Empire Online contains an expansive collection of primary source documents that explore colonial history, politics, culture, and society. This collection details the rise and fall of various empires over the course of five centuries, beginning in 1492 and continuing until the present. The collection includes documents written by men and women, and the collection also offers both European and non-European perspectives. An Image Gallery, which contains many photographs and illustrations, is also included.
Some of the key features of the database include the following:
- Thousands of pages of primary source materials, including maps, manuscripts, pamphlets, paintings, drawings, and rare books
- Five thematic sections include: 1) Cultural Contacts, 2) Literature of Empire, 3) The Visible Empire, 4) Religion, and 5) Race, Class, and Imperialism
- A variety of searching and filtering options to allow for easy navigation through the collection
- A detailed Chronology of events
This collection is global in scale and includes French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German viewpoints, as well as the viewpoints of indigenous peoples from Africa, India, and North America.