Liberal Arts and the Humanities

115 History

Also see Political Science in this directory.
Western Civilization: Antiquity-1650; US History to Reconstruction; History since Civil War; Colorado History: These documents map OER (curated by librarians and vetted for content and alignment by subject matter experts) to specific outcomes/competencies or items for these courses (HIS 101, HIS 121, HIS 122, HIS 225, Colorado).
Last update: Jun 19/24


This is a British Columbia created resource.Canada 150 Conference Proceedings: Migration of Bengalis (CC BY-NC)

The Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis was triggered by our academic as well as personal desires to establish broadly the history of migration of Bengalis or Bangla-speaking people to Canada. As long-time researchers on Asian immigrants in Canada, and through our involvement in the Metropolis Research Project, we realized that there was hardly any published material on Canadian Bengalis. Therefore, in 2017, on the eve of Canada’s 150th anniversary, we took the opportunity to celebrate and document the history and contemporary trends of Bengali immigrants in Canada.

This is a Canadian created resourceCanadian Settlement in Action: History and Future (CC BY-NC-SA)

The eight chapters of this book encapsulate the past, present, and future of Canadian immigration and settlement. The topics, in part, cover the history of immigration to Canada through an objective lens that allows readers to learn what transpired with the settlement of specific ethnic groups, as well as address Canada’s current policies and approaches to immigration. This leads to an exploration of the challenges that newcomers to Canada and the settlement sector are encountering today. Readers and learners of settlement studies will embark on a journey of self-reflection throughout this book as they engage in many activities, quizzes, and interactions which may be self-directed or instructor led.

Canadiana This is a Canadian created resource(Public domain, see the copyright notice)

A digital repository containing historical Canadian primary material. Included are Canadiana Online, Early Canadiana Online, and Héritage. These collections include a wide collection of primary source material, including historical monographs, serials, and government publications.

Fashion History Timeline (CC BY-NC-SA)

An open-access source for fashion history knowledge, featuring objects and artworks from over a hundred museums and libraries that span the globe. The Timeline website offers well-researched, accessibly written entries on specific artworks, garments and films for those interested in fashion and dress history.

LibreTexts: National History (CC BY-NC-SA)

A collection of open textbooks covering American history.

This is a British Columbia created resource.Meiji at 150 Digital Teaching Resource (Open source, licences vary)

Curated and edited by Tristan Grunow and Naoko Kato, the Meiji at 150 DTR is designed to present open-source scholarly content that will be useful for educators and academics looking for new images and topics to introduce into their classroom teaching, while highlighting the academic research possible using UBC’s digital materials. The Meiji at 150 Visual Essays pair digitized materials with historical narrative and interpretive analysis. The companion Digital Resources page collates all of the Japan-related digital collections at UBC into one convenient location to facilitate accessibility for research purposes and for easy adoption in the Japanese studies classroom.

OpenGLAM (Various CC licences)

Collections from around the world that provide digital scans or photos of cultural heritage held by galleries, libraries, archives, and museums.

The Victorian Web (Various CC licences)

A collection of primary and secondary materials (books, articles, images) in British Victorian economics, literature, philosophy, political and social history, science, technology, and visual arts. Although the site concentrates on Great Britain in the age of Victoria (1837-1901), it includes much material before and after those years, particularly in sculpture and architecture, and the site also has a good deal of comparative material.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (CC BY-NC)

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The site also links to a number of web resources.


Confronting Canadian Migration History This is a Canadian created resource(CC BY-SA)

A collection of essays that speak to the broad range of research being done in Canadian migration history; they also highlight the commitment of their authors to an engaged, public-facing scholarly practice. Read together, the authors believe they offer a much-needed historical perspective on contemporary Canadian debates around immigration and refuge, questions that cut to the heart of who we are as a society.

This is a Canadian created resourceCurious Encounters: Voyaging, Collecting, and Making Knowledge in the Long Eighteenth Century (CC BY)

Curious Encounters uncovers a rich history of global voyaging, collecting, and scientific exploration in the long eighteenth century. Voyagers from Greenland to the Ottoman empire crossed paths with French, British, Polynesian, and Spanish travelers across the world, trading objects and knowledge for diverse ends. The essays in this collection restore our understanding of the encounters between European and Indigenous people. To do this, the essays consider diverse agents of historical change, both human and inanimate: commodities, curiosities, texts, animals, and specimens moved through their own global circuits of knowledge and power. The dynamic contact zones of these curious encounters include the ice floes of the Arctic, the sociable spaces of the tea table, the hybrid material texts and objects in imperial archives, and the collections belonging to key figures of the Enlightenment.

This is a British Columbia created resource.Digital Meijis: Revisualizing Modern Japanese History at 150 (CC BY-NC-SA)

A companion volume to the Meiji at 150 Digital Teaching Resource that aims to present and widely disseminate research on the Meiji Period in a public format designed for easy adoption in the Japanese studies classroom. By pairing digitized materials and documents with historical narrative and interpretive analysis, the “visual essays” contained within encourage readers to review and rethink modern Japanese history through images.

This is a Canadian created resourceFact and Fiction: Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain (CC BY)

Fact and Fiction explores the intersection between literature and the sciences, focusing on German and British culture between the eighteenth century and today.

Plague Diaries: Firsthand Accounts of Epidemics, 430 B.C. to A.D. 1918 (CC BY-SA)

This project originated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and its various knock-on effects. We created a small collection of openly available primary documents discussing epidemics from the past, such as the Black Death in Europe in the mid-fourteenth century and smallpox hitting northern Michigan in the nineteenth.

Primary Sources

Lorrain’s Logbook: Notes from a Missionary in Mizoram, Northeast India (1891-1936)This is a British Columbia created resource. (CC BY-NC-SA)

Lorrain’s Logbook: Notes from a Missionary in Mizoram, Northeast India (1891-1936) expands the archive for students of Northeast India. Authored by James Herbert Lorrain (Pu Buanga)—one of the most significant missionaries and linguists to operate in the colonial Indo-Burma borderlands—the Logbook is a record of personal observations across decades, from Lorrain’s arrival in Bengal in 1890 to his departure in 1932 from the Lushai Hills District (today: Mizoram). This entirely new digital transcription and text-searchable online educational resource (OER) unlocks a vital archival source for researchers of imperial frontiers, Asian borderlands, missionization, Mizo history, and beyond. It features an introduction co-authored by Dr. Kyle Jackson (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and Prof. Joy L. K. Pachuau (Jawaharlal Nehru University).


American Environmental History (CC BY-SA)

This text surveys findings of the new field of environmental history about how the environment of the Americas influenced the actions of people here and how people affected their environments, from prehistory to the present.

American History I: Colonial Period to Civil War (CC BY)

This text contains all modular text content used in the LMS implementation of American History I (HIST 2111) courses. American History 1 covers topics ranging from the colonial period to the Civil War.

The American Yawp (CC BY-SA)

An open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses.

Birth of Europe (CC BY-NC-SA)

This book introduces the important events, developments, persons, and ideas in pre-modern European history. The societies of the Ancient Near East, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe, the culture of the Renaissance, and early European exploration are examined, as well as, gods and goddesses, warriors and peasants, tyrants and kings, and priests and poets. Spiritual and religious beliefs, identify forms of governance and rule, and explore cultural and intellectual developments are compared and contrasted. Also considered is the interactions between Europe and other societies.

This is a Canadian created resourceCanada and Speeches from the Throne (CC BY)

This book by senior undergraduate and graduate student in the Department of History at the University of Regina describes how Canadian Prime Ministers articulated their vision of Canada from 1935 to 2015 through their Speeches from the Throne and in their Leaders’ Day speeches. It demonstrates that each of Canada’s Prime Ministers had a vision for the country and articulated that vision in their speeches and through their words.

The European Experience: A Multi-Perspective History of Modern Europe, 1500–2000 (CC BY)

The European Experience brings together the expertise of nearly a hundred historians from eight European universities to internationalise and diversify the study of modern European history, exploring a grand sweep of time from 1500 to 2000. Offering a valuable corrective to the Anglocentric narratives of previous English-language textbooks, scholars from all over Europe have pooled their knowledge on comparative themes such as identities, cultural encounters, power and citizenship, and economic development to reflect the complexity and heterogeneous nature of the European experience. Rather than another grand narrative, the international author teams offer a multifaceted and rich perspective on the history of the continent of the past 500 years. Each major theme is dissected through three chronological sub-chapters, revealing how major social, political and historical trends manifested themselves in different European settings during the early modern (1500–1800), modern (1800–1900) and contemporary period (1900–2000)

The First into the Dark: The Nazi Persecution of the Disabled (CC BY-NC-ND)

Under the Nazi regime a secret program of ‘euthanasia’ was undertaken against the sick and disabled. Known as the Krankenmorde (the murder of the sick) 300,000 people were killed. A further 400,000 were sterilised against their will. From eyewitness accounts, records and case files, this book narrates a history of the victims, perpetrators, opponents to and witnesses of the Krankenmorde, and reveals deeper implications for contemporary society.

History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877 (CC BY-SA)

This textbook examines U.S. History from before European Contact through Reconstruction, while focusing on the people and their history.

Keys to Understanding the Middle East (CC BY-SA)

This book is intended for readers who have never studied the Middle East, or experts who may wish to fill gaps in their knowledge of the region from other disciplines. Whether for establishing or deepening one’s knowledge of the region, these fundamentals are important to know. The languages, cultural, religious and sectarian communities of the region, and selected turning points and influential people in history are starting points for gaining an understanding of the diverse contexts of the region.

Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics (CC BY)

Making up Numbers: A History of Invention in Mathematics offers a detailed but accessible account of a wide range of mathematical ideas. Starting with elementary concepts, it leads the reader towards aspects of current mathematical research.

Modern World History (CC BY-NC-SA)

This is the textbook for an undergraduate survey course taught at all the universities and most of the colleges in the Minnesota State system. Readers of this text may have varying levels of familiarity with the events of World History before the modern period we will be covering. Occasionally understanding the text may require a bit of background that will help contextualize the material we are covering. See the book’s Introduction for details.

Open History Seminar: Canadian History This is a Canadian created resource(CC BY-NC-SA)

This book brings together open resources for learning about Canadian history from the earliest times to the present. Chapters include both historical documents and secondary interpretations on a range of topics. With this book, students have access to digitized copies of original historical documents and high-quality secondary source research materials. They will learn how to critically analyze historical documents, deconstruct historical arguments, and engage with historical scholarship. This is a supplement to the open textbooks, Canadian History: Pre-Confederation and/or Canadian History: Post-Confederation.

Tokyo University and the War (CC BY)

Tachibana Takashi analyzes the impact of World War II on Tokyo University and Tokyo University’s impact on the war: attacks from outside, faculty politics and purges, institutional expansion, the sacrifice of liberal arts students to the war machine, and heroic dissenting professors who tried in vain to bring the war to an early end.

Using Primary Sources (CC BY-NC-ND)

An archive-based open access e-textbook published by the University of Liverpool that provides students with an essential learning resource to study primary sources, comprising over 200,000 words and in excess of 200 original documents (photographs, maps, letters, audio recordings, diaries, pamphlets and newspapers) with 26 collections by leading academics in the field.

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 (CC BY-SA)

An open textbook that introduces the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia.


This is a British Columbia created resource.Canadian History: Post-confederation (CC BY)

A collection of interviews with historians on different topics in Canadian history. (45 videos)

This is a British Columbia created resource.Canadian History: Pre-confederation (CC BY)

A collection of interviews with historians on different topics in Canadian history. (97 videos)

Centre for the History of the Book (CC BY)

A series of videos designed to introduce key skills for Book Historians. The videos provide guidance on how to handle rare books, how to tell a quarto from an octavo, how paper is made and where watermarks come from, how to read and write a collation, how to use a scholarly edition and more. These videos offer a useful resource for mastering research techniques that can be difficult to learn from a book.

The History of Sugar (CC BY-SA)

This stop-motion animation captures the complex history of the sugar trade, and how it was connected to the slave trade. The video shows the evolution of modern capitalism from the sugar and slave trades.

The History of State (CC BY-SA)

This stop-motion animation illustrates the history of the modern state, explaining how it was shaped by political, philosophical and scientific processes happening as early as the 17th century.


Active History This is a Canadian created resource(CC BY-NC-SA)

A website that connects the work of historians with the wider public and the importance of the past to current events.

Civil War Washington (CC BY-NC-SA)

Civil War Washington allows users to study, visualize, and theorize the complex changes in the city of Washington, DC between 1860 and 1865 through a collection of datasets, images, texts, and maps.

Histories of the National Mall (CC BY)

This site contains a collection of historical maps, a chronology of past events, short bios of significant individuals, and episodes in the Mall’s history.

This is a Canadian created resourceNICHE Canada (CC BY-NC)

NiCHE: Network in Canadian History & Environment / Nouvelle initiative canadienne en histoire de l’environnement is a Canadian-based confederation of researchers and educators who work at the intersection of nature and history. They explore the historical context of environmental matters and communicate their findings to researchers, policymakers, and the public.

O Say Can You See: Early Washington, D.C., Law & Family (CC BY-NC-SA)

A site documenting the challenge to slavery and the quest for freedom in early Washington, D.C., by collecting, digitizing, making accessible, and analyzing freedom suits filed between 1800 and 1862, as well as tracking the multigenerational family networks they reveal.

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