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What are primary sources? Primary sources provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic or question under investigation.
They are usually created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.
Source: Primary Sources at Yale
Image Searching in the Library
In the America: History and Life with Full Text and the Academic Search Ultimate databases, you can tailor your search specifically for images.
- Select Databases on the library homepage
- Navigate to either America: History and Life with Full Text or Academic Search Ultimate in the list
- Inside the database in the blue bar at the top, click "More", which should present a dropdown menu.
- From that menu select "Images".
- In the new search screen that comes up, search for images by using keywords.
- Be sure to search for phrases in quotation marks, such as: "great depression"
Note: If you select an image to view, there is additional information including the permissions.
Primary Sources: Western Civilization I & II
Here are some external resources to explore for primary resources:
Archives Portal Europe
Provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent.
The Avalon Project
Primary sources in law, history, and diplomacy.
Digital Public Library of America
Photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.
Western European historical documents.
Historic Government Publications from World War II
SMU-Central University Libraries collection on historical governmental publications from World War II.
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
Primary sources from ancient history.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Primary sources from the medieval period of history.
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
Primary sources from modern history.
Historical issues of Life Magazine.
The National Archives
1,000 years of history, including wars, government documents, maps, and registers
Historical propaganda posters from 1919-1996.
Primary sources from Great Britain's Victorian era.
World Digital Library
Primary sources from libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world.
Perseus Digital Library
Various historical collections that have been migrated to digital records
From the Library of Congress