One of the more easily accessible primary sources are books. These can be books written during the period for your topic (i.e., during the 1950s), books written by participants, published collections of correspondence and other personal writings, memoirs and reprints of primary source material. In addition we have digital access to books going back to the late 15th century.
UW Libraries Search and other tools can be used to find these primary sources which may be available in print, online and in microfilm.
This page focuses on finding primary sources in book format. Use the resources listed under the other Primary Source tabs to find other types of material.
Use these search tactics to identify published primary sources:
If you are looking for books published before 1924, check HathiTrust. More than million books (also some magazines and government reports) free of copyright are available full-text and can be downloaded as pdfs. Plus you can search through the entire text to find the information you seek.
The Advanced Catalog Search provides options to search for specific titles, authors and keywords and to limit your search by fulltext availability (full view only) and publication date.
Current books and books still in copyright are not available full-text but you can usually use the search feature to pinpoint the pages you might need. Then search the UW Libraries to find a copy of the printed book.