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HIS 2070: Vermont History: Vermont primary sources

Resources to support Castleton students and faculty doing research on Vermont history topics

Early regional history

Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 1610-1791

Complete text of the Jesuits' annual reports from New France, over 70 volumes, translated into English.  Contain detailed eyewitness accounts by the priests of their contact with many different Indian nations.

A state of the expedition from Canada : as laid before the House of commons (1780) by John Burgoyne

Canada in the Making: Primary Sources

Native American Digital Collection from New York State

Links to more:


The CU Library has Vermont population schedules from the census since 1790 on microfilm. Look at the subheadings under the subject Census in the VSC online catalog, and you'll see the list of our census holdings. The Vermont Historical Society has this material on CD-ROM.

Primary sources

Also see the Primary sources tab on this guide for repositories and directories of materials that don't have a specific Vermont focus


Digitized historical Vermont newspapers

Access and search digitized historical Vermont newspaper content from the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project, available at the

Library of Congress Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers 

The Rutland Herald and Burlington Free Press are included and are searchable from 1836-1922.  You can specify a state or choose an Advanced Search, and select a newspaper to search.  Includes titles from all over the state, including Bennington, St. Johnsbury, Middlebury, Brattleboro, Burlington, St. Albans, Newport, Rutland, Woodstock, and Montpelier.

Vermont newspapers dating from the 1700s through 1922 are available online for Vermont residents through the state portal. accounts are free and can be created by visiting Vermont residents need to make a contact and personal profile and then the link to the newspapers will appear at the top of their page.  See instructions below.

You can search the Burlington Free Press from 1827 to the present in the archives on their website.  CU has access to full-text online for 1999-the present, and microfilm back to 1985.

You can search the Rutland Herald from 1794 to the present in the archives on their website.  CU has microfilm back to 1792, with some interruptions in coverage.

Castleton student newspapers 1934-present

To find newspapers held at Vermont libraries

Vermont Newspaper Project Catalog
This is a searchable index to the newspaper holdings of close to 100 newspaper repositories in Vermont.

Check the Library Catalog to see which newspapers are available here on microfilm.

Consult a librarian about accessing articles or newspapers not available through any of the above options.

Instructions to access Vermont newspapers through the portal


Search a set of Vermont repositories of manuscripts through the UVM Special Collections Library

Documents in library holdings

Search libraries' catalogs for specific kinds of primary source materials. Try keywords such as

  • personal narrative 
  • correspondence
  • letters
  • diary
  • interview
  • oral
  • eyewitness
  • document/documentary
This is an example of a keyword search that includes terms that are likely to be used to describe primary sources in an online catalog:

(personal narrative* or corresponden* or diar* or interview* or oral or eyewitness or letter* or document*)
and "civil war" and Vermont

(The * substitutes for whatever letters that might come next, so that the search includes any words that start with what's typed but might end differently.  For example, diar* catches diary and diaries and diarist.  Different catalogs use different symbols for this.)

Search strategies

Example Boolean search

Notice the parentheses around the or phrase and the truncation

child* and (television or TV or television viewing) and violen*

Vermont images

University of Vermont Landscape Change Program
"An on-line archive of historic landscape imagery. The thousands of images in the archive provide an interdisciplinary look at the past and present of the Vermont landscape. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation to digitally document how the Vermont landscape has changed over time."

Documents on historic preservation