Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
This small carved jade ornament, about 2 inches square, was most likely the central ornament on the paper headband of a Maya ruler. Kings received the paper headband during the ritual in which they became king, signifying the moment in which they were “wrapped” into the office of kingship, transitioning from human mortal into divine king.
This large ceramic vessel, made for drinking chocolate, shows a figure wearing a loincloth, necklace, and a large headdress that looks like the tail feathers of the quetzal bird.
This drinking cup shows the aging Rain God Chank with a ceremonial ax in one hand and the other on a building that has split open. Other figures on the cup may represent the Maize God, who the Rain God is bringing back to life by breaking open the building’s roof, although the mythic scene is difficult to interpret.
This stone monument carved with glyphs comes from Tortuguero, a Maya archeological site in southernmost Tabasco, Mexico that has been badly damaged by development. The monument is in a museum in Tabasco, and the smaller fragment is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
This document is part of the economic declaration of the Fourth Nonaligned Movement (NAM) conference in 1973 in Algiers, Algeria.
The text is an excerpt from the 1974 Houari Boumédiène’s speech to the 6
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the United States passed laws that barred the entry of Chin
Words are historical artifacts which can be analyzed as evidence much like written documents or material records.
After World War II, the rise of jet travel and mass tourism brought new visitors—and new pressures—to many places within the Pacific Ocean. Hawaiʻi is a prime example of how tourism-driven development and activist responses have shaped local environments.
In the late nineteenth century, multiple transcontinental railroads were built across the United States and Canada.
Across millennia, Pacific people voyaged out to sea and settled the ocean’s thousands islands and atolls, linking new disco
Multinational corporations do not usually have archives. And even when they do, these are seldom accessible.
In 1966, Nigeria was only a few years removed from colonial status. Nigeria as a unified political and economic entity had only been established in 1914 with the merger of the very different regions of northern and southern Nigeria.
Established in November of 1994 by Resolution 955 of the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was intended to try those responsible from the Rwandan genocide ethnic Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu and other Rwandan violations of international law from January 1st to December 31st of 1994.
Established by United Nations resolution 827 of May 25th, 1993, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a body with the purpose of prosecuting war crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars and had jurisdiction over four groups of criminal activity committed since January 1st, 1991: serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws of war, genoci
Also known as the Pact of Paris, the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 was an international agreement sponsored by the United States and France aimed to eliminate war as a means of conflict resolution on the international playing field following World War I.
Marking one of the most dangerous periods of the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 16, 1962, when U.S. national security advisors alerted President John F. Kennedy that a Soviet missile base was under construction in Cuba.
Only a few years after the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788 and following the peace treaty signed between the U.S. and the British in 1794, the Governor in Council of British-controlled Lower-Canada, Guy Carleton, passed an act meant to regulate commerce between the province and the new country.
By the 1850s, tensions in the United States were falling in around a major issue: slavery. As the country expanded relentlessly westward and more territories and states were coming into existence, the question of slave states versus free states grew in its intensity.
The city of Manila is a perfect place to think about the importance of cities to world history. Founded by Spanish conquistadors on the site of a small harbor town in 1571, Manila provided the specialized spaces necessary for the first truly globe-circling system of imperial exploitation and commerce.