Primary sources are original documents or artifacts created during the time period being studied. They often include firsthand or eyewitness accounts or have an inside view of a particular event.
Original Documents include advertisements, artwork, autobiographies, diaries, government documents (bills, laws, congressional hearings, etc.), interviews, letters, newspaper articles, official records, oral histories, photographs, posters, raw research data, speeches, etc.
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
These guides from other universities contain dozens of links to primary source materials. You will not have access to everything.
Follow these steps to begin searching for primary sources in WorldCat:
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 SU 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**
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.