register of World Memory in 2011, the Murray collection comprises one of the world's most important literary archives. Primary source materials span the entirety of the long nineteenth century and document the golden era of the House of Murray from its inception in 1768. Records digitised in this resource predominantly focus on the tenure of John Murray II and his son, John Murray III, as they rose to prominence in the publishing trade, launching long-running series including the political periodical Quarterly Review, and publishing genre-defining titles such as Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Austen's Emma and Livingstone's Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. The John Murray Archive houses the most complete archival collection of the famed poet, Lord Byron; his manuscripts and personal papers are a particular highlight of Nineteenth Century Literary Society, charting both literary triumph and personal scandal"--Nature and Scope.
  • Open and Free Access Materials for Research (Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study University of London)
    Curated links to open access online research resources that can be used for advanced research in many fields of history. Organised by historical period.
  • Past Masters Icon (InteLex)
    Provides fully searchable authoritative editions of philosophical, literary, scientific, personal, political, and theological writings by a wide range of British, American, and continental authors. Included among the British and American texts are: collected editions of the letters of Thomas Becket, Thomas Hobbes, Jane Austen, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens and many others; the journals of Frances Burney, John Henry Newman and others; the works of Aphra Behn, Robert Boyle, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Eliza Haywood, John Locke, Charles Sanders Pierce, Mary Shelley, Herbert Spencer, Mary Wollstonecraft, and others.
  • The Proceedings of the Old Bailey: London's Central Criminal Court 1674 to 1913
    The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts, 1690 to 1772. It allows access to over 210,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 3,000 men and women executed at Tyburn, free of charge for non-commercial use.
  • Queen Victoria's journals Icon  (ProQuest)
    "Makes available online digital images of every page in the entire sequence of Queen Victoria's diaries, and provides full transcriptions and keyword searching of all journal entries. The Queen Victoria's Journals resource is the product of a unique partnership between the Bodleian Libraries and the Royal Archives, working in collaboration with the online publisher ProQuest.This website reproduces as high-resolution colour images every page of the surviving volumes of Queen Victoria's journals, along with separate photographs of the many illustrations and inserts within the pages." (from publisher's description)
  • RAI Archive (Wiley)
    Provides access to more than 150 years of the longest-established association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology in its broadest sense. The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland's unique collection of association files, manuscripts, and photos, documents the history of the association, as well as the services it provided to contemporary anthropology and anthropologists.
  • Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History  Icon (Adam Matthew)
    Women's travel diaries and correspondence from the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Includes manuscripts, diaries, travel journals, correspondence, photographs, postcards and ephemera, from 1818 to the 1970s. The geographical area covered by these diaries is far-reaching, with travel to countries within the British, French, Chinese and American empires and discussion of empire and nationalism, as well as description of the post-colonial world. A great variety of modes of transport are covered, including sea voyages, road trips, wagon trains and air travel. 
  • Victorian popular culture  Icon (Adam Matthew Digital)
    An essential resource for the study of popular entertainment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Consists of four components: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic; Circuses, Sideshows and FreaksMusic Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment; and Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments & the Advent of Cinema. Includes full-text, full-color reproductions of books, ephemera, handbills, pamphlets, photos, posters, programs, scripts, and other types of materials. Coverage is most extensive for Great Britain; but there is also a fair range of materials for the U.S.A.
  • Women Writers Online Icon  (Northeastern University)
    More than two hundred full-text works in English, or in English translation, by women, covering a period from 1400 to 1850.


A. Search for Databases with Content Related to British, Irish, or British Imperial History
You can select the Databases facet in CLIO:
Then search for words appearing in the title or description of databases.

For example, a search for: british
leads to these results:

A search for: irish
leads to these results:

A search for: empire OR colonial
leads to these results:


B. Find Compilations of Primary Sources

Add this tag word to a search of Subject field: sources

The subject headings used in library catalogs make use of a standard tag word
to indicate compilations of primary sources in various formats (including both printed compilations and online database collections).

Here are some examples of complete subject headings using the "sources" tag word.








Once you are aware of this standard tag word, you can simply add it to basic keyword searches of the Subject field in CLIO. For example:
great britain colonies sources  in  Subject
which will retrieve this result set:

ireland social sources
which will retrieve this result set: