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Research Guides

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are the evidence of history.  They are the first-hand accounts of an event or period of time created by participants or observers.  There are many kinds of primary sources including texts (letters, diaries, government reports, newspaper accounts, novels, autobiographies), images (photographs, paintings, advertisements, posters), artifacts (buildings, clothing, sculpture, coins) and audio/visual (songs, oral history interviews, films).

Image: Banner of El Avenir newspaper

Additional Web Resources

Collections of Primary Sources

Newspapers & Magazines

The following microfilmed newspapers are available in the UW Libraries and are housed in the Microform and Newspaper Collection on the ground floor of Suzzallo.  Microfilm copiers and scanners are available for you to use. Note: some of these microfilmed newspapers may be missing issues.

Most older newspapers do not include indexing. Usually you will need to browse through issues of a newspaper to discover its content. If you are researching a specific date, use that date as a starting point for your browsing.

Staff in the section can help you locate other papers as well as help you with printing and scanning.