Experience Gale's Digital Scholar Lab!

“It is hard not to be excited about the possibilities opened up by digital humanities generally and by the Digital Scholar Lab in particular.”

-ARBA Staff Reviewer

Learn more »

Gale Primary Sources brings the thoughts, words, and actions of past centuries into the present for a comprehensive research experience. With authoritative content and powerful search technologies, this platform has been thoughtfully designed to help students and researchers examine literary, political, and social culture of the last 500 years and develop a more meaningful understanding of how history continues to impact the world today. All of the collections on the Gale Primary Sources platform are meticulously indexed to improve discovery, analysis, and workflow for every user who is looking to push past the traditional boundaries of research. Learn more about our curation practices >>

Through short video clips, discover how the Gale Primary Sources platform unveils new research opportunities and enables unprecedented outcomes.


Download the Catalog               Explore the 2020-2021 New Collections


New Gale Primary Sources Collections:

  • Archives of Sexuality and Gender: L’Enfer de la Bibliotheque nationale de France

    Learn More

    L’Enfer (hell), from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, is one of the most storied and sought-after private case collections. The collection was created in the 1830s to protect and isolate works that were considered contrary to the morals of the time. As with later private cases, the entire collection was kept in a locked section of the library. L’Enfer actually refers to the shelf mark given to the collection.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1531‒2012
    Document types: printed books, pamphlets, broadsides
    Source library: Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)
    Languages: French, English, Italian, German
    Subjects supported: gender studies, women’s studies, international studies, social history, anthropology, art, literature, and erotica

  • China and the Modern World: Imperial China and the West, Part I

    Learn More

    Digitized from the FO 17 series of British Foreign Office files at the UK National Archives, Part I of Imperial China and the West provides general correspondence relating to China from 1815 to 1881. With over 540,000 manuscript pages, the collection consists of a vast and significant resource in English for researching every aspect of Anglo-Chinese relations during the 19th century. Included in the collection are files relating to the diplomatic, political, mercantile, legal, and military relations among China, Britain, France, Russia, the United States, and other Western powers, as well as the relationships between these and China’s nearer neighbors, like Japan, Korea, Thailand, Burma, Malaya, India, and even Australia. 

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1815–1881
    Document types: handwritten manuscripts, clippings, and maps
    Source library: UK National Archives
    Subjects supported: British empire and colonialism in Asia, history of 19th century China, British-Chinese relations, Chinese intellectual history, translation studies, history of architecture and art, Chinese emigration and diaspora, and legal studies

  • Declassified Documents Online, Twentieth Century British Intelligence: An Intelligence Empire

    Learn More

    Twentieth Century British Intelligence brings together files from the UK National Archives covering intelligence and security matters from 1905 to 2002. Material has been sourced from the UK Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office, the Colonial Office, MI5 (British Domestic Security Service), and the SOE (Special Operations Executive), and reflects an intelligence network that reached from the UK and Europe to Africa, the Middle East, Canada, Asia, and Australia during a century of global conflicts, high-stakes diplomacy, and political upheaval. These documents cover the development of British intelligence and its impact on policy from its earliest days, through Room 40 in the First World War and the activities of the Security Services throughout the British Empire during World War II to the geopolitics of the Cold War and decolonization.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1905‒2002
    Document types: handwritten and typed manuscripts, printed pamphlets, ephemera, telegraphs, government documents
    Source library: UK National Archives
    Subjects supported: 20th-century international relations, politics and history, imperial and colonial history, British history, intelligence and security studies, war studies, military history, World War II, the Cold War, global history, and transnational studies

  • Women’s Studies Archive: Rare Titles from the American Antiquarian Society, 1820–1922

    Learn More

    The third module in Gale’s Women’s Studies Archive series, this collection contains more than a million pages of female-authored works sourced from the American Antiquarian Society, covering over a century of female writing. Featuring female voices in fiction, poetry, personal letters, recipe books, memoirs, pamphlets, personal papers, children’s literature, diaries, religious tracts, and more, Rare Titles from the American Antiquarian Society provides a canon of women’s literature that enables researchers to explore the different facets of the female experience. Titles have been carefully selected for their uniqueness with careful analysis to ensure no overlap with other Gale, American Antiquarian Society, or current open access digital archive resources. The collection will allow users to answer questions about women’s cultural contributions, provide insight into the female experience, and open up opportunities to discover overlooked works from the past. 

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1820‒1922
    Document type: Monograph
    Source library: American Antiquarian Society
    Subjects supported: women’s history, gender studies, American literature, cultural studies, history, American history, media and journalism, politics, and sociology

  • Political Extremism and Radicalism, Part II: Far-Right Groups in America

    Learn More

    Building on the strength of Part I, Political Extremism and Radicalism, Part II: Far-Right Groups in America provides researchers with coverage that concentrates more closely on white supremacist and nationalist groups in the United States, including, the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, the American Nazi Party, and others. Material has been sourced from eminent institutions, such as the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of California, Davis; the University of Iowa; and Idaho State University, and features manuscripts, monographs, periodicals, and audio recordings. Covering a wide range of topics, like nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, Christian Identity, homophobia, political misinformation, and conspiracy theories, Far-Right Groups in America is an essential resource for scholars investigating the radical right as well as its impact on mainstream politics and conservative, right-wing thinking.

    Key Facts

    Date range: 1850‒2010
    Document types: manuscript, monograph, newspapers, periodicals, audio (with transcript)
    Source libraries: University of California, Santa Barbara; Federal Bureau of Investigation; University of California, Davis; University of Iowa; Idaho State University
    Subjects supported: modern history, international studies, European studies, politics/political science/political sociology; international relations; government studies; human rights; terrorism studies; immigration studies; racial conflict; African American studies; and social studies

Public Health Archives: Public Health in Modern America, 1890-1970

Public Health in Modern America, 1890-1970 provides scholars with materials that explore the fight for a national health care plan from the end of the Depression well into the 1960s. Content covers medical economics and sociology, medical care, legislation, and the role of key organizations and individuals. The collection’s documentation of the evolution of public health legislation, policies, and campaigns at local and federal levels supports the examination of our past while considering outcomes for our future.

Refugees, Relief and Resettlement: Forced Migration and World War II

Refugees, Relief, and Resettlement: Forced Migration and World War II chronicles the plight of refugees and displaced persons across Europe, North Africa, and Asia from 1935 to 1950 through correspondence, reports, studies, organizational and administrative files, and much more. It is the first multi-sourced digital collection to consider the global scope of the refugee crisis leading up to, through, and after World War II.

Religions of America

Religions of America presents scholars and researchers with more than 660,000 pages of content that follow the development of religions and religious movements born in the U.S. from 1820 to 1990. Derived from numerous collections, most notably the American Religions Collection at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Religions of America traces the history and unique characteristics of movements through manuscripts, pamphlets, newsletters, ephemera, and visuals.

Platform Features & Tools

Term Frequency

Researchers can see the frequency of search terms within sets of content to begin identifying central themes and assessing how individuals, events, and ideas interact and develop over time.

Term Clusters

By grouping commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections within search terms—helping to shape research by integrating diverse content with relevant information.

Cross-Search Capability

Search across the content of complementary primary source products in one intuitive environment, enabling innovative new research connections.

Learn more about the Gale Primary Sources Platform »