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History: Locate primary sources in translation

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  • Use UW Libraries Search (see details in the  Finding Primary Sources in Translation box below) and limit to English.
  • Consider using major English language newspapers such as the New York Times (1853-2011) or the London Times (1785-1985) for a U.S. or British perspective if it's appropriate to your topic.
  • Consult with a librarian to locate databases such as The Times of India (1838-2005) or the Chinese Newspapers Collection (1852-1953) which provide access to English language newspapers from those countries.

Finding Primary Sources in Translation

Combine terms from the box in the center of this page with your subject areas in the UW Libraries Search box above.

Sample:  Benito Mussolini diaries

After the results are shown locate the left hand box titled "Language".  Click on English to only view sources available in English.   

What is a primary source?

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          journals       
personal narratives interviews
correspondence sermons
letters documents
diaries papers
images/photographs advertising

Examples of primary sources in translation


  • Oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964, are available from the Bracero Oral History.