Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to the truth of what actually happened during an historical event or time period. Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied. A primary source (also called original source) is a document, recording, artifact, or other source of information that was created at the time under study, usually by a source with direct personal knowledge of the events being described. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Similar definitions are used in library science, and other areas of scholarship. In journalism, a primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document created by such a person. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources, which cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources, though the distinction is not a sharp one.
FRED Economic Data - great for a novice, but also good for sophisticated users accessing an array of data sources.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data retrieval tools.
FRASER - a digital library of U.S. economic, financial, and banking history—particularly the history of the Federal Reserve System.
Bank of International Settlements - BIS statistics, compiled in cooperation with central banks and other national authorities, are designed to inform analysis of financial stability, international monetary spillovers and global liquidity.
Federal Reserve Tealbook - Several data sets contain the projections from the Tealbooks (formerly Greenbooks) of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The Tealbook/Greenbook is produced before each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Using an assumption about monetary policy, the Research staff at the Board of Governors prepares projections about how the economy will fare in the future. These projections are made available to the public after a lag of five years.
IPUMS - IPUMS provides census and survey data from around the world integrated across time and space. IPUMS integration and documentation makes it easy to study change, conduct comparative research, merge information across data types, and analyze individuals within family and community contexts. Data and services available free of charge.