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History: Primary Sources: Visual Sources

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Image Gallery

Visual Materials as Sources

Photos, paintings, drawings, cartoons, posters, film, video, advertisements, videogames, and three-dimensional art such as sculpture and architecture can all be interpreted  as a part of the documentary record.  Some visual resources are one-of-a-kind works, while others are reproduced (like prints or illustrations in books and magazines).


Historical Maps

These are just a few of the many collections of digital maps available. A Google search for digitized map collection will find many, many more.

Original Art

Video Sources

The Internet Archive contains several collections of video resources, including videos uploaded by site users themselves.

Visuals in Print Sources

Many of our news databases allow you to limit your search to "cartoons" or "display ads."  The Early American Imprints have several visually oriented categories of "Genre," including Broadsides, Color Printing, Drawing Books, Maps, and Metamorphic Pictures.