Learning Commons | Cardinal Cushing Library
HIST3718 Pirates, Rascals and Scoundrels - Fortin

Book Cover: Pirates in the Age of Sail Book cover: The Pirates of Somalia  Book Cover: The Atlantic World  Book Cover: Atlantic Biographies Book Cover: The General History of the Pyrates  Book Cover: Villains of all Nations
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Primary Sources
Keyword search terms: pirate, pyrate, pirates, pyrates, piracy, privateer, indentured, maritime, law of the sea, corsair

  • American History 1493-1945 Restricted Resource
    • Select the Advanced Search option on the upper right and specify desired dates in the Date filter to limit your searches to Module 1 covering 1493-1859. 
    • After clicking on the title to see the detailed record, select among various assigned Subjects to refine your search and/or, click on Download entire document as PDF.
    • RefWorks users, notice the Citation/Export Options.
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online Restricted Resource
    Full-text, searchable primary documents from the 18th century; over 180,000 titles: books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides and other material in all subject areas, published in the UK and elsewhere. Includes an image gallery.

Web Sites
  • The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School:Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
    Browse by century or document collection. The text comparison feature allows readers to view two versions of the same documents simultaneously. Maintained on Yale Law School's Lillian Goldman Law Library web site.
  • Caribbean Archives
    "The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. dLOC provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections."
  • Early Americas Digital Archive
    Gateway to primary source material “written in or about the Americas from 1492 to approximately 1820.” Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), University of Maryland, College Park.
  • EuroDocs—Pirate Page
    "A collection of documents and maps (facsimiles)."
  • Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake
    "This collection is provided by the Library of Congress. "Sir Francis Drake, English explorer and naval strategist, circumnavigated the earth from 1577-1580. During these travels, Drake visited the Caribbean and the Pacific claiming a portion of California for Queen Elizabeth and waging battles on the Spanish. This collection comprises important primary and secondary materials accumulated about Drake’s voyages throughout the then Spanish territory of the Americas. Texts are in English, Latin, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French."
  • Law Library of Congress
    Use the left search option to only search the Law Library of  Congress.
    • Piracy Trials - Law Library of Congress
      "The Law Library of Congress has digitized its collection of pre-1923 piracy trial. This historical collection of piracy trials is critical for understanding how the various nations of the world handled piracy issues before the year 1900."
  • Louisiana Works Progress Administration Collection
    "Provides public access about piracy in New Orleans history."
  • The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913
    "A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."
  • Spoils of War: Privateering in Nova Scotia
    "Digitized original log-books for the privateers Charles Mary Wentworth (1799-1800), Nelson (1802) and Dart (1813). A virtual exhibit telling the story of war-at-sea, 1793-1815, using digitized content selected from Halifax newspapers, court records and government documents of the time." Note: Also explore the Virtual Archives, Resource Guides and Databases at the Nova Scotia Archives.
  • The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
    Explore the Voyages Database, Assessing the Slave Trade interactive estimates page, and the African Names Database. Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University), and Emory University.
Identifying Primary Sources
  • See the tutorial Primary vs. Secondary Sources (Twin Cities Library, St. Mary's University of Minnesota) for a definition and examples of Primary Sources.
Researching Historiographies
General Information about Historiography General Considerations
  • Who are the major historians for your topic?
  • How can these historians be organized into schools of approach or methodology?
  • How has the historiography of your topic evolved over time?
  • How did the various historians explore the topic through a political, social, or economic lens?
Example searches:
  • historiography "privateer"
  • historians "blackbeard"

Example searches:
  • historiography and "privateer"
  • historians and "blackbeard"
  • “historiographical-evolution” and "buccaneer"
  • Additionally, conduct searches on the topic (e.g., "maritime law") and note who is cited in the bibliography.
Recommended databases:
Researching Historians
Do they have websites?
  • Often, scholars will post their Curriculum Vitae online, including their list of publications.
  • Are they associated with a university or other organizations?
Search for the authors and their articles/books on Google Scholar Restricted Resource .
  • On the results page, if an author's name is hyperlinked, click on it to see the author's page.
  • For specific books or articles, click the Cited by hyperlink to view books/articles that have cited the work.
Conduct author searches in history databases, such as JSTOR .

Additionally, explore the faculty of universities specializing in the field that you are research.
Chicago Style of Citations
Citation Management Tool

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