Answered By: Steve Runge
Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016     Views: 73

What it is:  A first-hand account. Remember, "first-hand" is relative to what is being studied. As pointed out in Finding Primary Sources in the History Guide:

... a 1950's textbook discussing the Civil War and Reconstruction would not be a primary source about the Civil War. However, it could be a primary source regarding attitudes towards African Americans during the Civil Rights Era.

How to find it: Find a research guide relevant to your subject, and depending on your project, course, and academic field, look for tabs labeled:

  • Primary Sources
  • Primary Texts
  • Data
  • Statistics
  • Archives
  • Government Documents

Search the catalog for primary materials on a topic:

For example:

  • enter "civil rights" and hit Go for primary sources on civil rights
  • enter immigra* and hit Go for primary sources on immigrants or immigration
  • enter peace and hit Go for primary sources on peace movements

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