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History: Primary Sources

Suggested resources for the broad study of global history, from pre-modern periods to the present.

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are the "raw data" of your research, and involve direct evidence. They were created during the time period under consideration or by a person involved. Examples of historical primary sources include: diaries, letters, legal documents, maps, newspapers, images, and objects. 

More information is available at our page on primary vs. secondary sources.

Published primary source collections in LibrarySearch can be found by adding the following subjects to your search: diaries OR correspondence OR narratives OR sources OR speeches OR interviews OR "personal narratives".

Source Online, In Print, and Beyond

This guide suggests primary sources that can be found online or in the library. A greater variety of sources are not online but available only at archives and special libraries. Listed below are some tools for locating relevant collections beyond Ladd Library.

Digitized and Online Sources

Collection sets listed here are created by country, time period, or origin of the collection. They include digitized books and monographs, images, newspapers and periodicals, pamphlets, speeches, government documents, manuscripts, and letters and diaries.