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71 Digital Portals to State History

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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
Alabama Virtual Library
AK Alaska’s Digital Archives
AR Arkansas History Commission
Arkansas State Library Digital Collections
AZ Arizona Memory Project
Arizona Cultural Inventory Project
CA Calisphere
California State Library Online Resources
CO Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy
CT Connecticut Digital Collections
DE Delaware Public Archives
FL Florida Memory
GA Digital Library of Georgia
Georgia’s Virtual Vault
HA Hawaii State Archives Digital Collections
IA Iowa State Historical Society Digital Archives
Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
ID Idaho State Historical Society Digital Collections
IL Illinois Digital Archives
Explorie Illinois: Illinois Digital Archives
IN Indiana Memory
KS Kansas Historical Society State Archives
KY Kentucky Digital Library
LA LOUISiana Digital Library
LDMA (Louisiana Digital Media Archive)
MA Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts Collections Online
Massachusetts Boards of Library Commissioners Digital Collections
MD Maryland Historical Society Online Collections
Archives of Maryland Online
ME Maine Memory Network
MI Seeking Michigan
MN Minnesota Digital Library
MO Missouri Digital Heritage
MS Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Digital Archives
MT Montana Memory Project
NC North Carolina Digital Collections
North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online
North Carolina’s Digital Collections
ND State Historical Society of North Dakota Digital Resources
NE Virtual Exhibits of the Nebraska State Historical Society
NJ New Jersey Digital Highway
NM New Mexico State Library Digital Archive
NV Nevada Statewide Digital Initiative
NY New York Heritage Digital Collections
New York Department of Records Photo Gallery
New York Public Library Digital Gallery
OH Ohio Memory
OK Oklahoma Digital Prairie
OR Oregon Digital Library Project
PA Digital Collections at the State Library of Pennsylvania
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Digital Library
RI State of Rhode Island Virtual Archives
SC South Carolina Digital Library
SD South Dakota State Historical Society Digital Archives
Digital Library of South Dakota
TN Tennessee State Library and Archives: Digital Collections
Volunteer Voices
TX Northeast Texas Digital Collections
UT Digital Utah
VA Virginia Memory
VT Vermont Folklife Center
WI State of Wisconsin Collection
WV West Virginia Division of Culture and History Online Exhibits
WY Wyoming Memory

Table 2, Multi-State Digital Portals

States Resource Website
CO, NM, WY Rocky Mountain Online Archive
IL, IN Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Gallery
MN, ND Digital Horizons: A Plains Media Resource
UT, NV, ID, AZ, HI Mountain West Digital Library
Various Digital Public Library of America

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

Comments (52)

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

    • Linda, thanks for this addition.

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

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

  3. The Portal to Texas History seems like it would fit the criteria for this list. 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.

    • Louisa, thanks for the addition.

    • Bob, right you are! Thanks for the addition.

  4. 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):

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

  5. Two more statewide Florida collections to consider are:

    Florida Heritage Collection at : 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 : 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.

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

    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
    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.

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

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

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


  9. I imagine the Washington State Digital Archives ( 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.”

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

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

  11. Recollection Wisconsin (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.

  12. I believe that Kansas Memory also fits the criteria for this list. Thanks for the compilation.

  13. Documenting the American South (
    “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.”

  14. 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.

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

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

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

  18. 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

  19. We have a nice County Virtual Courthouse at We have been online for nearly 15 years. We add more every year. Alachua County Ancient Records…

  20. 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.

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

  21. The University of North Texas’ The Portal to Texas History,, should be a nice addition to this list.
    Thank you,

  22. The Library of Congress Teachers Page features a selection of “LIbrary of Congress Primary Sources by State”: 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. (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

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

  29. The Rhode Island State Archives online catalog also contains digital content, with more being added week by week.

  30. 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:

  31. The Historic Oregon Newspapers website, , allows keyword searching and browsing of Oregon newspapers published before 1923 from across the state.

  32. 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.

  33. I would ask that the Rhode Island State Archives’ online catalog be added, as it too provides digital content.

    Thank you.

  34. the seekingmichigan link about will take you to michiganology the replacement website (rated F+ by this researcher)

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