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HST 390: US History from Colonial to Present : Primary Sources

Dr. Caron - Spring 2020

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, look for subject headings that contain terms such as diaries, letters, correspondence, autobiography, interviews, or personal narratives following the main heading. 

Find Primary Sources

ONLINE PRIMARY SOURCE COLLECTIONS

The resources listed below are just a few of the American History resources available through ZSR Library and on the web. If you are unable to find information on your topic, schedule a personal research session with a librarian for more help! 

ONLINE PERIODICAL SOURCES

To locate a particular newspaper, search for the title in Find a Journal. You will see options for both print and electronic access, if available. 

Course Guide

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Kathy Shields
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shielddk@wfu.edu
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