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ZSR Library

HST 390: World War II, War Crimes, and US and International Law

Fall 2022 - Dr. Robert Hellyer

Tips for Locating Primary Sources

Choose historically appropriate keywords. For example, use "Great War" instead of "World War I" to locate documents discussing the war during and just after it occurred. You may also consider different terms that might have been used to describe the same event from opposing sides or perspectives. Searching for the names of particular people or places may also be effective. 

Think about what types of primary sources might have been produced that would be relevant to your topic; think also about which persons or organizations might have produced materials. Some possible types of sources:

Books  Photographs and images
Magazine and newspaper articles Cartoons and advertisements 
Diaries and journals  Movies, videos, and DVDs
Memoirs and autobiographies Audio recordings
Interviews Public opinion polls
Letters  Fiction
Speeches  Research data and statistics
Documents produced by organizations Documents produced by government agencies,
including congressional hearings and census records 

To locate potential primary sources in the library's online catalog, Primo, look for subject headings that contain terms such as diaries, letters, correspondence, autobiography, interviews, or personal narratives following the main heading. 

Primary Sources

These are just a few of the primary sources that may be relevant to your research topic. You may find additional primary sources in the library catalog, openly available on the web, or through other databases. Need help? Ask a librarian! 


News Sources

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