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Political Science: Primary Sources

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 4:18 PM

Primary Sources

Sample Primary Source

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

"The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. We do not intend to mount only static text but rather to add value to the text by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.

The Avalon Project will no doubt contain controversial documents. Their inclusion does not indicate endorsement of their contents nor sympathy with the ideology, doctrines, or means employed by their authors. They are included for the sake of completeness and balance and because in many cases they are by our definition a supporting document." 

British Political Speech 

"Our archive currently holds texts of speeches given by Conservative, Labour and Liberal/Liberal Democrat Party leaders going back to 1895. Over time, it will expand to include speeches from all political parties and also audio and visual materials."

C-Span Archives

"The C-SPAN Archives records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses. Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, almost totaling over 225,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible through the database and electronic archival systems developed and maintained by the C-SPAN Archive"


"Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions so that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics — using an inviting, clean interface."

History and Politics Out Loud

"History and Politics Out Loud (HPOL) presents 107 spoken word recordings of people in twentieth-century United States history, as “a searchable archive of politically significant audio materials for scholars, teachers and students.” Each of the 107 selections available for streaming is indexed by date, title, subject, and, when a transcript exists, by keyword in the transcript."

History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web

"This . . .  the most useful websites for teaching U.S. history and social studies. We have carefully selected and screened each website for quality and provide a paragraph annotation that summarizes the site’s content, notes its strengths and weaknesses, and emphasizes its utility for teachers." 

Living Room Candidate

"The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952, when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertisement."

Presidential Speech Archive

"The Scripps Library, through cooperation with various presidential libraries, has been collecting some of the most important presidential speeches in American history. These speeches all have transcripts, and some are available in their entirety in audio or video."

U.S. Presidential Recordings

"Between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties secretly recorded just under 5,000 hours of their meetings and telephone conversations."