My Favorite E-Resources
- America: History and Life
America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876, including Early American Newspapers, Series 1
American Historical Newspapers offer fully searchable, cover-to-cover reproductions of more than one million pages from more than 650 historical American newspapers, focusing on titles published in the 18th century.
Archive of Americana
This is the link to the umbrella database of Archive of Americana.
Some of the information here overlaps with information available on
the American Memory Project.
Archive of Americana: America's Historical Newspapers (1690-1922)
You can search through newspapers, even by city. Philadelphia
has 62 newspapers listed, with many's coverage dating back to even
before the time of the Constitutional Convention.
- Boston College University Libraries: HISTORY Online Databases
Colonial State Papers
Early American Imprints, series I, Evans, 1639-1800
Early American Imprints, series II, Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819
Early English Books
- Eighteenth Century Collections Online
Eighteenth Century Journals
- Hein Online
- Lexis Nexis
- Making of Modern Law
Includes Madison's Journal of the Convention in addition to
other English and American treatises, published between 1800
and 1926, with pdf images.
Quest Library Catalog
Online Texts Available through E-Resources
A Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents (New Series):
A Chronicle of the Establishment of the Union by Max Farrand
Documentary History of the Constitution of the United States of America
James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 and their Relation to a More Perfect Society of Nations
John Quincy Adams, Journal of the Convention
Debates of Congress
Congressional Record (1873-current)
Congressional Globe (1833-1873)
"The contents of the appendix of each volume vary from Congress to
Congress, but appendixes typically contain presidential messages,
reports of the heads of departments and cabinet officers, texts of
laws, and appropriations."
Register of Debates (1824-1837)
Annals of Congress (1789-1824)
Legal History Sources - Helpful Web Site Collections
National Archives and Records Administration: Historical Documents Collection
This website provides downloadable, high-resolution images of
America's many historical documents, along with transcripts of the
text that appears on these documents.
Online Liberty Library
Includes, among other things, the Works of Thomas Jefferson, a 12
volume set. Volumes 1 and 2 are from the time period before, and
during the Constitutional Convention.
Our Documents.Gov: 100 Milestone Documents collection
This website includes images of the documents that can be "rolled"
over. Also included are transcripts of the text on each of these
Small Town Newspapers
Newspapers date back to 1865 on this website and can be viewed
through their original images.
The Open Library
Yale Avalon Project - 18th Century Documents
Yale Avalon Project - Roots of the Constitution
Constitutional Convention - American Memory Project
Elliot's Debates: The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
George Washington Papers
James Madison Papers
Letters of Delegates to Congress,
Thomas Jefferson Papers 1774-1789
Free Online Texts
Papers of Benjamin Franklin (digital edition) (through Yale)
Debates in the Federal Convention by James Madison (through constitution.org)
Just click on a date on the calendar and you'll see the debates for
that page, as noted by Madison. Note that these are in html format.
The Federalist (edited by George W. Carey) (Gideon edition, 1818)
Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, vols. 1-9
Just drill down to the volume you would like to read.
James Madison, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 5 
Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 1 
Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 2 
Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 3 
Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution vol. 4 
Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia in the year 1787 (by Robert Yates) (Avalon)
Jefferson Digital Archive (Texts to or from Thomas Jefferson) (UVA - Modern English Library)
Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vols. 1-12 (through Online Liberty Library)
Just drill down to the volume you want to read.
Works Written by Multiple Authors
Federalist Papers (in numerical order)
This website allows you to work with frames or without
Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, published during its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788  (Online Liberty Library)
Pamphlets available written by the following: Elbridge Gerry, Noah
Webster, John Jay, Melancthon Smith, Pelatiah Werster, Tench Coxe,
James Wilson, John Dickinson, Alexander Contee Hanson, Edmund
Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George mason, and David Ramsay.
Works about the Constitutional Convention
Donald S. Lutz, Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History 
"A collection of eighty documents which demonstrate how local
government in colonial America was the seedbed of American
Our Founders' Constitution (by Philip Kurland and Ralph Lerner) - free web version
This is through the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty
Works about the Founding Fathers or their Writings
Colleen A. Sheehan, Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the “Other” Federalists, 1787-1788 
"Included are the original texts of pamphlets, speeches, and other
pro-ratification writings of George Washington, Benjamin Rush,
Nicholas Collin, John Dickinson, James Wilson, Tench Coxe, Benjamin
Franklin, Noah Webster, Roger Sherman, Fisher Ames, Peletiah
Webster, Samuel Tenny, Stephen Hopkins, Oliver Ellsworth, and David
Ramsay. Separately they address the underlying themes of the
historic Federalist-Anti-Federalist debate: “The Necessity of
Union,” “Energetic but Limited Government,” and “Popular Government
and Civic Virtue.”
History of the Life and Times of James Madison, by William Cabell Rives (volume 2)
Volume 2 of this three volume work is available through Google
Books. This is a digitized version of Harvard's print copy.
Rives, History of the Life and Times of James Madison, volume 1
Please note that this is a limited preview of volume 1, even if you
are looking at it through Firefox, with the LibX tool installed.