Original, uninterpreted information,"primary sources" are the evidence left behind by participants or observers of a given event or a particular period of time.
Typical primary sources may include:
As opposed to primary sources, "secondary sources" synthesize and interpret primary materials. Books, journal articles, textbooks, and encyclopedias are examples of secondary sources.
Use finding aids to locate processed archival collections in archives, libraries, and museums. Finding aids are increasingly available online and freely accessible.
Reference & Other Print Sources
Make use of the many excellent print resources that are available to find primary source materials. These include:
Internet Search Engines
You could try combining any of these terms along with the keyword(s) for your topic. Just remember to choose Subject from the drop-down menu for the search box containing your primary source subject term.
Restricting by Date of Publication:
You may also narrow a search by limiting the results by date of publication or format.
Limiting sources to a particular date of publication will help you to locate contemporary sources published at the time of an event. For example, if you are studying British Literature during WWII, refine your search results by using the publication date limiters to retrieve novels published only during the years 1939 to 1945.
For example, if you were looking for primary sources related to immigration, you might try the following search: