English Historical Documents

English Historical Documents

English Historical Documents Online contains over 5,500 expertly indexed and fully searchable British history primary documents from 500-1914.

  • Online version of the standard series of primary source documents in British history, conceived in wartime and with volumes published since 1953
  • Over 5,500 documents from 13 volumes including American Colonial Documents (previously out of print)
  • Documents selected by generations of eminent historians, and their comment provides context for each document
  • Sources include government and cabinet proceedings, military dispatches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, personal and official letters and diaries
  • Covers political and constitutional topics and social, economic, religious and cultural history

Search Tips:

NOTE: By default, the system performs an 'OR' search: so if you put in two different terms the system will assume you are asking for documents in which either term is found.

Boolean search examples
Input System searches for
Queen Victoria Any document containing either word
Queen OR victoria Same as above (system defaults to this)
Queen AND victoria Documents must contain both words
"Queen Victoria" Must match this exact text string
Queen -Victoria Any document which contains the word queen, but not if it also contains Victoria

By default, the system performs an 'OR' search: so if you put in two different terms the system will assume you are asking for documents in which either term is found.

For example: a simple search for the word 'Queen' (or equally for queen: the search is not case-sensitive) retrieves 938 results, and the equivalent for 'Victoria' will find 114. If you input Queen Victoria then 976 results are returned. Documents which contain both words will occur only once in the results set, but will be more highly ranked within that set because both words have been found.

If you search for queen AND victoria, the system will look for documents which contain both of those words (please note that the AND must be in upper case for this to work), and in this example finds 76 results. If you input the search term "queen victoria" within double quotes the search will look for that exact string of characters (again the case is not significant) and will find only 71 results.

In the last example, the use of the - (minus) sign instructs the system firstly to find all documents containing the word queen, but then to exclude from the results any of those it has found which also contain the word victoria.

Subjects: