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Primary Sources - by Subject

Library and internet resources for primary sources, organized by subject

Primary Sources by Subject - Introduction

The library databases and web resources in this guide provide access to primary sources for humanities and social sciences research. The resources here are NOT comprehensive, but offer a starting point for locating primary sources. For more on searching for primary sources please see these Primary Source Search Strategies.

In humanities disciplines like history and literature, a primary source is an item produced from the time you are researching (e.g., photographs, a letters, newspaper articles, government documents).  Looking at actual sources from a specific time helps you get a firsthand account of what was happening then.

In the sciences and social sciences, research data and original research studies are also considered primary sources.

Secondary sources provide analysis of primary sources (e.g., scholarly articles and books).