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Empire Online

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  • Dr Jeffrey Auerbach, Department of History, California State University at Northridge
  • Dr Tony Ballantyne, Department of History, University of Otago
  • Dr Antoinette Burton, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • Dr Elizabeth Elbourne, Department of History, McGill University
  • Dr Ian C Fletcher and Dr Yaël Simpson Fletcher, Department of History, Georgia State University
  • Professor Alan Frost, Department of History, La Trobe University
  • Dr Patrick Geoghegan, Department of History, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Professor Christopher Gordon-Craig, Department of English, University of Alberta
  • Dr Madhavi Kale, Department of History, Bryn Mawr College
  • Dane Kennedy, Department of History, George Washington University
  • Dr Chandani Lokugé, Department of English, Monash University
  • Doug Lorimer, Department of History, Wilfred Laurier University
  • Lucy Lyons, Electronic Resources & Collection Analysis, Northwestern University
  • Dr Julian Martin, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta
  • Professor Andrew Porter, King’s College, University of London
  • Dr Romita Ray, Department of Fine Art, Syracuse University
  • Dr Jane Samson, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta
  • Professor Angela Woollacott, Department of History, MacQuarie University


Material in Empire Online has been sourced from a wide range of reputable institutions, with a particularly strong core of documents and images from the British Library.

Other major libraries and archives featured include:

  • The National Archives, UK
  • The Bodleian Library, Oxford
  • Cambridge University Library
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • Church Missionary Society Archive, University of Birmingham
  • The National Archives of Canada
  • The Glenbow Museum, Canada
  • The National Library of Australia
  • The Bank of England Library
  • Birmingham Central Library
  • State Records, New South Wales
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • The London Library
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  • Harvard College Library


  • Exploration journals and logs
  • Letter books and correspondence
  • Periodicals
  • Diaries
  • Official Government Papers
  • Missionary papers
  • Travel writing
  • Slave papers
  • Memoirs
  • Fiction
  • Children's Adventure Stories
  • Traditional folk tales
  • Exhibition Catalogues and guides
  • Maps
  • Marketing Posters
  • Photographs and Illustrations, with many in colour.

Researchers are offered a truly global perspective on empire from French, Spanish, Portuguese and German points of view, as well as that of indigenous peoples from Africa, India and North America.


To aid students and teachers, Empire Online is organised around five thematically based sections:

  • Section I: Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969
  • Section II: Empire Writing & the Literature of Empire
  • Section III: The Visible Empire
  • Section IV: Religion & Empire
  • Section V: Race, Class, Colonialism, Imperialism

Each section features thematic Essays by leading scholars in the field acting as consultant editor. These essays relate directly to the source material covered by the resource, and include links directly into documentary evidence. Empire Online offers content that academics can readily integrate into their courses, project in the classroom, or use in course packs.

Empire Online features a range of secondary learning tools, including:

  • Illustrative maps that visually chart the routes of key explorers, colonial occupation by region and period, as well as representing important trade routes.
  • An extensive chronology that contextualizes source material available. Browsers can refine entries by Empire, Country, Commodity and Thematic Category.
  • Institutions with access to both Empire Online and Global Commodities – a World History collection that covers many of the same themes as Empire Online - can enhance their search experience by searching across both resources via the ‘Widen Your Search’ feature.

Other supporting learning tools include a detailed biographies section where students can learn more about the individuals within the resource who have helped shaped the course of empire.

Contents List