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British Victorian Period Research: Free Web Sites

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

Free Web Sites

Consider also using our British Isles Free Websites research guide.

History Highway: a 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources Reference and DMC 4 West (CD) D 16.117 .H55 2006

An annotated bibliography of web sites.


ARCHON Directory

The ARCHON Directory includes contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom and also for institutions elsewhere in the world which have substantial collections of manuscripts noted under the indexes to the National Register of Archives.

A2A Access to Archives

The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held locally throughout England and dating from the 8th century to the present day. In Jan., 2006 it contained 8.7 million items held in nearly 400 record offices and other repositories.

BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History

Free, expansive, searchable, reliable, peer-reviewed, copy-edited, easy-to-use overview of the period 1775-1925.  Unlike dry chronologies that simply list dates with minimal information about the many noteworthy events of a given year, BRANCH offers a compilation of a myriad of short and long, peer-reviewed articles on not only high politics and military history but also “low” or quotidian histories (architecture design, commercial history, marginal figures of note, and so on).  See tab for How to Use at top.  Search with keywords.  Browse in the topic clusters (subjects). Use the timeline.

British History Online

British History Online is the digital library of British historical sources for historians of Britain located worldwide seeking access to texts and information about people, places, and businesses from the medieval through modern periods. Texts from the Centre for Metropolitan History, the Victoria County History Project, Survey of London, and early journals of the Houses of Commons and Lords are also present.

British History Sources 1500-1900

Connected Histories brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace. There are a number of research guides in this website on such topics as: crime and justice, family history, history of London, Imperial and Colonial History, local history, Parliamentary history, poverty and poor relief, religious history, searching for images. 

British Library: Victorian Britain

What was life in Victorian England like?  The British Library shares posters, pamphlets, diaries, political reports, and illustrations on this period.  History is told via a set of essays by Liza Picard that explore topics like "The Working Classes and the Poor" and  "The Rise of Technology and Industry."  Essays include documents and descriptions.

British Library Newspaper Library

We now offer British Newspaper  Database 1600-1900.  The free web site is the home page for the British Library's newspaper department, sometimes referred to as "Colindale..." Within the site is the online catalogue of the collections. We have their collection of 19th century British newspapers online; see above in the periodical and newspaper section of this research guide. But you may find other news here for free as well as information about newspapers there.

British and U.K. Studies

This guide is a list of scholarly resources in British and UK Studies. Intended primarily for librarians; it may be useful to scholars in this field.  It is curated and managed by members of the European Studies Section (ESS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries. For additional resources on Northern Ireland, see the Irish Studies guide. Users are free to copy and edit content from this guide for their own purposes.

Carlyle Letters Online: a Victorian Cultural Reference (CLO)

Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle were very gifted and prolific 19th-century letter-writers; they had an immense circle of friends, family and acquaintances in Scotland, England, Europe, and North America; through their letters they interacted with many of the outstanding writers, thinkers and political figures of their time. 35 plus print volumes have been published of their letters since the 1950s, in a project led by Edinburgh University and Duke University. M.S.U. Libraries has many volumes of the print edition at PR 4433 .A44 v. 1-28,30 in Main. Thomas Carlyle was one of 19th century England's prominent historians, writing one of the first interpretive histories of the French Revolution.

Charles Booth's London: Poverty Maps and Police Notebooks

Charles Booth (1840-1916) was a British businessman and social reformer remembered today mostly for his efforts to document poverty in 19th c. London.  He published a multi-volume work, Inquiry into Life and labor in London, published 1889-1903.  It is perhaps best known for Booth's Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, which are color-coded according to wealth distribution in London on a street-by-street basis.  In this web site you can explore a digitized version of one of his "poverty maps" and use a slider at screen bottom to transition to a modern-day Google map.  You can search to explore particular neighborhoods or streets, some explore some of of Booth's notebooks to learn more about his research process.  The notebooks include a series of entries by policemen who helped Booth survey neighborhoods for his maps.

Charles Darwin Research Guide

by M.S.U. librarians.

Charles Darwin's Beagle Library

The books that were aboard the HMS Beagle, 1831-36, during Darwin's voyage.

Charles Darwin's Library

Charles Darwin was a man of science and letters, and his library was impressive. This digital project created by the Biodiversity Heritage Library offers interested parties a virtual reconstruction of the surviving books owned by Darwin, and it includes over 330 titles. 

Charles Darwin Letters

Darwin's letters to people held in the collections of University of British Columbia Woodward Library.  40 to Jim Scott Burdon Sanderson about research on insect-eating plants. 80, part of Fox/Pearce (Darwin) Collection 1821-84, detail observations or natural history of insects, birds, and eggs.

Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the HSM Beagle

Story map by ESRI's Matt Artz combines geography and history to create an interactive spatial timeline of Darwin's journey, incorporating his words and period imagery.  Covers 1831-1836.

Clergy of the Church of England Database

From 1540 to 1835, the Church of England was one of Britain's largest employers.  Search clerical records for more than "155,000 individual clerics or schoolteachers" from over fifty different archives in England and Wales. Search by name and fields such as diocese, location, and date range, and browse people, locations, and bishops according to diocese.  Reference section contains bibliographies, lists of bishops and locations, and a glossary.  Directed by Arthur Burns at King's College London, Kenneth Fincham at the University of Kent, and Stephen Taylor at Durham University.

Darwin Online

The most complete, largest, most used resource on the naturalist Charles Darwin.

Grandeur of Life: a Celebration of Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species

An online exhibit of books from the History of Science Collection at the Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, Missouri, one of the world's foremost independent research libraries devoted to science, engineering and technology, a not-for-profit, privately funded institution, open to the public.

Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads

The Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads brings together a range of fabulous prints published in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This collection eventually found its way to the American Antiquarian Society.

Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire

Detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies.  Over 150 films are available for viewing online.  Search or browse for films by country, date, topic, or keyword.  Over 350 of the most important films in the catalogue are presented with extensive critical notes by academic researchers.  This is a joint project of Birkbeck and University College London, British Film Institute, Imperial War Museum, and British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.

Crace Collection of Maps of London 

This is the essential guide through the history of London: some 1200 printed and hand-drawn maps charting the development of the city and its immediate vicinity from around 1570 to 1860. The maps were collected, mainly during the first half of the nineteenth century, by the fashionable Victorian society designer, Frederick Crace. After entering the site look for the link to "See all the items in this exhibition." From the British Library Map Collections.

Curran Index

Indexes 19th c. periodicals, functioning as a correction tool for the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals (click "Search Indexes" and then scroll down to link to Wellesley Index on lower right of screen).  Indexes also Metropolitan Star, Calcutta Star, Church Quarterly Review, New Monthly Magazine.

Darwin Correspondence Project

Contains 2,000 or more letters, full text, to or from Charles Darwin from 1821-1882, and summarizes the contents of up to 14,500 letters. Includes online copies of some 5,000 of his letters from the published volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Includes biographical information about those to whom he wrote, those who wrote to him, and people he mentioned in his letters. See also the bound volumes of Darwin's letters, edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith, in Main stacks at QH 31 .D2 A33 1985 v. 1-16.

Darwin Manuscripts from the Cambridge Digital Library

Goal  is to provide access to over 30,000 manuscript pages. Little background information.  Great image quality, with color, high resolution, detailed transcriptions, editor notes.  Can refine searches in the Cambridge Digital Library to this collection, but cannot search within the Darwin mss themselves.  Darwin's handwriting was not very readable, so having transcriptions is helpful.

Darwin Manuscripts Project

16,094 transcribed images of Darwin's sketches, letters, and scientific writings.  MSS are here divided into four searchable categories:  edited mss, catalogues, journal (his pocket diary 1838-1881), and featured collections.  Site is American Museum of Natural History's.

Darwin Online

The largest, most complete, most used resource on the naturalist Charles Darwin.

Dickens in Context

From the British Library. These resources will allow you to investigate the key themes of Dickens' novels alongside original source material from the British Library. Literary manuscripts, newspapers, letters, workhouse records and many more fascinating collection items will help students open up the social, cultural and political context in which Dickens was writing.

Digital Bodleian

The single, central portal to the multiple and separate digital collections created by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University over the past two decades. Designed for item-level searching or collection-level browsing; links to each collection unfold as one scrolls down. Collections range from medieval and Oriental manuscripts to late-20th-century political posters, and include maps, ephemera, games, and texts. Only collection-level materials are identified on the home page.

Digital Panopticon: Tracing London Convicts in Britain and Australia, 1780-1925

Research project exploring the impacts of various punishments on approximately 90,000 people who were sentenced at London's Old Bailey between 1780 and 1925. Brings together "millions of records from around fifty datasets" into a searchable database, including trial records, transportation records of convicts who were sent to Australia, etc.  The "convict lives" pages feature brief biographies of individual convicts whose life histories were "reconstructed using the Digital Panopticon website." The historical background section offers helpful contextual information about the British criminal justice system at that time. Research and teaching section contains themed research guides as well as resources for this site in school. The Arts and Humanities Research Council funded this project, with the work done collaboratively by the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Tasmania, Oxford, and Sussex," with Barry Godfrey, professor of Social Justice at the University of Liverpool, as the principal investigator.

Dissenting Academies Project

In 1662, the Parliament of England passed the Act of Uniformity - which required adherence to many rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. One of the rites required was episcopal ordination for all ministers. In response, other Protestant religious communities established a number of dissenting academies, which were "intended to provide Protestant students dissenting from the Church of England with a higher education similar to that at Oxford and Cambridge, from which they were largely excluded." This digital humanities project, created by the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English, allows visitors to learn more about these academies through an extensive database and encyclopedia of 220 academies that existed between 1660 and 1860. The database also includes thousands of individuals who were involved in the academy as tutors or students.

Emancipation of Women 1750-1920

A detailed history of the English Suffragette movement, including biographies, information on women in the 19th century, pressure groups, strategy and tactics, and parliamentary reform acts.  Click on individual women in the movement.

English Heritage

English Heritage exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. English Heritage is the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment. Clicking on the Site Map near top left of the screen will allow one to find information about various historical sites.

Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade

Created here at Michigan State University by History Dept. prof. Walter Hawthorne and others working with MSU Matrix.  Has two parts: an open access journal, the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation and a database of over 5 million entries from primary sources and translated into metadata.  Has a federated search function.  Using keywords scholars can retrieve metadata related to people, places, and events.  Records include links to geographical places, archival documents, and related people.  Information in the database comes from libraries, archives, museums, and other collections.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe

These links connect to Western European (mainly primary) historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries (and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social, and cultural history). Covers medieval and Renaissance, Europe as a supranational region, as well as documents of individual countries. From Brigham Young University.

European History Primary Sources

Provides links to free scholarly websites of digitized primary documents and online digital archives on European history.  Browse by country, language, time period, subject or type of source.

Fashion History Timeline

This is open-access source for fashion history knowledge, featuring objects and artworks from over a hundred museums and libraries.  It offers well-researched, accessibly written entries on specific artworks, garments and films for those interested in fashion and dress history. Decade and century overview pages offer visual examples of period styles, a visually rich fashion dictionary defines key terms, and hundreds of examples of dress analysis from antiquity to the present day model the complicated task of discerning whether something is fashionable  or merely everyday dress, as well as the historical implications of that distinction. It features a search-able Source Database of reliable academic publications on fashion and dress history and a much more extensive Zotero database that students and researchers can draw on and contribute to. It is a project of the History of Art dept. at New York University.

Florence Nightingale Digitization Project

Began in 2014 as a collaborative effort between the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, England, the Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, the Royal College of Nursing and the Wellcome Library. More collaborative partners are in the process of joining the Project. Together, these institutions have compiled their holdings into a collaborative database consisting currently of more than 2,300 letters handwritten or narrated by Florence Nightingale that for the first time are now available to researchers through a single source.

Food in the West: A Timeline, 1700-2001

Learn about culinary trends related to food, drink, feasts, agriculture from the ancien regime to the present.

Girton Girl

In 1885, popular British writer Annie Edwards penned A Girton Girl. The title refers to Girton College, part of the University of Cambridge network and the first residential college for women in Britain. Despite the title, the main character in this novel does not attend Girton, yet the story nevertheless provides contemporary readers with a glimpse into Victorian ideas about gender roles in education and society. Here readers may browse the fully digitized book, along with a number of Edwards's other novels, courtesy of Oxford University and the Internet Archive. While published in limited numbers at the time, many of Edwards's novels were serialized in newspapers throughout the late nineteenth century or adapted for the theater. This resource will be of interest to literary and history scholars alike as it offers historical context and insight into popular literature at the turn of the twentieth century.

Great Britain Historical Database Online 1841-1939

Large database of British nineteenth and twentieth-century statistics. It contains: Statistics from the 1861 Census and the Registrar General's reports, 1851-1861; Employment statistics from the census, 1841-1931; Demographic statistics from the census, 1841-1931; Mortality statistics from the Registrar General's reports, 1861-1920; Marriage statistics from the Registrar General's reports, 1841-1870; Trade union statistics for the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE), 1851-1918; Official poor law statistics, 1859-1915 and 1919-1939; Small debt statistics from county courts, 1847-1913." Free but registration is required.

Historical Directories (U.K.)

Historical Directories is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It is not comprehensive. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history. Historical Directories is produced and owned by the University of Leicester.

Search by location, keyword, or decade. Directories are useful for finding historical name/address information and for studying trades in particular places in particular time periods.

History of Parliament

History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. It consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and of closely researched accounts of the lives of everyone who was elected to Parliament in the period, together with surveys drawing out the themes and discoveries of the research and adding information on the operation of Parliament as an institution.

History Online (U.K.)

History On-Line provides high-quality information resources for the teaching and learning of history. There are currently over 40,000 records providing details of books and articles, U.K. university lecturers, U.K. current and past research, and evaluated links to web sites and on-line resources. This information is freely available, and can be searched or browsed. Information about books included comes from noted English publishers who are supporting the development of the database. There are a great many links to U.K. and Irish history web sites, general reference sources, archives, museums, and libraries, links to U.K. government information, and links to digitized primary resources. The History in Focus section is a new occasional series taking a thematic approach to history. Each issue introduces a topic (for instance, war, medical history, the Victorian era), and provides citations to books, reviews, web sites, and conferences on it to stimulate interest.

Images Online

Images Online gives instant access to thousands of the greatest images from the British Library's collections which include manuscripts, rare books, musical texts and maps spanning almost 3000 years. The range of images available include illustrations, drawings, paintings and photographs.

Images of England

Images of England is a ‘point in time’ photographic library of England’s listed buildings, recorded at the turn of the 21st century.It contains a photographic record of England's 370,000 listed buildings. It is a part of the web site of the National Monuments Record.

You can view over 300,000 images of England’s built heritage from lamp posts to lavatories, phone boxes to toll booths, mile stones to gravestones, as well as thousands of bridges, historic houses and churches.

Institute of Historical Research (U.K.)

The IHR at University of London is an international research/information center whose mission is to support the study of (primarily) British history. IHR offers an open-access library, conferences and seminars open to the public, postgraduate degrees, research training, and networking for those students, digital and print research material, and publishes the journal Historical Research.This web site is a portal to its online info and that of its partners: British History Online, Centre for Contemporary British History, Centre for Metropolitan History, Victoria County History, England's Past for Everyone, London's Past Online, etc. IHR's library catalog provides access to the chief printed primary sources for medieval and modern history of Great Britain and western Europe, their colonial expansion, and the history of the Americas. Also offers access to their research centers. History in Focus features original articles, book reviews, and links to historical resources on selected topics.

Interactive Historical Atlas of the Disciplines

Aims at collecting and mapping data related to the history of the disciplinary structure of science. Launched in 2018 at the University of Geneva, this collaborative website provides several tools to explore the various 'classifications of the sciences' put forward by numerous scholars over the centuries, and to visualize the evolution of disciplinary borders from Antiquity to our days.
The ultimate goal of this project is to reconstruct the genealogical tree of the sciences, namely, the "table of contents" of the history of human knowledge. As such, the present atlas should be of interest not only to historians, but also to philosophers, sociologists and anyone interested in the history of their discipline and its relations to others sciences.

Internet Global History Sourcebook

The Global History Sourcebook is dedicated to exploration of interaction between world cultures. It does not, then, look at ''world history''as the history of the various separate cultures (for that see the linked pages, which do take that approach), but at ways in which the "world" has a history in its own right. Specifically this means looking at the ways in which cultures contact each other, the ways they influence each other, and the ways new cultural forms emerge.

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

Collection of primary sources of historic documents from the early modern period to the present for both Europe and the Americas. Includes links to other sources of information on modern history and on the nature of historiography, and links to maps, images, and music.

Intute: Arts and Humanities (U.K.)

Once there was a web site called Humbul Humanities Hub, which offered a great deal of academic history information for the U.K. Now Humbul's material is part of this web site whose goal is to provide access to the best Web resources for education and research, selected and evaluated by a network of subject specialists. There are over 21,000 Web resources listed here that are freely available by keyword searching and browsing. Fields covered include humanities in general, art and the creative, history, languages, literatures.

Irish History Online

Irish History Online provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with Ireland during all periods from prehistoric times to the present. It is a guide to the work of historians rather than to original sources, unless they have been edited and republished by historians.  It lists books, articles in books and articles in journals, including, notably, local history journals.

Irish Studies

This guide is a list of scholarly resources in Irish Studies. Intended primarily for librarians; it may be useful to scholars in this field. It is curated and managed by members of the European Studies Section (ESS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries. For additional resources on Northern Ireland, please see the British and UK Studies guide. Users are free to copy and edit content from this guide for their own purposes.

IsisCB Cumulative: Open Access Bibliography for the History of Science, 1913-1975

This is a digitized version of the Isis Cumulative Bibliography of the History of Science, covering materials indexed from 1913-1975, on all topics in the history of science for all historical periods.   There are seven large HTML files corresponding to the seven volumes of the printed bibliography issued during this period.  It is a companion to IsisCB Explore, covering the files 1974 to present.  Over 154,000 citations to 83,000 articles, 44,000 books, 20,000 reviews, 6,000 chapters.  Made possible by Sloan Foundation, History of Science Society, University of Oklahoma Libraries, University of Oklahoma History of Science dept. 

Jisc Archives Hub

The Archives Hub is a free online service giving access to descriptions of archives held in UK repositories (such as universities, company archives and local history centres). It does not hold any archive material itself but provides a means to cross-search archival descriptions from different institutions.It also provides descriptions of online resources, often including digital content, and holds information on individual repositories. Use the Archives Hub to find unique sources for your research, both physical and digital. Search across descriptions of archives, held at over 380 institutions across the UK.  New descriptions are added every week, often representing collections being made available for the first time.

John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera

The John Johnson Collection is one of the most important collections of printed ephemera in the world. It was assembled by John de Monins Johnson between c.1923 and 1956 and was housed at the Oxford University Press (where it was called The Constance Meade Collection of Ephemeral Printing) until its transfer to the Bodleian Library in 1968. Johnson collected retrospectively, establishing 1939 as his terminus ante quem (although there are exceptions). While the majority of material dates from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, there is ephemera dating back to 1508. There are over 1 million items in the original collection. The material is principally British. Contains political/satirical prints and pictures of London trades and professions.

John Snow Archive and Research Companion

John Snow's contributions during the early years of inhalation anesthesia, and his investigations during two mid-century cholera epidemics in Victorian London, are landmarks in anesthesiology, epidemiology, medical cartography, and public health.

This Web site contains an archive of searchable texts of Snow's published writings, most appearing in medical journals, and recorded presentations and comments at medical society meetings between 1838 and his death in 1858. The archive will also include selections from writings by some of Snow's contemporaries, whether supporters, skeptics, or outright antagonists.

This site is also an online companion to Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow (Oxford University Press, 2003), by Peter Vinten-Johansen, Howard Brody, Nigel Paneth, Stephen Rachman, and Michael Rip, with assistance from David Zuck. The bibliography is available in searchable text, and all figures are reproduced.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership Project

Legacies of British Slave-ownership is the umbrella for two projects based at University College London tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: the ESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, now complete, and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833, running from 2013-2015.  You can search or browse.  In browse you can examine at the commercial, cultural, historical, imperial, physical, and political legacies.
    "In 1833 Parliament finally abolished slavery in the British Caribbean, Mauritius and the Cape. The slave trade had been abolished in 1807, but it had taken another 26 years to effect the emancipation of the enslaved. However, in place of slavery the negotiated settlement established a system of apprenticeship, tying the newly freed men and women into another form of unfree labour for fixed terms. It also granted £20 million in compensation, to be paid by British taxpayers to the former slave-owners. That compensation money provided the starting point for our first project. We are now tracking back to 1763 the ownership histories of the 4000 or so estates identified in that project."

Lewis Walpole Library

Contains English caricatures and political satirical prints from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

Literary History

"Literary History is an index to free scholarly and critical articles, covering more than 300 English and American authors of the 19th and 20th centuries.  With over 7,000 citations, we have the largest collection of free links on these authors on the internet.  All links are screened by a literary scholar and must meet minimum academic standards to be included in the index."  Good, reputable resource for free scholarship and general information on literature. 

Livingstone Online

This is a digital museum and library to encounter the written and visual legacy of famous Victorian explorer David Livingstone (1813-73) created in partnership by University of Maryland Libraries, the David Livingstone Centre, the National Library of Scotland, and other archives with Livingstone holdings.  Use it to study African history, nineteenth-century travel, and the British Empire. It will contain 11,000 manuscript images and 700 critically-edited transcriptions by 2017, making it among the largest on the internet related to any single historical British visitor to Africa.

London's Past Online, a Bibliography of London History

Produced by the Centre for Metropolitan History in association with the Royal Historical Society Bibliography, London's Past Online is a free online bibliography of published material relating to the history of the Greater London area.  It is based on Heather Creaton's bibliographies, for which see the online catalog. 

Medical Heritage Library

The Medical Heritage Library is a "digital curation collaborative" between numerous leading medical libraries, including the August C. Long Health Science Library at Columbia University, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Wellcome Library, to name just a few. These libraries are working together on this remarkable collection that provides insight into the history of medicine in the United States and Great Britain. Through the website's Content tab, visitors can browse hundreds of medical journals, pamphlets, and books dating back to the sixteenth century. Researchers can also conduct a keyword Search in order to find relevant material within this extensive (and still growing) collection.

Moving Here: 200 Years of Migration to England

While in the 19th and early 20th centuries it can be said that "the sun never set on the British Empire," the story of those who came to Britain from elsewhere is sometimes overlooked. This is an archive of documents, images, and first-hand narratives from over 30 local, national, and regional museums and libraries around Britain that looks primarily at the Caribbean, Irish, Jewish, and South Asians living in Britain. Begin with the migration histories area.

National Archives (U.K.)

This site is primarily useful if you will be going to the U.K. to do research. The National Archives of England, Wales, and the United Kingdom is one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from the 11th century to the present. This government agency was formed in 2003 by bringing together the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission. This web site offers online catalogs of primary source materials and some online texts. Some of their  research guides are here.

NINES: Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship

NINES is a scholarly organization devoted to British and American 19th-century studies containing searchable and browsable texts, images, and bibliographic citations on the period. Offers access to these projects: British Women Romantic Poets, Collective Biographies of Women, Letters of Christina Rosetti, Letters of Matthew Arnold, Poetess Archive, Rossetti Archive, The Swinburne Project, The William Blake Archive, U. of Virginia Special Collections, Victorian Literature and Culture Series of U. of Va. Press, Victorian Studies Bibliography, and resources of Romantic Circles.

Nineteenth Century Periodicals

From Marist College Library, this guide provides a list of 19th century periodicals available online. These periodicals have been digitized by outside institutions and made available to the general public by these institutions.  Their continued availability is at the discretion of the digitizing institutions. The periodicals have been categorized by date, place of publication and subject.  The subject categories were chosen to reflect major areas of publication.

NYPL Digital Collections: Pictures of Science: 700 Years of Scientific and Medical Illustration

This digital collection draws upon the materials selected for an exhibition called "Seeing Is Believing," held in the Library's Gottesman Exhibition Hall, October 23, 1999 - February 19, 2000. Natural history materials were included very selectively in that exhibition; however, natural history materials have their own separate presentations in NYPL Digital Gallery, devoted to plants and to animals respectively. "Although not providing a comprehensive history of scientific and medical illustration, these images open a window on the radical shift in the cosmology of early modern Europe that began around 1543 with the publication of seminal works by Copernicus and Vesaliius, and continued with the work of Newton, Harvey, Darwin, Curies and others."

OAIster...Find the Pearls

OAIster is a broad, generic, information retrieval resource for information about publicly available digital library resources provided by the research library community. Using the search engine provided, scholars are able to identify full-text resources in repositories that are freely accessible with no restrictions on the Worldwide Web. This is a project of the University of Michigan Library. All subject fields are covered. Suggest using keywords in the subject search such as Victorian period, British empire, names of literary authors or historians or historical personages, or broad topics.

Old Book Illustrations

"Old Book Illustrations was born of the desire to share illustrations from a modest collection of books, which we set out to scan and publish. With the wealth of resources available online, it became increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to explore other collections and include these images along with our own." Contains links to book illustrations first published in the 18th century through the first quarter of the 20th century.  We particularly emphasizes Victorian and French Romantic illustrations up to the death of Gustave Dore. "We also focused our efforts on offering as many different paths and avenues as possible to help you find your way to an illustration, whether you are looking for something specific or browsing randomly. The many links organizing content by artist, language, publisher, date of birth, and more are designed to make searching easier and indecision rewarding." Access by artist, engraver, format, publisher, technique, title.  General and advanced search options.  Advanced search can be filtered by broad categories, such as buildings, animals, plants, people, etc.  Be sure to read the Terms of Use page, a link at the bottom of the entry page. 

Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom

Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom holds several million historical records relating to Parliament. You'd have to go there to use most of them for research. This web site does offer some online exhibitions, though, on Thomas Telford, Parliament and India, Sport, suffragettes and women in Parliament, and Gladstone. We have some Parliamentary information right here in the M.S.U. Libraries, click here.

Price of One Penny: a Database of Cheap Literature, 1837-1860

By Marie Leger-St. Jean, U. of  Cambridge. Price One Penny: Cheap Literature, 1837-1860 (POP). contains a database which catalogues early Victorian penny fiction and thereby enables easy access to surviving copies and accurate bibliographic information. Search by title. Browse by authors, publishers, periodicals, and libraries that have such works in their collections.

Prince Albert: His Life and Legacy

From Royal Collection Trust.  Contains over 17,500 digitized documents and photographs, most not published before.  Highlights Albert's influence on British culture and society and his patronage of the arts, including photography and his love of the painter Raphael.  Explore section offers "specific themes, biographies, and media that contextualize his life and times" with visual essays and interactive timeline.  Will contain 23,000 items, when finished,  by end of 2020.

Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674-1913

"This is a fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court." Also includes historical background information and a bibliography (contains citations on: publishing history; associated records; crime, criminal justice and punishment; Old Bailey Courthouse; London and hinterlands; community histories; gender and the proceedings; and general and useful web sites.)

Queen Victoria's Scrapbook

Site provided by the Royal Household to offer information, learning materials, documents and other media about the life of Queen Victoria, and, in particular, her Diamond Jubilee.


RIBApix is a growing database dedicated to providing exceptional and unique images from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects, the world’s most extensive visual archive devoted to architecture. RIBApix covers world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction and the decorative arts. Many of the images are also of social documentary importance. Do simple free–text searches, or do a more structured search by categories, such as subject, architect and building or combinations of these.

Royal College of Physicians Museum and Archive Collections

Search RCP collections to uncover a wealth of information on the history of medicine and the RCP.   Near complete records of the RCP's activities for 500 years. Manuscripts and personal papers of eminent physicians. 300 oil and sculptural portraits of physicians and over 5,000 prints and drawing. Silver and decorative art collection. Rare medical instruments and artefacts.

Scottish Bibliographies Online

Contains the Bibliography of Scotland, the Bibliography of Scottish Gaelic, and Bibliography of the Scottish Booktrade.  They contain details of materials on Scotland or held in Scottish libraries.

Tate Collection

The Tate Britain is the home of British art from 1500 onwards. Click on "Collection Displays" in mid-screen. Then you can click on the display theme "British art 1500-1900." The last four or five rooms have Victorian art in them. And yes, you can see actual paintings and their descriptions.

Texts and Calendars--British Society Publications Indexing Online

M.S.U. Libraries contains the publications of a great many British historical, record, archaeological, and archival societies. Many are focussed on history, archaeology, and records at the county level. The access/indexing to their contents is often not very good. Some societies publish indexes to their own material from time to time; some do not. M.S.U. Libraries may, or may not, have item level records in the online catalog. Not many researchers know about or use these publications. Some contain only primary sources, some only secondary sources, and some contain a mixture of both kinds of materials. Some societies publish more than one series of publications. The Royal Historical Society Bibliography online indexes this material and the link here goes to that resource.  In the Full Search mode try entering the county name into the "Journal or Series" box on the search form in the "Bibliographic criteria" search.  After identifying useful material, do a search in our online catalog to find our call number. If the piece does not have its own entry; do an author seach, using the name of the society as the author. For example: author Anglo-Norman Text Society. We have older book bibliographies indexing this sort of material by Mullins (Main Z 2016 .M8, .M8 1983, .M83) and Stevenson (Main DA 750 .S25 ser. 4 v. 23.)

Trans  Atlantic Slave Trade Database

From Emory University, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, this offers both quantitative and qualitative information about the slave trade in Spain, Uruguay, Portugal, Brazil, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the United States, Denmark, and the Baltic, from the 16th through the 19th centuries.  Three sections:  searchable database of voyages, statistics/estimates of the slave trade by nation and ports of em and disembarkation, and African names database.  Bibliography of documentary sources and archival materials.  Overview essays on the Atlantic slave trade, racial/ethnic fallout, abolition movement.  Lesson plans and educational resources.  Images from 19th c. archival materials.  Maps.  Timeline/chronology.  Searchable in both English and Portuguese.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is the greatest museum of art and design. The most comprehensive collection of British design and art from 1500 to 1900.

Victoria Research Web, Scholarly Resources for Victorian Research

This web site helps scholars investigate all aspects of 19th-century Britain, by advising about archives, providing bibliographies and research guides, giving journals publishing in this field and their submission guidelines, listing e mail discussion lists and organizations, providing texts and course syllabi, and giving information on planning a research trip to Britain. Search the last 10 years of the Victoria e list. Learn about using the new British Library. Use the Curran Index to Wellesley Revisions, the Van Arsdale guide to researching periodicals. Learn about newspaper research. Find pictures of people and places.

Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive

Look for published illustrations of Shakespeare's characters, by name.  Look for illustrations by genre (comedy, history, or tragedy).  Or by illustrator/editor (illus. found in books of the period). Or by location (interior or exterior). Or by title of the play.  Or for illus. in preliminary materials (such as title pages of books). Or by act or act header.  Author of site is a faculty member at Univ. of Cardiff.

Victorian Studies Bibliography

The Victorian Studies Bibliography has 6 sections:
1) enumerative bibliographies on the period and studies of printing, publishing, libraries, and book production,
2) lists of documents, general histories, and studies in historiography,
3) lists of titles on economics, education, politics, religion, science, and social environment,
4) references to all arts except literature, including architecture, household arts, landscape, music, painting, performing arts, photography, and scripture,
5) references on literature, literary history, and development of literary forms,
6) references on individual authors, including new editions of their works, critical and biographical studies, and journals devoted to individual authors.

Victorian Web

" ...presents its images and documents, including entire books, as nodes in a network of complex connections. In other words, it emphasizes the link rather than the search tool (though it has one) and presents information linked to other information rather than atomized and isolated." "In the Victorian Web we encounter books, paintings, political events, and eminent and not-so-eminent Victorians in multiple contexts, which we can examine when and if we wish to do so." "Originally begun back in 1987 as a means of helping scholars and students see connections between different fields, the site today has greatly expanded the kinds of connections one can find." Contains "115,611 documents and images as of 23 December 2020."  Contains both primary and secondary sources in British Victorian  economics, literature, philosophy, political and social history, science, technology, and visual arts (painting, architecture, sculpture, book design and illustration, photography, decorative arts, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, metalwork, stained glass, and textiles, costume and various movements, such as Art Nouveau, Japonisme, and Arts and Crafts).  "Includes much material before and after 1837-1901, particularly in sculpture and architecture, and the site also has a good deal of comparative material.   Especially strong in "literature, painting, architecture, sculpture, book illustration, history, religion, though the sections on history and technology include hundreds of documents."  Board of Directors includes George P. Landow (Chair); Jacqueline Banerjee (Secretary); Noah M. Landow (Treasurer); Simon Cooke; and Diane Josefowicz.

Victorian Web Sites: the Victorian Literary Studies Archive

Presents a directory of Web sites related to the Victorian era. Offers access to scholars' home pages, English literature resources, and information on 19th century authors. Provides access to information on British and American authors, various locations of historical significance, and Victorian festivals. Links to WWW search engines and to some information in Japanese. The links are compiled as a service of Mitsuharu Matsuoka. Site maintained at Graduate School of Languages and Cultures, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan.

Victorian Women Writers Project

Provides accurate and complete digital texts of works by British women writers of the 19th century. Offerings include anthologies, novels, political pamphlets, religious tracts, children's books, and volumes of poetry and verse drama from over forty authors.

Vision of Britain Through Time

Vision of Britain between 1800 and 2001. Including Maps, Statistical Trends, and Historical Descriptions

Wellcome Library

Through its collections and services, the Wellcome Library provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present. With over 600 000 books and journals, an extensive range of manuscripts, archives and films, and more than 100 000 pictures, we are one of the world's major resources for the study of medical history. This is one of the world's greatest collections of books, manuscripts, archives, films and paintings on the history of medicine from the earliest times to the present day.  See especially Welcome Images.

Women's Health, Education, and Employment in the Long Nineteenth Century: a Resource Guide

Produced by ProQuest, this resource guide features primary source content from the Gerritsen Collection (MSU has), British Periodicals (MSU has I and II), and Women's Magazine Archive (MSU has I and II).  Focusing on women's health and medicine, education, and employment in the long 19th century in England and America, its goal is to help people create connections between the topics.  Each topic has a brief description and questions to help generate discussion and ideas.  First there is an introduction with a source on British laws affecting women.  Then the health and medicine section has texts on women's and children's health and domestic home medicine manuals.  Texts on women's education and conduct follow.  The last topic is women's employment and features census materials, essays on this subject, and employment guides.