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Research Guides

Archival Research

Beyond Manuscripts & Archives

Primary sources can be published or unpublished items in any format, including handwritten letters, objects, audio recordings, images, the built environment, etc.  Materials are considered to be primary sources when they contain direct evidence, first-hand testimony, or an eyewitness account of a topic or event under investigation. Secondary sources, on the other hand, are works that analyze and interpret other sources.

This section of the guide contains tips for finding primary sources in formats beyond manuscripts and archives in subscription databases and in open access sites.  Use the tabs on the left to find sources of:

Audio / Visual Materials - Moving images (film, video, TV), music (recordings and sheet music), radio (broadcasts, transcripts, radio plays, etc.), spoken word (speeches, poetry, podcasts).

Government Documents - Find links to state, national, and international government archives.

Historical Periodicals - Newspapers, magazines, etc.

Images - Open access and library subscription resources for finding collections of images in libraries and archives, digital portals, and more.

Maps & Atlases - Collections of print and digitized maps of places around the globe and subject-specific online databases that map language, social justice, historical boundaries, and other subjects.

Oral Histories - Recordings, transcripts, and collections.

Published Primary Sources - In print, online, and on microfilm.