71 Digital Portals to State History

A recent NDIIPP intern, Ingrid Jernudd, did some research into current web resources that provide digital access to a broad array of primary source materials at the state level. She prepared a list of sites that billed themselves as general-interest portals to historical resources. Although the list is likely incomplete, I was surprised she found so many.

It is worth bearing in mind also that the list, with one exception, does not include local or municipal websites (the one exception is the Denver Public Library; its Western History and Genealogy site is included because it has resources that extend beyond Denver proper).

Most of the materials available through these websites are digitized versions of analog items. Many of the sites could, however, accommodate born digital content, as well as serve as useful models for the ongoing development of access to cultural heritage resources.

Ingrid’s findings are presented in the two tables below. Table 1 lists 66 websites that relate to individual states. Table 2 lists five sites that cover multiple states. If you know of resources that are not listed here, please let us know via a comment.

Table 1, State Digital Portals

State Resource Website
AL Alabama Dept. of Archives and History Digital Collections http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/
Alabama Virtual Library http://www.avl.lib.al.us/
AK Alaska’s Digital Archives http://vilda.alaska.edu/
AR Arkansas History Commission http://www.ark-ives.com/
Arkansas State Library Digital Collections http://cdm16039.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/
AZ Arizona Memory Project http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/
Arizona Cultural Inventory Project http://cip.azlibrary.gov/
CA Calisphere http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/
California State Library Online Resources http://www.library.ca.gov/services/online-resources.html
CO Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy http://digital.denverlibrary.org/
CT Connecticut Digital Collections http://www.ctstatelibrary.org/dld/pages/connecticut-digital-colle
DE Delaware Public Archives http://archives.delaware.gov/
FL Florida Memory http://www.floridamemory.com/
GA Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/
Georgia’s Virtual Vault http://cdm.georgiaarchives.org:2011/cdm/
HA Hawaii State Archives Digital Collections http://archives1.dags.hawaii.gov/gsdl/cgi-bin/library
IA Iowa State Historical Society Digital Archives http://www.iowahistory.org/libraries/index.html
Iowa Heritage Digital Collections http://www.iowaheritage.org/
ID Idaho State Historical Society Digital Collections http://idahohistory.cdmhost.com/
IL Illinois Digital Archives http://www.idaillinois.org/
Explorie Illinois: Illinois Digital Archives http://www.finditillinois.org/ida/
IN Indiana Memory http://www.in.gov/memories/index.html
KS Kansas Historical Society State Archives http://www.kshs.org/p/state-archives-library/11933
KY Kentucky Digital Library http://kdl.kyvl.org/
LA LOUISiana Digital Library http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/
LDMA (Louisiana Digital Media Archive) http://ldma.lpb.org/about-ldma
MA Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts Collections Online http://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/
Massachusetts Boards of Library Commissioners Digital Collections http://mblc.state.ma.us/books/digital/
MD Maryland Historical Society Online Collections http://www.mdhs.org/museum/collections-online
Archives of Maryland Online http://ow.ly/p8kO4
ME Maine Memory Network http://www.mainememory.net/
MI Seeking Michigan http://seekingmichigan.org/
MN Minnesota Digital Library http://www.mndigital.org/
MO Missouri Digital Heritage http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/
MS Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Digital Archives http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/
MT Montana Memory Project http://mtmemory.org/
NC North Carolina Digital Collections http://digital.ncdcr.gov/
North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online http://www.ncecho.org/
North Carolina’s Digital Collections http://digitalnc.org/collections
ND State Historical Society of North Dakota Digital Resources http://www.history.nd.gov/archives/digitalresources.html
NE Virtual Exhibits of the Nebraska State Historical Society http://nebraskahistory.org/exhibits/index.shtml
NJ New Jersey Digital Highway http://www.njdigitalhighway.org/
NM New Mexico State Library Digital Archive http://ow.ly/p8hrp
NV Nevada Statewide Digital Initiative http://nsla.nevadaculture.org/
NY New York Heritage Digital Collections http://www.newyorkheritage.org/
New York Department of Records Photo Gallery http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/gallery/home.shtml
New York Public Library Digital Gallery http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/
OH Ohio Memory http://www.ohiomemory.org/
OK Oklahoma Digital Prairie http://digitalprairie.ok.gov/
OR Oregon Digital Library Project http://odl.library.oregonstate.edu/record/search
PA Digital Collections at the State Library of Pennsylvania http://ow.ly/p8hv3
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Digital Library http://digitallibrary.hsp.org/
RI State of Rhode Island Virtual Archives http://sos.ri.gov/virtualarchives/
SC South Carolina Digital Library http://www.scmemory.org/
SD South Dakota State Historical Society Digital Archives http://sddigitalarchives.contentdm.oclc.org/
Digital Library of South Dakota http://dlsd.sdln.net/index.php
TN Tennessee State Library and Archives: Digital Collections http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/resources/index.htm
Volunteer Voices http://www.volunteervoices.org/
TX Northeast Texas Digital Collections http://dmc.tamu-commerce.edu/
UT Digital Utah http://pioneer.utah.gov/digital/utah.html
VA Virginia Memory http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/
VT Vermont Folklife Center http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/
WI State of Wisconsin Collection http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/WI
WV West Virginia Division of Culture and History Online Exhibits http://www.wvculture.org/museum/exhibitsonline.html
WY Wyoming Memory http://www.wyomingmemory.org/

Table 2, Multi-State Digital Portals

States Resource Website
CO, NM, WY Rocky Mountain Online Archive http://rmoa.unm.edu/
IL, IN Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Gallery http://www.umvphotoarchive.org/
MN, ND Digital Horizons: A Plains Media Resource http://digitalhorizonsonline.org/
UT, NV, ID, AZ, HI Mountain West Digital Library http://mwdl.org/
Various Digital Public Library of America http://dp.la

Update: Corrected links to the Vermont Folklife Center and the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Gallery.

51 Comments

  1. Linda Tompkins-Baldwin
    September 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage (MDCH.org) is supported by Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore City’s public library) and the State Library of Maryland.

  2. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Linda, thanks for this addition.

  3. Susan Gray Page
    September 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    The second item listed for Virginia is actually a Vermont resource.

  4. Louisa Trott
    September 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    The Portal to Texas History seems like it would fit the criteria for this list. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ I’m in Tennessee but am familiar with this Texas resource as I know some of the folks who work on the historical newspaper project, which forms part of this Portal.

  5. Bob Horton
    September 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    There’s quite a bit online,digitized and some born digital, at the MN Historical Society: http://www.mnhs.org. Photos, birth records, Civil War collections, Gov. Ventura’s speeches, …

    The newspaper portal has content which isn’t part of the NDNP, I believe:

    http://newspapers.mnhs.org/web/mhsnews/web/imu.php?request=accesstool

  6. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Susan, thanks for the correction, which has been made.

  7. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Louisa, thanks for the addition.

  8. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Bob, right you are! Thanks for the addition.

  9. Ross Fuqua
    September 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Washington Rural Heritage is a statewide collaborative digitization initiative for accessing cultural heritage materials across Washington’s smaller rural and tribal communities, coordinated by the Washington State Library with funding through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA/IMLS):

    http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/

  10. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Ross, Looks like a great resource. Thanks for adding it to the list.

  11. Lee
    September 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Two more statewide Florida collections to consider are:

    Florida Heritage Collection at http://palmm.fcla.edu/fhp/ : The Florida Heritage Collection is an ongoing cooperative project of the State University System (SUS) of Florida to digitize and provide online access to materials broadly representing Florida’s history, culture, arts, literature, sciences and social sciences.

    Florida on Florida at http://fof.fcla.edu/cgi/b/bib/bib-idx : Florida On Florida is a catalog of digital materials related to Florida. It includes all sorts of items including maps,photographs, postcards, books, and manuscripts. The materials in Florida On Florida come from digital collections held by libraries, archives, museums and historical societies throughout Florida.

  12. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Lee, thanks for the additional sites. It’s great to hear about so many other resources!

  13. Melanie LaBorwit
    September 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    http://www.newmexicohistory.org
    from the Office of the State Historian in New Mexico has a vast treasure of primary resources as part of the state’s Digital History Project. ALSO http://www.econtent.unm.edu
    New Mexico Digital collections- a centeral search portal for digital collections about New Mexico. A serrvice of University of New Mexico libraries with links to archives, museums, libraries, and cultural sites statewide.

  14. Melanie LaBorwit
    September 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    please correct spelling to read central search portal……I was typing too fast! ( not centeral) thanks

  15. Julia Marks Young
    September 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Really great compilation. One small correction; the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital site relates to Iowa & Illinois, not Mississippi.

  16. Bill LeFurgy
    September 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Julia, thanks for pointing that out. The list has been updated.

    Bill

  17. Terri Smith-Weller
    September 24, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I imagine the Washington State Digital Archives (www.digitalarchives.wa.gov) don’t meet your criteria in some way that’s not obvious to me and wasn’t just overlooked. The “About Us” tab says “The Washington State Digital Archives is the nation’s first archives dedicated specifically to the preservation of electronic records from both State and Local agencies that have permanent legal, fiscal or historical value.”

  18. joycefite
    September 24, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Where can we find the link to the ongoing updated information on these wonderful resources?
    Thank you.

  19. Emily Pfotenhauer
    September 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Recollection Wisconsin http://recollectionwisconsin.org (formerly known as Wisconsin Heritage Online) is a portal that aggregates metadata from the State of Wisconsin Collection listed above as well as digitized materials from dozens of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies around the state.

  20. A.J. Wright
    September 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Alabama Mosaic
    http://www.alabamamosaic.org/

  21. Margaret Knecht
    September 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I believe that Kansas Memory http://www.kansasmemory.org/ also fits the criteria for this list. Thanks for the compilation.

  22. Victor Jones
    September 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Documenting the American South (http://docsouth.unc.edu)
    “Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.”

  23. Stephanie
    September 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Mass Memories project hosted by UMASS Boston:

    http://openarchives.umb.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15774coll6

  24. Bill LeFurgy
    September 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Joyce, that’s a great idea. Given the wonderful number of suggestions that are coming in, we will update the list and repost it.

  25. Tara Carlisle
    September 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Louisa Trott is so right. The Portal to Texas History is a great candidate for this list. It has over 200,000 digital reproductions of historical items belonging to more then 250 participating institutions that include universities and colleges, archives, public libraries, museums, and historical organizations located throughout the state.

  26. Jane Cullinane
    September 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Connecticut State Library Digital Collections http://cslib.cdmhost.com/index.php (includes born digital state publications, library and archival collections) and http://www.flickr.com/photos/ctarchives (includes WPA Art collection, library, archive and museum collections) and Connecticut History Online http://www.cthistoryonline.org/ (collections of multiple participating institutions)

  27. Matt Oulman
    September 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I didn’t see the New England Historic Genealogical Society on the list.

    http://library.nehgs.org/

  28. Jodi Allison-Bunnell
    September 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    For Washington/Oregon/Idaho/Montana/Alaska (and very soon Utah): Northwest Digital Archives, nwda.orbiscascade.org

  29. Linda Tompkins-Baldwin
    September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Will the list be revised to include all the changes that were commented on? It will be a great resource. Thank you.

  30. Michelle
    September 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Additions for Pennsylvania?

    This is a portal to original documents at the state level

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_archives/2887/digital_copies_of_documents/383882

    Penn State digital archives

    http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/civilwar.html

  31. Jen Harbster
    September 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

    LC’s Digital Reference Team created a guide on this topic many moons ago, which makes me think how great it would be to get these two resources together
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/states/index.html

  32. Barb Januscheitis
    September 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Washington State Digital Archives – one of the best

    http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/

  33. Jim Powell Jr
    September 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    We have a nice County Virtual Courthouse at http://www.alachuaclerk.org/archive. We have been online for nearly 15 years. We add more every year. Alachua County Ancient Records…

  34. Elizabeth Neuman
    September 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning manages Found in Wisconsin, an index of digital collections hosted by WI libraries, museums, historical & genealogical societies, schools, and various cultural institutions.
    http://fiw.dpi.wi.gov

    While the site simply points to collections and does not host the content, it provides access to a wide array of historical information.

  35. Brenda
    September 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    The University of North Texas’ The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu/, should be a nice addition to this list.
    Thank you,

  36. Mary Johnson
    September 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    The Library of Congress Teachers Page features a selection of “LIbrary of Congress Primary Sources by State”: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/states/. I have also shared your excellent list with teachers through the Teaching with Primary Sources Teachers Network. Thank you! It seems that the list prepared by your NDIIPP intern may grow significantly due to your willingness to crowdsource. Thanks for being open to suggestions.

  37. Nancy Loe
    September 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    The Online Archive of California – free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.

    http://www.oac.cdlib.org/

  38. walid shams
    September 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    The Wisconsin Team connected with Community Instruction’s Resources intended for Your local library in addition to Lifelong Learning handles Found in Wisconsin, an catalog connected with electronic libraries organised by means of ‘ your local library, museums, famous & genealogical organizations, educational facilities, in addition to a variety of national companies.
    Tree Removal Sydney

  39. Doris Miller
    September 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    While I do not have a site to recommend, I just want to thank your intern and this wonderful group for their input in creating such a complete and useful resource.

  40. sarah milligan
    September 30, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Kentucky just completed a digital portal for oral history collections in the state. This was a statewide effort and is specific for connecting to oral history content.

    http://passtheword.ky.gov/

  41. Lori
    September 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Digitial Library of Appalachia – http://dla.acaweb.org/

  42. Dee Grimsrud
    October 12, 2013 at 1:09 am

    These pages on the website of the Wisconsin Historical Society serve as portals to resources, documents and images for the state:
    http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wihistory.asp
    http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/research.asp

    Also useful may be:
    http://portalwisconsin.org/interest_area.cfm?art=11
    http://www.library.wisc.edu/etext/WIReader/ (may not be updated)

  43. Kelaine Mish
    October 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

    http://mmm.lib.msu.edu/ (Note: mmm not www)
    The Making of Modern Michigan is a collaborative project involving 52 Michigan libraries. It includes local history materials from communities around the state. Michigan’s unique heritage is represented through over 4,500 different subjects of photographs, family papers, oral histories, genealogical materials, and much more.

    The Making of Modern Michigan aims at empowering libraries, throughout the state, to contribute to a digital collection about the state’s history

  44. Tyler
    October 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I didn’t see the Handbook of Texas on the list…

    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online

  45. Mary Beth
    October 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Crowd-sourcing at its best! Thank you to all who contributed.

  46. Gwenn Stearn
    October 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    The Rhode Island State Archives online catalog also contains digital content, with more being added week by week.
    http://sos.ri.gov/archon/

  47. Sarena Fletcher
    October 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

    The Delaware Heritage Collection is supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries http://lib.de.us/delaware-heritage-collection/

  48. Bradley
    November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    The Virginia Heritage should be included. It brings together over 30 different organizations’ finding aids from across the state of Virginia. We have over 10,000 finding aids available: vaheritage.org

  49. S. Rabun
    November 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    The Historic Oregon Newspapers website, http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/ , allows keyword searching and browsing of Oregon newspapers published before 1923 from across the state.

  50. Michael Starks
    November 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I’m working on a project to digitize and publish online the materials held by hundreds of organizations of all types in our city. The project involves the city public library, state library, state historical society and two university libraries. We’re looking for successful models for organizing and funding an ongoing community digitization program. We’re also looking for best practices (if there are any) in using collection owners — laypersons, not archivists or librarians — to analyze and organize collections in preparation for digitization. Where do you suggest we look for either of the above?

    Thanks for your help.

  51. Gwenn Stearn
    November 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I would ask that the Rhode Island State Archives’ online catalog be added, as it too provides digital content.
    http://sos.ri.gov/archon/

    Thank you.

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