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Guide to basic historical research at the Shapiro Library

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons.

Taken from the American Library Association / Reference and User Services Association

Databases with Primary Sources

The library subscribes to a number of databases that include primary source material. Please note that not everything within each database is a primary source; you will need to evaluate each source carefully to determine if it meets the criteria of a primary source for your research.

American History Primary Sources

The following is a list of selected digital collections that include images, manuscripts, maps, and government documents.

World History Primary Sources

The following is a selected list of digital collections supporting world history research.