Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:
- Catalogs: OskiCat and Melvyl
- Online book and text collections
- Primary Source databases provided by the Library
includes databases for finding newspaper articles, such as Historical Newspapers (ProQuest) or magazine articles, such as Reader's Guide
- Vetted sites on the web:
Learn more about your topic in advance:
- names of relevant individuals and organizations
- dates of events
- what terminology was used at the time by participants and observers? (ex: negro or colored instead of african american)
Primary Source Databases - Selected
For a complete list, start with the Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources, Types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Sources
Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
Indexes articles from Chicago Defender (1905-1975), Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Los Angeles Times (1881-1987), New York Times (1851-2007), San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Wall Street Journal (1889-1993), and Washington Post (1877-1994).
Readers' Guide Retrospective
Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982. Platform change: All WilsonWeb databases have switched to the EBSCOhost interface.
Ethnic News Watch
Indexes over 200 ethnic, minority, and native press publications. Contains news, culture, and history searchable in both English and Spanish. Also includes a retrospective backfile of titles (1960-1989).
American Social History Online
Provides access to 175 digitized library collections related to U.S. social history.
Discovering American Women's History Online
A gateway of digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States.
Nation Digital Archive
Full text access to The Nation, a weekly news magazine covering U.S. politics and society since 1865.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries
Include approximately 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries by more than 1000 women. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions. Also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography.
Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives
Documents the key events, trends, and movements in 1960s America. Includes 70,000 pages of letters, diaries, and oral histories; more than 30,000 pages of posters, broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and rare audio and video materials. Enhanced by dozens of scholarly document projects, featuring annotated primary-source content that is analyzed and contextualized through interpretive essays by historians.
Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources
Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:
puerto rican* interviews
african american soldiers personal narratives
irish american* newspapers