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Library Guides

HSTAS 221 Spring 2019: Finding Primary Sources

Class guide to resources for HSTAS 221

What is a Primary Source

What is a Primary source for your topic?


·         Newspapers

·         Newsletters

·         First person accounts

·         Diaries/Letters

·         Official records of government or agencies

·         Unofficial records of organizations


·         Published

·         Collected by survey instruments

·         Government-sponsored

Interview recordings or transcripts

·         Found in an archive

·         Oral history interviews

Visual media

·         Photographs

·         Films

·         Architectural features and themes

Collection Guides/Finding Aids

A collection guide or finding aid is a detailed guide or inventory of the content of a manuscript or archival collection. The guide helps researchers identify the boxes or folder of interest withing a collection. A typical guide also provides background information on the organization or person who created the material, an overview of the collection and how it is arranged plus a detailed container list and any use restrictions. 

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