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A Primary Source is a item produced from the time you are researching. It can be a photograph, a letter, government documents, and much more. Looking at actual sources from a specific time helps to get the firsthand account of what was happening when it was happening.
Newspapers can be a great place to find primary sources, use one of the library's databases to search:
Provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.
You can use Google! One of the best ways to do that is by using the Advanced Search option. This helps you choose specific websites or domains (.org, .gov, .edu) to find information better suited to your needs and look for primary source documentation.
Archives of searchable historical primary source materials. See the Subcollections Guide for a list of collections.
Accessible Archives makes available vast quantities of archived historical information, not previously furnished available online. Primary source materials have been assembled into databases with a strict attention to detail allowing access to specific information with pinpoint accuracy. Online full-text search capabilities and digital imaging permits the user to search and manipulate this information in ways never before possible.
Digital collection of historical documents from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Archives Unbound presents topically-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars and students at the college and university level. Collections in Archives Unbound cover a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to twentieth-century political history. Collections are chosen for Archives Unbound based on requests from scholars, archivists, and students.
Collections include Africana and Black History, from 16th Century to Present; After Columbus: 400 Years of Native American Portraiture; Turn of the Century Posters; Picturing America, 1497-1899; Prints, Maps, and Drawings Bearing on the New World; A New Nation: The Thomas Addis Emmet Collection of Illustrations Relating to the American Revolution and Early US History.
Archive of primary source manuscripts on Jewish life in America.
Jewish Life in America, c1654-1954 is an indispensable resource for scholars and students interested in understanding and exploring the history of Jewish communities in America from their first arrival in New York in 1654 to the integral part that they play today. It will provide an essential resource for teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond. The material is based on a rich variety of original manuscript collections from the unique holdings of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York; we provide access to six major organisational collections and twenty-four collections of personal papers; all of which have been digitized in their entirety.
The Avalon Project, a resource of the Yale Law School, provides full text of documents, online, that are important to law, history and diplomacy online. Over the years the collection has grown extensively and has been organized into various topical areas. About forty documents related to Terrorism are included under this title.
The Project disseminates new information and perspectives on the history of the Cold War, in particular new findings from previously inaccessible sources on "the other side" -- the former Communist world. This is an endeavor of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history.
Global Commodities brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history. The commodities featured in this resource have been transported, exchanged and consumed around the world for hundreds of years. They helped transform societies, global trading operations, habits of consumption and social practices.