Among the many challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic is the impact that the closure of archives and libraries alongside restrictions on travel has had on the ability to conduct historical research. As a result, online and open access collections have become more important than ever in enabling us to conduct new research. HOTCUS is therefore assembling a list of useful online archives and providing links to other lists and guides, which can be found below. The list is far from exhaustive and we hope to be able to update it regularly by adding resources suggested by our members. If you are aware of links that other members may find useful, please send them to [email protected], via twitter @HOTCUS, or Facebook.   

Bibliographies, Lists, General Collections

The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) has compiled a vast list of resources primarily related, but by no means limited to, diplomatic and political history. The collection is available here:

SHAFR has also organised a forum for scholars to share digital copies of archival documents, the details of which are here:

A large list of primary source collections related to American history compiled by Oxford’s Vere Harmsworth Library is available here:

The Reveal Digital Collection on Independent Voices is described as “an open access digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.” It is accessible here:

WGBH Open Vault – Archive footage, interviews, etc. from public television and radio: 

Box of Broadcasts is a vast archive of television and radio recording accessible to anyone with a UK university address:

A vast collection of primary documents and links related to international relations and hosted by Mount Holyoke College is available here:

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a wide range of resources, including a recent  project ‘Whose Heritage?’ which produced an interactive map of all Confederate monuments:

The American Presidency Project covers a wide range of information related to the presidency, including an archive of all recorded public pronouncements by every president:

The Roosevelt Institute for American Studies has a useful list of research related websites here:

Dr Tim Peacock has compiled a list of open access primary sources related to US history:

General civil rights databases:  

Civil Rights Movement Archive: 

SNCC Gateway: 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers project at Stanford University: 

For more information on each published volume of The Martin Luther King Papers, and for a sampling of sources, click here.  

Released FBI files on MLK: 

Church Committee Report, Book III (MLK Case Study from p. 79): 

Many issues of Ebony magazine are available via Google Books: 

Online archival exhibition, MLK’s visit to Newcastle, 1967: 

General databases on Vietnam: 

The Virtual Vietnam Archive is the largest collection of Vietnam materials, although it’s not the most user friendly site, and not everything is digitized:

The Open Vault Vietnam Collection contains hundreds of media clips used for a documentary produced in 1983. In 2008, all the clips and documents were gathered together and made available online in their original form:

The Associated Press Archive (CLIP REELS):