page contents

Potential Sources

A few ideas for expanding your blog post research. These sources are also meant to help you think outside the box and explore topics, people, and ideas you may not be familiar with yet. They aren't exactly introductory, but most are pretty approachable and you won't have to worry too much about credibility issues.

I'm always on the look out for additional websites, podcasts, and databases to include. If you come across something in your own research, do add it to the comments!


Finding World History: This is an excellent first stop. The websites in this database have been reviewed for content quality and there are extensive descriptions of what is available on each website. Search for keywords or browse by region or time period.

Resources from UB Libraries: You aren't required to use academic sources, but if you do, this is a good place to begin. There are some websites listed as well.

10 History Blogs to Follow: From the writers of - who usually know what they're up to.

African Voices: Timelines, themes, and images to explore from Africa, from the Smithsonian

Ahlul-Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project: Website is transparent about its bias (affiliated with Shia strains of Islam) and helpful for thinking about major events and texts in the history of Islam.

American Journeys: Some Viking stuff and early Spanish/Portuguese explorer stuff before 1500 (though most of the material is post 1500 CE...)

Ancient Mesopotamia: This History, Our History: From University of Chicago Oriental Institute Museum.

APIS: Advanced Papyrological Information System: For anyone who desperately wants to delve into Egyptian papyri about everything from daily life to love to legal contracts to literature.

ArchNet: Architecture and art from the Muslim world. From MIT, U of Texas, and Aga Khan Development Network.

Art of Asia: Search or browse the collections at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; includes 360 views of art and rooms.

British History Online: Primary and secondary materials from Britain, c. 1000 to 1800s CE

Cliopatria Awards: From 2005-2011, History News Network handed out the Cliopatria Awards went to blogger-historians around the web. Worth a look -- some of the blogs are still going strong.

De Re Militari: Online Resources for Medieval Warfare. Deep information on medieval military and warfare.

Digital South Asia Library: Click the link for a review of the source and to browse the website.

Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World. Lots of primary sources, bios, and general info about the lives of women in the ancient world.

Egypt Archive: Modern images of archaeological sites in Egypt.

Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature: Lesser-known primary sources from Mesopotamia. Could be a good source to review primary sources; contribute to readers' understanding of why particular documents are significant.

Epistolae: Medieval Women's Lattin Letters: Biographical sketches and translated texts of letters.

Eternal Egypt: Generally solid website for secondary research about Egypt.    

EuroDocs: A massive amount of material for European history from the pre-historic to modern eras from Brigham Young University.

European Collections: An excellent source to find inspiration and open content. Browse their colllections or search a keyword. You can filter search results by what is or isn't available for use. Much of the content is more recent than 1500, but a fair bit of medieval and early modern art and music is available.

Famous Trials: This is a fun one. Famous trials from 399 BCE to the present. If you're into legal history, Prof. Doug Linder's site is a good place to start.

Fordham: Internet History Sourcebooks: Check out the Ancient and Medieval History Sourcebooks as well as the region/religion specific sourcebooks.

Harappa: The Indus Valley and the Raj in India and Pakistan: A review of the website and link to the source. The Raj is outside of our time period, but some solid info here for the Indus Valley city of Harappa.

"History" on Pinterest: Use the power of Pinterest to find photos related to your topic; just be careful about citations - contributors aren't always great about giving URLs or sites of origin.

Humanistic Texts: Older translations, but a nice collection of primary sources dealing with ethics and morality from river valley civilizations to 2000 CE. This is also a useful site for gaining a sense of what sources were written in similar time periods as you can browse via timeline as well.

Index of Medieval Medical Images: Medieval medicine is fascinating - and sometimes surprisingly effective. Good for browsing and curious exploring.

International Dunhuang Project: The Silk Road Online

Kyoto National Museum: Fantastic online database of pre-1800 Asian art from the Kyoto National Museum.

LACMA Collections Online: Images from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; especially good for Japanese and South/SEA art, but there's plenty of content from other parts of the world as wel.l

LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World: Don't let the older format of the site fool you, there's some deep knowledge about the Roman world here. Essays, images, and commentary abound.

Mapping Margery Kempe: A Guide to Late Medieval Material and Spiritual Life: A good place for starting to think about life in the middle ages. It's a bit specific, but I've never had anyone write about Margery Kempe. You'd have the field all to yourself...

Maya Vase Database: Mayan artifacts and helpful articles (though the site takes a little digging to find information).

Medieval - Guide to Online Primary Sources: Many of the links in this collection from UC-San Diego also include reference works, biographies, and secondary source material. Certainly worth exploring.

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts: Similar to The British Library. The National Library of the Netherlands has an extensive collection of medieval manuscripts. Focused on the Middle Ages in Europe; written by two people with degrees from Medieval Studies programs.

Mesoweb: Mesoamerican materials (think Olmecs, Aztecs, Maya...)

Monastic Matrix: A study of women's monastic communities in the middle ages.

Other Women's Voices: Translations of Women's Writing Before 1700: Website review and link. This is an interesting one for women's history and primary sources.    

Pre-Colombian Portfolio: An Archive of Photographs: Early American-continent artifacts.

Sacred Texts Archive: Primary sources. Loads of religious texts to pull from.

Scrolls of the Mongol Invasion of Japan:  Just what it says and well worth a look. (Plus Japan is usually under-covered in the course...)

The British Library: The British Library holds thousands of rare books - including fully digitized texts for online visitors to explore. Click "discover" to view holdings. The BL is esp good for medieval works.

Theban Mapping Project: Images, articles, and insights from archaeologists' work in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Vindolanda Tablets Online: A bit specialized, but some really interesting material about Germanic soldiers in Roman Britain. (That's the Roman Empire in a nutshell--all sorts of people where they probably shouldn't be, but it works for the Romans. For awhile.)

Virtual Catalog of Roman Coins: Believe it or not, coins are a great entry point for learning about the ancient world. And this is a lovely cite for thinking about the importance of material goods in history.

Women in Antiquity: A blog by a classics major at University of Southern California detailing the roles of women in ancient Greece and Rome. Hasn't been updated since 2013, but nonetheless contains some useful and interesting material. 

World Art Treasures: Extensive collection of images from Egypt, China, Southeast Asia, and India sorted by time period.



Podcasts and descriptions (in quotes) are mostly drawn from H-Podcast's Academic Podcast Roundup. I've pulled the most relevant podcasts onto this list, but it might be worth glancing through the full list.

12 Byzantine Rulers: The Byzantines don't make it into the class but they are the right time period and they're super interesting. Fancy writing a biography? This is a good place to start.

15 Minute History: Not everything here is relevant, but there's some ancient and medieval history in short, entertaining podcasts.

A History of the World in 100 Objects: "A 100-episode radio program produced by The British Museum and the BBC that uses objects to tell the history of the world."

History of Japan Podcast: "A weekly podcast covering the entire span of Japanese hsitory, from prehistoric to modern day, produced by Isaac Meyer, a PhD student at the University of Washington." An incredibly thorough resource - plus there are useful maps and timelines.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: One for my fellow philosophy nerds. "A chronological series that aims to cover the entire history of philosophy from the Presocratics to the present, and including the Islamic world, India, and China, produced and hosted by Peter Adamson, a professor of philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and King's College London. A series of companion books are published by Oxford University Press."

In Our Time: "A BBC show about the history of ideas presented by writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg featuring guest experts who explain and discuss topics in culture, history, philosophy, religion, and science." A good place to look for inspiration - even if you don't listen to a full podcast, you'll find new names, events, and kingdoms to pique your interest.

Reddit AskHistorians Podcast: An odds and ends podcast - not all of it is relevant to our class time period, but there's some smart stuff here that might inspire you to dig deeper.

Stuff You Missed in History Class: "Run by How Stuff Works, Stuff You Missed in History Class is a treasure trove of stories buried in the archives and historical sources."

The Ancient World: ?A podcast on the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, hosted by Scott Chesworth. The podcast has put out three series to date: The Ancient World, an overview of the ancient world from the first human civilization to 500BC; Rediscovery, about the rediscovery of ancient civilizations in the modern era; and Bloodline, about the bloodline of Marc Antony and Cleopatra."

The History Chicks - "A popular podcast that introduces listeners to female characters in history, factional or fictional, through lively audio and in-depth show notes by podcasters Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider." You'll need to dig a little bit to find women relevant to our time period, but there's some savvy stuff on Cleopatra, Hatshepsut, Agrippina the Younger, Joan of Arc, some Tudors, and Elizabethans. 

The History of Rome - "A now completed 179-episode series tracing the history of Rome from start to finish, hosted by podcaster Mike Duncan." A thorough history of Rome, to say the least, plus some helpful bibliographical information.


Heather Bennett

Professor, feminist, sci-fi geek. Historian interested in pedagogy, technology, gender/sexuality, archives, pop culture, medicine, intellectual history, world history.