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Primary Sources


What are primary sources?

Where can I search for primary sources?


Primary sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person, or object. These sources are contemporary to the events and people described. In the context of historical research, primary sources are sources that were created during the specific time period being studied. In scientific disciplines, primary sources are often original research studies.


Some examples of primary sources include: 

  • Newspaper articles

  • Diaries 

  • Letters

  • Memoirs and autobiographies

  • Speeches

  • Works of art

  • Photographs

  • Scientific experiments 

  • Government documents (research data, laws, legislative hearings, etc.)


Read through this guide for examples of how to search for primary sources in IUCAT.


ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Search a variety of historical U.S. newspapers published from the 1800s to the present.



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