HU 3900: Inquiry Seminar - Darwin in America

Professor Constance Clark

What are Primary Source Materials?

Primary sources are materials that provide firsthand testimony or the closest evidence to a subject under investigation. Researchers often use these firsthand accounts of specific events, or direct investigations to understand events from the viewpoint of people living during that time period.

Primary source materials can be found in a variety of locations,- within books, newspapers, article bibliographies or by visiting archives or manuscripts collections. Students at WPI often need to find news articles that were written during the time of an event.

Web searching also provides access to many online document collections.

Search Tip:Try searching keywords such as Charles Darwin and correspondence or any of these terms: letters, diary, field manuals, notebooks, or manuscripts.