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Research Guides

INI102: Telling the Stories of the City: Writing Creative Non-Fiction

Finding reliable sources - Museums, Research Organizations, Archives

Is your online source reliable?

There is an amazing range of resources that are available to explore online, however you are responsible for checking that the content you use is reliable and accurate. Explore the RADAR checklist and keep in mind: 

  • If you find an interesting PDF or website, check for in-text hyperlinks or citations.
  • Take a closer look at the website hosting the content, is there an 'About Us' page?
  • Are they affiliated with scholarly researchers or institutions?

Explore collections belonging to publicly funded organizations 

Another tactic is to explore digital collections belonging to Museums, Research or Government Institutions. Be aware that they search functions aren't always easy to use so ask for help if needed. 

UofT Libraries Resources for Primary Source Research

Digital Search Platforms (Public Libraries, Archives & More)

Online Platforms

Internet Archive

"The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of books." (Wikipedia)


Public Libraries 

Toronto Public Library - Digital Collections 

Search Page for all TPL Digital Collections.  


Digital Public Library of America 

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) pulls in digital records from archives, libraries and museums from across the United States. DPLA's collection is focused on freely available content that meet public domain and open access requirements. 


Cross-search DPLA and Europeana

  • Online app that allows users to simultaneously search the digital collections in the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana.


The World Digital Library  

  • Launched in 2009, the World Digital Library (WDL) was a project of the U.S. Library of Congress, with the support of UNESCO, and contributions from libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world. 
  • The materials collected by the WDL make it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures and significant historical documents including books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films. 

Film & Video - Online Streaming

Finding Images


When you are posting material in a public site, you need to be careful about violating other people's copyright. Generally, you should be using public domain or Creative Commons images. 

Even if an image is free to use, be sure to follow these Best Practices for Attribution and give credit to the individuals who created the images. 

For more information: