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Library Tutorials: Search for Primary Resources

What is a Primary Source and how do I find one?

According to the Library of Congress "Primary Sources are the raw materials of history, original documents and objects which were created at the time."

"Secondary sources are accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience."

Searching the term "primary sources" in the library catalog will not yield many results. Use these terms instead:

  • personal narratives
  • documents
  • speeches
  • memoirs 
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • oral history
  • letters
  • biography

Limiters for primary source documents are available in the EBSCO databases and also in some others like ProQuest. Here is how those options appear:

Primary Sources