Historical & Primary Sources for Education Researchers

Databases for Historic, Education-Related Articles

Databases for finding journal articles that discuss educational history:

America: History and Life (1964-present)

Education Source (1929-present)

ERIC (1966-present)

PsycINFO (1887-present)

Sociological Abstracts (1952-present) 


Databases for finding historical texts:

America's Historical Newspapers (full text) Includes: Early American Newspapers (1690-1922), African American Newspapers (1827-1998) and Hispanic American Newspapers (1808-1980)

American Periodicals (full text, 1741-1900)

Dallas Morning News (full text, 1885-1978)

Education Index Retrospective (citations only, 1929-1983)

JSTOR (full text, dates vary by journal)

The New York Times (full text, 1851-2007)

Sabin America (full text, 1500-1926)

Archival Resources

These resources will help you locate historical records and manuscripts. To view the actual documents, you will usually need to physically visit the owning archival repository.

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Holds the University of Texas at Austin archives.

Texas Archival Resources Online Locate materials in archives, libraries and museums across Texas. Includes records from UT's Benson Latin American Collection, which holds extensive papers related to Latino education in Texas, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) collection.

Austin History Center Search the Austin Public Library Online Catalog with the term "Austin Independent School District" to find AISD documents in the Austin History Center's general collections.  Browse their Manuscript Index to find manuscript collections related to education and public schools in Austin.  Review their Vertical Files collections (news, phamphlets, empherma) related to schools, education and related individuals.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Finding Aids for Processed State Records Find the records of Texas state agencies like the Texas Education Agency, State Board for Educator Certification, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, and Texas Teacher Retirement System.

History of Education Society: Archival Resources Browse a list of archival materials related to the history of education in archives, libraries, and museums around the U.S and the world.

UT, State and Federal Documents

You'll find many historical state and federal documents in the library's print collection and online.  Search the Library Catalog to sources beyond those listed below.


Bulletins & Reports from UT Austin (miscellaneous):  print | digitized (select titles)

Cactus Yearbook: print holdings | select ditial copies

Daily Texan: microfilm | digitized archives (select issues from 1974-2011) | digitized archives (select issues from 1900-1905)

Statistical Reports: Statistical Handbook (online from 2009) | Statistical Handbook (print)| Other statistical reports (online)

Select College/Department/Center documents: print archives | digital 


Biennial Reports (Bulletins) & Annual Reports from Texas Education Agency and Texas State Board of Education, Many have been digitized and live in a UT Digital Repository Collection | 1870-1985 (print) | 1948-1984 (print) | 1952-1976 (print) | 1986-1994 (print) | 1996 (print) | 1998-present (online from TEA)

TEA Bulletin Index, 1910 to 1976 print

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Report1975-1999 (print) | Additional THECB documents in our collections | Additional documents from the THECB site

Report of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas1883-1935 (print) | Additional Board of Regents documents in our collections


ProQuest Congressional Includes: Congressional Hearings (1824-2003), Committee Prints (1830 to present), Congressional Record (1789-present), Congressional Research Service Reports (1916-present), Unpublished Hearings (1824 to latest available)

ProQuest Legistlative Insight Includes: Legislative histories.  Full text of thousands of public laws since 1929, and related versions, hearings, reports, etc.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set Full text of Serial Set publications from 1817 to 1980.


National Education Association, Research Division - various documents

Texas State Teachers Association - various documents

American Association of University Professors - various documents

Books & eBooks

Our collection contains many books containing education-related primary sources which you can find in the PCL stacks. Examples include titles such as:

Federal Records Pertaining to Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)

Historical Documents in American Education 

Education in the United States: a documentary history

We also have a number of books that discuss educational history. Use the following subject terms to search for these materials, or check out recent educational history books from PCL Stacks:

  • "education united states history"
  • "education united states historiography"
  • "educational change united states history"
  • "schools united states history"
  • "education political aspects united states history"
  • "education higher united states history"

Google Books: an excellent source for historic, public domain texts. Use this resource to search the full text of historical and contemporary books, then use the UT Libraries Catalog to search our holdings for materials that are not fully availble online through Google Books. 

Related PCL Call # Ranges:

  • LA 5 to LA 25: General History of Education
  • LA 31 to LA 135: History of Education, by Period
  • LA 173 to LA 186: History of Higher Education
  • LA 201 to LA 398: History of Education in United States
  • LA 410 to LA 2284: History of Education, other Regions/Countries
  • LA 2301 to LA 2396: Educational Biography


Older dissertations often serve and primary sources for educational historians because they often offer clues about education practice and thought from the period of their publication. Many dissertations also include educational history research and may serve as useful secondary sources.

Proquest Dissertations & Theses Full Text: Dissertations from other US, and some foreign, universities. (mostly full text).

UT Digital Repository: Recent UT dissertatins (all online).

Library Catalog: The best place to find older UT dissertations (usally in print).  Choose "Dissertations/Theses" from the location menu.

Data & Statistics

Selected sources containing historical education data and statistics.  Many state reports, federal reports and journal articles also contain data and statistics.

120 Years of Education: A Statistical Portrait print | online

The Condition of Education | print (1975-2010) | online (1989-2011)

Digest of Education Statistics | print (1963-1974) | print (from 1975) | online (from 1990)

A Half Century of Learning: Historical census statisics on educational attainment in the United States, 1940 to 2000

Historical Census Browser

Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition

National Center for Education Statics: Report topics / dates vary.  Few older than 1980's.

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