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Primary sources are materials that provide firsthand testimony to a subject under investigation. Researchers often use these firsthand accounts of specific events to understand events from the viewpoint of people living during that time period. Primary sources include documents and artifacts from the time period under study, such as letters, diaries, photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, government records, songs, poems, and videos. Primary sources also include writings and recordings by witnesses who experienced the events or conditions being documented. For example, oral histories, autobiographies, and memoirs are primary sources.
To find primary sources via Google, try adding keywords like journals, papers, letters, documents, primary sources, documentary history, maps, or archives to your search terms.
Sometimes collections of primary source documents are republished in books. Here are some strategies for finding books like these:
Here are some examples of books containing primary sources:
The Gordon Library Archives are a great resource for primary sources. To learn more about the Archives' collections or to schedule a visit to the Archives, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out their contact form.