Primary Sources Page
What is a primary source? It is a source that is originates from the time period of the topic being researched. It is a first-hand account that is documented or recorded by a participant or observer, often created at the same time as the event though sometimes later (as in a memoir or autobiography). Some examples of primary source materials are diaries; oral histories; government documents; pamphlets; newspaper, periodical or magazine articles; manuscripts or archival materials such as notebooks or letters; maps; music or sound recordings; artifacts; visual materials (art, photographs, prints, film, video) and speeches. Using a primary source as an example or proof in your research and writing is an effective way to support your thesis.
Use the links below to find primary source materials.100 Milestone Documents (from National Archives and Records Administration)American Memory/The Library of Congress - Collections include: African Americans, Immigration, Native Americans, Sports, Technology, Wars, Women's History and moreAvalon Project/Yale (15th-21st century American legal history)Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers : Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836 - 1922Digital Public Library of America: Primary Source Sets (PBS Learning Media)Documents - Teaching American History (50 Core Documents)
EuroDocs: Online Sources for European HistoryGilder Lehrman Institute of American History (65,000 items from 1493 to present)
Library of Congress
Making of America (Cornell University; 1840-1900)Many Pasts (History Matters project; U.S. History; text, image, and audio about experiences of ordinary Americans throughout U.S. History)
Modern History Sourcebook (Fordham University; World History)
Moving Images and Sound Recordings (UC Berkeley)
National Museum of American Art
Papers of Jefferson DavisPrimary Source Sets (Library of Congress)
Truman Presidential Museum & Library
Smithsonian InstitutionSmithsonian Source (Search american history primary sources)Spartacus Educational (World and U.S. History)
Vincent Voice Library (Mich. State Univ.): 40,000 hours of spoken recordings dating back to 1888.
World War I and II Propaganda Posterspage updated Jan. 2018