A primary source is a document, image, artifact, or dataset that provides first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning the object of research.
Why should I use primary sources?
You should use this type of source to provide evidence for your thesis or the basis of your interpretation on a topic.
What are some examples of primary sources?
Primary sources may include, but are not limited to, artwork, correspondence, diaries, interviews, literary texts, material artifacts, newspapers, speeches, statistics, and videos.
What kinds of primary sources can I find on this page?
This page contains guidance on finding unpublished print primary sources in archives around the world as well as published primary sources in JumboSearch. You can find digitized primary source databases organized by topic on the "Primary Sources by Topics" page or you can find digitized primary source databases organized by region on the "Primary Sources by Region" page.
The library catalog may be used to find primary sources for your research. To do so, simply pair one of the subject terms listed below with other search terms relevant to your project. For example, if you are interested in the civil right movement, you could search for "Civil Rights" as a keyword and "speeches, addresses, etc." as a subject term. Here is an example of what that search would look like. The following are useful subject terms for finding primary sources: