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The American Anti-Imperialist League - Digital Archive - Nathan Spicer

A digital archive of essays from and other primary source material on The American Anti-Imperialist League. Primary resources gather and curated by Nathan Spicer in partial completion of the requirements of the HIST 1011 Field Experience.

The - site: - command in Google

The Google site: command can be used to limit your search to a paticular type of website e.g.  site:edu limits to university websites while site:gov limits to U.S. government websites.  You can use site: to limit to a particular organization e.g. limits to Harvard University websites.


site:     this command limits to websites from a particular site or domain

e.g.      "digital collections"   "great awakening"

This search limits results to college and university websites  (.edu)

e.g.      "digital archives"   intitle:abolition

This search limits results to local, state, and federal government websites (.gov)

Be sure the word or phrase is immediately adjacent to the command "site:"  (no spaces)   


The "site:" command can also be used to search the website of an organization.  To do this find the organization online - e.g. New York Public Library - and take the root of the URL (web address) - the part after the "www" and before the first slash "/"

e.g.    use  "" in the command

e.g.      "digital collection"    abolition 

To search the webpages of the United Nations - find a web address of the United Nations - - and use the root of this web address - ""

e.g.     "digital library"     slavery  


Google the word libguide as well as your topic of interest allows you to locate high quality resources carefully curated by librarians.


LibGuides are websites - put together by librarians - that focus on particular topics.  While some (much) of the content may be restricted to a particular campus or library - many LibGuides will also list free (open access) materials under categories such as "internet resources" - "websites" - "digital collections" - "digital libraries".

If I was looking for digital archives on the history Native Americans I might try various Google searches such as:

  • libguide  intitle:"internet"   "native american"
  • libguide intitle:"digital archives"  "native american"
  • libguide intitle:"digital collections"  "native american"

Using Google site: command to find more Digital Archives and Collections

Since Google is unable to locate pieces information stored in databases (and estimates suggest that as many as 500 billion such times are hidden from Google)  many (most?) of the free primary source material is hidden from Google.  The trick then is to use Google to find these databases/archives and then use the database/archive search engines to locate this hidden material.

This – as you might imagine – is easier said than done.  There are a LOT of archives and digital collections out there in the world.  Most university libraries are currently building multiple digital archives and many (most?) will not reveal their secrets to Google.  How might we try finding these archives?

Generic Google searches that locate digital collections, digital archives, digital repositories, and digital libraries tend to look something like:

"digital collections"

"digital repository"

"digital archives"

In these searches the quotes are used to keep the phrase together and the command focuses the Google search on university websites.  You will need to vary the words to get various results – and – you will need to try both plural and singular word forms as well.


Since any one of these searches produces hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of results you will want to focus your search by either asking for the phrase “digital archive” (or digital collection or digital repository etc.) to appear in the title of the page … using the Google search command … intitle:”digital archive” … and/or add additional but very general words to select archives that might contain primary material on your topic.


For instance – if you're interested in finding more primary materials written by our about the Cherokee Indians during the late 18th and early 19th century – you might try the following Google searches:

intitle:"digital archive"   Cherokee

or you might try

intitle:"digital collection"  Cherokee

or you might try a more general search

intitle:"digital archive"    “native American”

or other variants such as

intitle:"digital collection"   Cherokee   Carolina

(This last search leads to the Cherokee Phoenix (Newspaper) project which provides the text of Cherokee Nation newspaper articles from 1828 to 1831).


If instead you wish to locate digital archives or collections from local, state, or U.S. government sources – use the Google search command

intitle:"digital collection"  Cherokee   Carolina