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Locating and Working with Primary Sources  

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Selected Books From the Catalog

Cover Art
Defining Documents in American History - Peter Kratzke (Editor)
Call Number: REF 973.3 D31
ISBN: 9781429837057
Publication Date: 2012-12-01

Cover Art
The Renaissance and Reformation - Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
Call Number: 940.21 W64
ISBN: 9780195338027
Publication Date: 2011-09-09

Cover Art
Imperialism - Bonnie G. Smith
Call Number: REF 325.32 S64
ISBN: 0195108019
Publication Date: 2000-11-09

Primary Source Material


What is a Primary Source??

A primary source is an original document or a record of a firsthand account of historical events. Primary sources include original manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, memoires, photographs and film footage, statistics and legal records. Primary sources may also include drawings, posters, inscriptions on monuments or tombstones, and writings by observers. Sculpture, ceramics, vases and paintings and religious texts may also provide primary source information.

When searching for primary sources consider using the following search terms:

primary sources






oral history





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Ann Massoth, Library Director
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Research Tips

brainstorm as many keywords as possible

go to the stacks and browse

use the index and the table of contents

use a variety of print/electronic resources

evaluate websites

cite your sources

ask for help



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