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THIST 375 British Empire - Sundermann: Primary Sources

UW Libraries Search for primary sources

In addition to using UW Libraries Search to locate published  secondary sources written by scholars and researchers about historical topics, you may also use it to locate both published compilations of primary sources -- documents, letters, journals, etc. and archival or manuscript collections held by UW Libraries in both print and digital forms.  Additionally, during your searches in UW Libraries Search you may find books that can be primary sources if they were written in the time period that your project is examining. See the search boxes below for suggestions for terms to locate primary resources via the catalog.

News and Magazines

To find freely available digitized historic newspapers, see ICON International Coalition on Newspapers. For contemporary newspaper coverage (roughly since 1990) see the News Research Guide.

What are primary sources?

Primary sources include documents or artifacts created by a witness to or participant in an event.  They can be firsthand testimony or evidence created during the time period that you are studying. 

Primary sources may include diaries, letters, interviews, oral histories, photographs, newspaper articles, government documents, poems, novels, plays, and music.  The collection and analysis of primary sources is central to historical research.

Terms useful for locating primary sources in the UW Libraries Search:

  • sources
  • personal narratives
  • correspondence
  • letters
  • diaries
  • journals
  • interviews
  • sermons
  • documents
  • papers

Online Collections of Images, Documents, etc