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History: Finding Primary Sources

Searching the SU Library Catalog

Use better keywords! These terms can help you find primary sources:

- Personal narratives - Diaries
- Correspondence         - Letters
- Interviews                            - Autobiography
- Memoirs - Maps
- Pamphlets - Speeches
- Sources - Archives
- Archival Resources  

 

Example: "civil war" memoir​

**Originally created by UNC Libraries**

Primary Source Research Guides

These guides from other universities contain dozens of links to primary source materials. You will not have access to everything.

Government Documents

WorldCat

​WorldCat Discovery

Follow these steps to begin searching for primary sources in WorldCat:

  • Enter your topic word(s) in the first search box.
  • Enter an appropriate keyword such as "sources" or "diaries" in the second box.
  • Try changing the second drop-down box to "Topic" to see if this improves your results.

Depending on what limits you choose, you may retrieve a wide range of results, including archival collections, books, ebooks, and databases at other institutions to which UNC may not have access.  However, the results may also include freely available websites, which may be of particular interest.

Just follow the links in the catalog records to find the material you are interested in. If you locate a book, journal, or microfilmed item in WorldCat that SU does not hold, do not hesitate to request it through interlibrary loan.

**Created by UNC University Libraries**

Primary Sources Online

As always, use discretion before relying on websites. Verify that the source is what it says it is by searching for the title elsewhere. When in doubt: check with your professor.