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History databases wishlist & trials: General, reference and historical theory

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Digital Downloads (The National Archives)

The National Archives (TNA) is the official archive of the UK Government and for England and Wales, collecting documents dating back over 1,000 years. Digital Downloads provides full access to TNA's digitised collection of millions of historical records relevant for medieval to modern history.
The collections cover military and naval history (e.g. service records), wills from 1384-1858, migration history (e.g. alien's registration cards 1918-1957), social and cultural history (e.g. history of the NHS, coal mining), political and economic history (state papers of successive monarchs and governments, Home Office correspondence) and foreign and colonial history records.

Trialled 18 October - 17 November 2016

English Historical Documents Online

Trial closed on 4 December 2013

Online access to the well-known English Historical Documents series, essential to historians engaged in the study of British history from the early medieval ages to the 20th century. The selection of documents includes a wide range of sources,  such as government and cabinet proceedings, military  dispatches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, personal and official letters and diaries, covering political and  constitutional history, religious, cultural and economic history.

Please send feedback of the trial to

Constitutions of the World (from the late 18th Century to the Mid...

Trial ended 31 March.

This resource provides online access to constitutional documents from all over the world, written from 1776 to the end of the year 1849. It includes about 1,600 constitutions, amendments, human rights declarations, and draughts of constitutions that never came into force, from this period. These early constitutional documents were collected and examined in archives and libraries all over the world, as part of a project by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). Using the original documents, experts from American and European universities reconstructed the authentic constitution texts for each country, and annotated them in their respective original languages. Each volume contains a short introduction, a main part with the edited constitution documents of a country, comments and an index.

The online edition is of particular value, being the first publication to provide easy access to all the previously scattered and in many cases unknown constitutions from the early phases of modern constitutionalism, as edited and annotated constitutional texts. This edition offers uniquely rich and valuable source material, supplying comparative constitutional history of the early period of modern constitutionalism with new perspectives.

Users can search the documents full-text or browse the subject index.

Countries covered to date: Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Lichtenstein, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Croatia, Slovenia, Czechoslovakia, France, Corsica, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malta) Americas: United States, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Haiti and Mexico.


Trialled in autumn 2014

Torrossa is a scholarly e-book platform developed by Casalini. 

A wide range of subjects is covered, with over 180 Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese publishers contributing titles in the fields of history but also language and literature, linguistics, art and architecture, film studies, law, philosophy, theology and cultural studies. The trial gives us access to approximately 4,750 titles. Whilst titles in Italian and Spanish make up the majority, there are also smaller collections in English, French and German.

The trial features selections from Casalini’s multi-publisher collections Edición Española Online and Editoria Italiana Online, as well as single-publisher collections from Arco Libros, Editorial CSIC, Iberoamericana Verveurt, Casa de Velázquez, Bulzoni, Leo S. Olschki and Fabrizio Serra Editore to name just a few.