Browse Primary Sources
Primary sources from world and global history, including images, objects, texts, and digitally-born materials – annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
Graphic of a tree crosscut showing rings

Tree Rings as Climate Archive

World historians who study environmental history sometimes sometimes seek out atypical sources to conduct their research.

... Read More »
Coral image shows a series of wavy striped lines

X-ray of a cross-section of a coral core

World historians who study environmental history sometimes sometimes seek out atypical sources to conduct their research.

... Read More »

Church, Taos Pueblo National Historic Landmark, New Mexico

The image is a side view of a Pueblo church taken by Ansel Adams. Adams was commissioned by the National Park Service in 1941.

... Read More »

Coronado's Report to Viceroy Mendoza Sent from Cibola, August 3, 1540

Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was a Spanish conquistador who lead an expedition through Central and North America in the 1540s. The text is an excerpt of a letter Coronado sent to the King of Spain in 1540, describing the Pueblo people, the land and their culture.

... Read More »

Mayans: The Council Book, Popul Vuh

Popol Vuh is a written account of the mythology and history of the Kʼicheʼ people, one of the Maya peoples, dating back to the 1550s. The text includes excerpted portions.

... Read More »

Xochicalco, Temple of the Feathered Serpent, Maya Ruler

The image displays the Mayan architecture and images on the walls of the Temple of the Feathered Serpant at the historical Mayan site, Xochicalco, dating back to as early as 200 BCE.

... Read More »

Long House Iroquois Allen

The Iriqous people traditionally lived in longhouses made of wood. As the image shows, they didn't have any windows. Instead, they had holes in the roof for smoke to escape and doors on each end.

... Read More »

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nation is a written transcription of collected oral histories and traditions. It likely influanced the three branch structure and other facets of the American constitution. This text includes excerpts of the first seven points.

... Read More »

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was constructed by the Inca in the 15th century and remains an iconic representation of Inca architecture and civilization.

... Read More »

Pedro de Cieza de Léon: Chronicles of the Incas, 1540

This text is an excerpt of conquistador Pedro de Cieza de Leon's writings on the Incas. It provides quite a lot of information about the Incan economy which was a redistributive structure typical of all early civilizations.

... Read More »

Pages