Empire Online

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Empire Online is a fulltext collection of essays and associated primary sources for the study and especially the teaching of the history of empires and empire building in the modern era. The essays and documents are divided into five sections: I) Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969; II) Empire Writing & the Literature of Empire; III) The Visible Empire; IV) Religion & Empire; and V) Race, Class, Imperialism and Colonialism, c1607-2007. Each section consists of three to five extended essays by a noted historian. Linked within each essay are PDFs of relevant primary documents, approximately 175 per section. The database focuses primarily on the British Empire and is designed especially to give students the experience of accessing and analyzing primary documents within an historical context.


There is a Help tab in the menu bar at the top of every screen.Within Help, the Teaching section includes step-by-step instructions on how to incorporate the material in the database into a course management site.

User tools and features

  • The search box in the upper right corner serves as the basic search option and an Advanced Search option is also available. A clickable list of Popular Searches for Topics, Places, and People allows you quickly reproduce common searches.
  • The My Archive feature allows you to create your own personalized area for storing searches, image slideshows and documents you wish to refer to later. Registration is required.

Dates covered


Updating frequency

The database is complete.


Essays and primary documents, including atlases, monographs, autobiographies, reports of government agencies and voluntary organizations, magazine articles, fiction, sermons, letters, and diaries.

Type of coverage

Full-text essays in HTML format; full-text primary documents in PDF format.

Print counterpart or
related resources

Not applicable.

Producer/content provider


Vendor/electronic presentation provider

Adam Matthew Digital