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HIST 344: Historiography and Research Methodology: Primary Source Searching

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Suggested Primary Sources

Museums, government agencies and archivists preserve and are undertaking the task of digitizing history so that researchers can access it from anywhere without the need to visit the museums to see or handle the original items. 

Below are links to some suggested sources of digital collections. However, if you are doing specialized research, try looking for a digital repository in the state or locale that is the subject of your topic.

Types of Primary Sources

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • personal narratives
  • speeches
  • notebooks
  • photos
  • recordings
  • maps
  • art
  • posters
  • newspapers
  • artifacts (clothing, personal items, historical equipment)

Primary Sources in Library Databases

Locating and Evaluating Primary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

How to Read Old Documents

Many historical documents were handwritten in cursive. In order to conduct historical research, you may need to learn how to read handwritten documents. Watch the videos and look at the samples below to learn how to do this.