I'm looking for primary sources. 

A primary source is an item that was created during the period being studies and documents in some way what is being studied.

Examples of primary sources include: 

 Newspaper accounts Letters, diaries and scrapbooks
 Government documents 
 (research data, statistics, 
 congressional transcripts, laws 
 Personal accounts, autobiographies, memoirs  
 Images and museum artifacts Speeches
 Data from scientific experiments   Oral histories

Searching for Historical Primary Sources:

1. Use OneSearch on the library search boxand search Books and Media. Add keywords such as "sources" or "documents" to your search. (e.g. Civil War documents) for any type of primary source. 

Here are some additional ideas for keywords to add to your search, depending on the type of source you need: 

  • Letters - Correspondence OR letters (Civil War correspondence, French Revolution letters);
  • Diaries - Diary  (Civil War diary, woman diary France);
  • Oral history - Interview OR oral history OR speeches (Cold War interview, Japanese internment oral history, Malcolm X speeches);
  • Pamphlet - Pamphlet (pamphlet chastity, rights of women pamphlet);
  • Photographs or artwork - Pictorial works (Chicago pictorial works, World's Fair pictorial works).
  • Personal accounts - Autobiography OR memoir

2. Explore the Library's Primary Source Databases - The library has a number of databases that contain primary source content. Here's a list. 

3. Explore the Primary Sources Research GuideThis guide contains: 

4. Search the Web - Many museums, archives, and libraries have digitized their collections of primary sources and have made them available on the Web. When you don’t have a specific primary source in mind, for search terms use your subject plus "primary sources" (e.g. world war I soldiers primary sources). If you've already identified the primary source you need, enter the title in quotes in the search box to search the title as a phrase (e.g. “A soldier recalls the Trail of Tears”). 

These can also be good places to start when searching on the Web for primary sources: 

  • The Internet Archive The Internet Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including web sites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. 
  • Google Books - If the sources you are looking for were published prior to 1923, you can probably find primary sources that are in the public domain (no longer under copyright protection). Google has digitized books from many of the world's major research libraries, and all of the works in the public domain are freely available in Google Books.