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ALS 395: Senior Seminar (Dr. Chaves Daza) Spring 2021

Tips for Finding Primary Sources

Primary sources may be available in print, in library databases, on websites, or in microform collections. Print primary sources, or print reproductions of primary sources, are sometimes available in archives and libraries. In addition, primary sources are increasingly found online in digitized form. These may be found in library databases or on websites. Primary sources are also available in microform, a format that has been used for many years to preserve documents, as well as to save storage space. 

Tips for finding primary sources:

  • When searching print and online access tools use search terms such as SOURCES, CORRESPONDENCE, PERSONAL NARRATIVES, DIARIES, RECORDS AND CORRESPONDENCE, SERMONS, SPEECHES, PAPERS, LETTERS.

  • Look for titles of primary sources in secondary sources and in lists included in bibliographies of secondary sources. Use text, class, and library bibliographies for recommended titles or listings of primary sources.

  • Browse library shelves around other relevant books. This is often a wonderful way to discover collections of primary sources that have been published in a book format.

On this guide you will find a partial listing of primary source materials available in Milne Library. This includes a listing of reference books, databases, websites, and microform collections containing primary source materials. Remember, this is only a partial listing. More primary sources can be found through searching print and online access tools and browsing the library shelves in relevant areas.