Files of the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) from the U.K. National Archives, along with the secret minutes of the special 1944 War Cabinet Committee "Breaking the German Will to Resist." Included here is all the correspondence, minutes and agents’ mission files along with a complete collection of all the airborne propaganda leaflets dropped over mainland Europe during the war by the British and American air forces. Includes leaflets, single sheets and miniature books.
Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy: Declarations of war, armistice and surrender documents, conference and treaty records, among many others. Includes the International Military Tribunal for Germany and The Nuremberg Trials Collection.
British Cabinet Papers - Look for the "total war" collection for World War II records.
Canadian War Museum: Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War: An online exhibit featuring news clippings and editorials from Canadian newspapers related to the war.
EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History: An extensive list of transcriptions, facsimiles and translations of documents organized by country and historical time period. Note the Shoah (Holocaust) collection.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum: Documents include wartime correspondence, speeches, press conference transcripts, and more.
Nazi and East German Propaganda Archive - Calvin University online archive; includes visual material, speeches and a wide range of propaganda literature.
UK National Archives Online Collections: Includes several World War II-related subcollections from the private papers of the Foreign Secretary to Royal Air Force combat reports. Some collections charge a fee for access while others are free.
United States Congressional Record: Daily Congressional proceedings may include legislative activity by the chambers and their committees, member remarks, communications from the president. Limit searches by date.
For more exhaustive lists of recommended primary source collections, try the following sections of this research guide:
Use the MRU LibrarySearch tool - the search box on the library homepage - to find information in all formats (books, journal articles, videos,
Being able to organize your thoughts and navigate large collections of sources/references as you are researching is an important skill. Each researcher must choose the approach that works best for them.
Citation management software products like Mendeley and Zotero (amongst many others) are automated tools that assist researchers in managing their research sources. They allow you to store and manage your references/sources, create citations and bibliographies, and take notes on your sources. See the tabs here for advice on which one might be a match for you.
Many researchers use less technical methods very effectively - cue cards and handwriting, simpler software such as Word or Excel, or combinations of several methods. You should pick the one that is right for you.
This guide offers some examples and advice on the benefits of each method.
Reasons to consider Mendeley:
If you are not interested in learning a new software product, you might want to consider a more familiar program to help you organize your thoughts and sources. Below are two simple examples.
- How I Use Excel to Manage My Literature Review - One researcher explains how she used Excel to manage her PhD literature review.
- Scholarly Research Log - This is a simple, MS Word table based method of keeping track of your sources and thoughts. This could be expanded to create a separate document for each source you read, where you house citation information and your research notes.
Tips for file management:
- Establish a systematic way of naming your digital files. You should be able to tell what is in the file without having to open it.
- Include dates in file names. Be consistent in your approach - e.g., YYYY-MM-DD
- Include versions in the file name when you begin to draft your paper - e.g., draft1;. draft5
- BACK UP YOUR WORK. Using Google Drive or your MRU H-Drive is a good strategy for avoiding data loss.
Using effective search terms is an important part of finding relevant sources.