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Gale Primary Sources brings the thoughts, words, and actions of past centuries into the present for a comprehensive research experience. Watch the video to see how we develop partnerships for, curate, digitize, index, and optimize Gale Primary Sources.

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.

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


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New Gale Primary Sources Collections:

  • The Mail on Sunday Historical Archive, 1982–2011

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    Established in 1982 under the same ownership as, but editorially separate from, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday has been one of the top UK Sunday newspapers for four decades. Generally conservative in its stance, journalists have included Piers Morgan, Peter Hitchens and conservative politician Norman Tebbit. It has covered British politics on the domestic and international stage through sometimes contentious or sensationalist tabloid journalism, from its launch during the Falklands War and the sweeping economic reforms of the Thatcher years to the controversial conflicts in the Middle East under the Blair premiership and the News International phone hacking scandal and subsequent Leveson inquiry in the 2000s.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1982–2011
    Document type: weekly newspaper
    Source: Mail on Sunday

  • China and the Modern World: Hong Kong, Britain, and China, Part II: 1965–1993

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    Digitized primarily from the records of British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO 40), this collection continues where Hong Kong, Britain, and China, Part I: 1841–1951 left off, and documents the process of Hong Kong maneuvering, surviving, thriving, and transforming into a modern international metropolis and financial center in the wider context of the Cold War.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1965–1993
    Document types: Manuscripts, including telegrams, letters, reports, memoranda; maps and newspaper clippings
    Sources: The National Archives, United Kingdom

  • Environmental History: Conservation and Public Policy in America, 1870–1980

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    Conflicts today rage across the globe over fossil fuel usage, nuclear power,  the endangerment and extinction of species, and much more. A long history lies behind these contests that join advocacy to action, and pit public policy against human behavior, giving rise to local legislation and international trade rules—a history framed by the rise of the modern conservation movement. Starting in the late nineteenth century, in direct response to the late Industrial Revolution, forces in social and political spheres struggled to balance the good of the public and the planet against the economic exploitation of resources. Environmental History: Conservation and Public Policy in America, 1870–1980 chronicles various responses in the United States to this struggle through key primary sources from individual activists, advocacy organizations, and government agencies.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1870–1980
    Document types: Correspondence, grey literature, manuscripts and personal papers, organizational records, letters and newsletters, pamphlets and ephemera, legal briefs
    Sources: Denver Public Library; Institute of Government Studies Library, University of California at Berkeley; New York City Bar Association Library; Yale University; National Archives Records Administration; and more

  • State Papers Online Colonial: Asia, Part II: Singapore, East Malaysia, and Brunei

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    These British Colonial Office files document two hundred years of British engagement with the people and resources of Singapore, Brunei, Labuan, Sarawak, and British North Borneo (now Sabah). Researchers will find insight into Britain’s administration and governance of these countries, their international relations across the period, and the changing demographics and daily life of inhabitants. The documents also showcase how colonial history continues to influence these now-independent countries through chosen strategic alliances, manners of conduct, and institutional structures and how they deal with the repercussions of their colonial legacies today.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1759–1967
    Document types: Handwritten, typed, and printed documents, including confidential correspondence, as well as maps and photographs
    Sources: The National Archives, United Kingdom

  • Power to the People: Counterculture, Social Movements, and the Alternative Press, Nineteenth to Twenty-First Century

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    Power to the People showcases a range of ideas, initiatives, and social movements devoted to people-powered politics and organizing from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. Ranging beyond a few specific movements, the archive paints a broad picture of the counterculture and many disparate organizations that represent this moment in modern Western history. Although the archive concentrates mainly on the United States and the United Kingdom, it also covers events and topics from around the globe.

    Key Facts
    Date range: Approximately 1800–2020
    Document types: Pamphlets, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, leaflets, broadsides, manuscripts, posters, and other printed pieces
    Sources: University of Bradford; The Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr. Pacific Coast Counterculture Collection; Dennis Publishing; Senate House, University of London; and more

  • China and the Modern World: Records of Shanghai and the International Settlement, 1836–1955

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    This eighth collection in the China and the Modern World series provides a primary source collection vital to understanding and researching the social, political, and economic history of not just the British-dominated yet highly globalized International Settlement in Shanghai but the history of modern China.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1836–1955
    Document types: General correspondence, letter books, registers, insurance records, ordinances, dispatches, reports, notebooks, maps and plans, and photographs
    Sources: The National Archives, United Kingdom

  • The Making of Modern Law: Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, Part III: Key Issues from 1907–1983

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    United States Courts of Appeals are battlegrounds for some of the most hotly debated issues in American politics and culture. Complementing the 11th and 12th installment to The Making of Modern Law, this 13th installment reproduces records and briefs of selected cases filed with the United States Courts of Appeals throughout the twentieth century. Covering over 500 cases, this collection concentrates on key issues that continue to occupy the American social and political landscape, such as reproductive rights, immigration policy, incarceration and the rights of prisoners, environmental policy, voting rights, and the civil rights of women and people of color. The cases are handpicked based on their critical importance to modern social, cultural, and economic issues that regularly occupy newspaper headlines in today’s heated political climate.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1907–1983 
    Document types: Legal briefs, amicus briefs, court transcripts, testimonies
    Sources: Law Library, Library of Congress; Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale University Law Library; New York City Bar Library

  • Environmental History: Colonial Policy and Global Development, 1896–1993

    The second part of the new Environmental History series presents twentieth-century British government material relating to environmental issues and the history of human–environment interaction. Access files from three departments of the UK's The National Archives, focusing on themes such as colonialism, land use and exploitation, exploration, agriculture, the technological revolution, industrial change and urbanization, conservation, pollution, climate, development programs and sustainability, natural resources, and industries such as forestry and mining.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1896–1993
    Document types: Manuscripts; government documents, including correspondence, reports, conference minutes, surveys
    Source: The National Archives, United Kingdom

  • History of Disabilities: Disabilities in Society, Seventeenth to Twentieth Century

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    The first collection in the new History of Disabilities series, Disabilities in Society demonstrates how society has presented and treated individuals with disabilities historically. Materials in this collection include records of treatments, methods of education, forms of remediation, and more. Reports and proceedings of organizations and institutions that sought to help or heal those with disabilities are included, as well as records of policies and programs. Through this collection, researchers will grasp the many forms of institutional discrimination, political exclusion, and social control under which disabled individuals struggled. Materials chronicle how individuals were classified and treated and how some overcame physical or mental challenges to defy perceptions of being disabled.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 17th through 20th centuries
    Document types: Rare books and pamphlets, as well as periodicals and professional papers, including speeches, manuscripts, articles, notes, photographs, and more
    Source: The New York Academy of Medicine

  • Refugees, Relief, and Resettlement: The Early Cold War and Decolonization

    This second installment in the Refugees, Relief, and Resettlement series opens a window onto the history of refugees and forced migration, expanding the possibilities of research for scholars and students who are studying the history of—and who may possibly come to work with—refugee populations. Topical coverage includes the causes of refugee crises following World War II, from the onset of the Cold War to the decolonization of, and rise of independence movements within, the nations of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

    Key Facts
    Date range: 1947–1979
    Document types: Correspondence, agency reports, personal papers, organizational records, pamphlets and ephemera, and legal briefs
    Sources: The National Archives, United Kingdom; Rutgers University; New York City Bar Association Library

  • Archives of Sexuality and Gender: Community and Identity in North America

    The sixth collection in the award-winning Archives of Sexuality and Gender series, Community and Identity in North America is a twentieth-century compendium that offers perspectives on society, sexual identity, community building, and gender issues. This archive focuses on the breadth of North America, providing a social history that casts a spotlight on diversity, equity, and inclusion with materials that cover activism and social justice issues, highlight disabilities in Queer society, offer information around alternative sexualities, document interactions between sexuality and religion, and represent diverse ethnic communities across North America.

    Key Facts
    Date range: Twentieth century
    Document types: Manuscripts, monographs, periodicals
    Sources: The ArQuives; GLBT Historical Society; Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, Colegio de México

Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920

With 2.1 million pages of trial transcripts, police and forensic reports, detective novels, newspaper accounts, true crime literature, and related ephemera, this collection presents the broadest and deepest collection of materials supporting the study of nineteenth-century criminal history, law, literature, and justice.

Declassified Documents: Twentieth Century British Intelligence

This collection brings together files from five UK government departments to provide researchers with access to detailed, previously classified information on the intelligence services of Britain and her Empire throughout the twentieth century.

Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

Crucial to research related to processes and movements of decolonization are the voices of local players who helped forge their country’s new direction. In this collection of firsthand perspectives, researchers can explore decolonization as a historical process in which over 70 countries and territories emerged from colonial or imperial structures into independence.

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library supports comparative approaches to the study of the Middle East and the Muslim world and inspires original research on Islamic religion, history, language, literature, and science.  It is an essential resource for every major library needing Arabic primary source material for research, teaching, and learning.

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

With nearly 70 million individuals dislocated by war, famine, and environmental disaster, refugee crises have been, and will continue to be, a highly visible part of our global reality. But understanding and addressing what the future holds requires reckoning with the past. In the series Refugees, Relief, and Resettlement, Gale opens a window into the history of refugees and forced migration so that the thousands of scholars and students who will study—and possibly work with—refugee populations may look profitably to the primary source record of the past to help them navigate the present and the future. 

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, places, events, and ideas interact and develop over time.

Topic Finder

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 materials of complementary primary source products, including books, in one united, intuitive environment, enabling innovative new research connections.

Learn more about the Gale Primary Sources Platform »