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HSS 310 - The United States: Primary Sources

Primary Source Types

  • Autobiographies
  • Diaries/Journals
  • Letters
  • Speeches
  • Travel Accounts
  • Messages and Papers
  • Government Documents
  • Magazine/Newspaper Articles
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Other Non-Text Materials

Where to Find Primary Sources

You can find primary sources for this topic in three places:

  1. Books: the reserve list, in the stacks, and Garver. Many of the books on reserve for this topic, in the stacks, and in Garver have primary sources in them. To search for primary sources in books, click on the "Library Catalog" link to the left and do a search for your topic. Add the term "source" to your search terms. Look for words in the book's title like "a documentary history" or "sources." Also look for clues within the text like block quotes and distinct sections with a different author.
  2. Databases. The OWHL has databases filled with primary sources, and those are listed below.Try playing with search filters to make sure you are looking at primary sources in the search results.
  3. Websites. Below are a few websites with primary sources. Make sure to note the difference between any introductory text and the primary source itself.

If you're not sure if you're looking at a primary source, just ask a librarian for help!

Databases with Primary Sources