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Research Guides

Primary Source Starting Points for History Day Research: Primary Sources in UW Libraries Search

Finding Primary Sources Using UW Libraries Search

To find these primary sources use the Advance search option on UW Libraries Search

By AUTHOR-- search for books written by key participants and organizations.


By SPECIAL SUBJECT HEADINGS -- do a keywords search for your topic/event and in the second box change the label from "Title" to "Identifier, Subject" and use one of these special subject headings that designate primary sources: personal narratives, correspondence, diaries, interviews, sources. Some terms may work better than others depending on your topic. 


By DATE -- narrow your search by year of publication

Books as Primary Sources

The UW Libraries has a strong collection of published primary sources dealing with history. These include:

Books written during the period for your topic (e.g., during the 1850s)

  • An essay on liberty and slavery (published in 1856)
  • The woman's rights almanac for 1858 containing facts, statistics, arguments, records of progress, and proofs of the need of it

Books written by participants

  • Thoughts on African colonization by William Lloyd Garrison
  • The woman's Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Published collections of correspondence and diaries

  • Военная переписка, 1917-1922 гг. (Lenin letters)
  • Always, Rachel: the letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964

Memoirs & autobiographies

  • A roving commission: my early life by Winston Churchill
  • Long walk to freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Reprinted of collections of primary source material

  • Actes de la Commune de Paris pendant la Révolution
  • Spartacus and the slave wars: a brief history with documents