AMER STD 10: Introduction to American Studies

Primary Sources

Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:

For specific search strategies, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

Learn more about your topic in advance:

  • names of relevant individuals and organizations
  • dates of events
  • places
  • what terminology was used at the time by participants and observers? (ex:  negro or colored instead of african american)

Use the bibliographies of secondary sources and reference sources to find citations to specific primary sources; search OskiCat to locate them on campus, or ask for assistance at the Library.

Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources

Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:

-correspondence
-sources
-diaries
-personal narratives
-interviews
-speeches
-documents
-archives
-newspapers

Examples:

puerto rican* interviews
african american soldiers personal narratives
irish american* newspapers

Sample Searches in OskiCat for Primary Sources

add primary source subheadings: 


women homestead* diaries

limit by date of publication:

advanced search

women frontier*

years:  1880-1900

western stories

years:  1860-1900

limit by format:

country music

(pull down "entire collection" menu to:)  music scores

(or):  sound recordings

really fancy search hardly anyone knows about:

more searches:

genre/form:  dime novels

 

Primary Source Databases

See a more complete list of library databases of primary sources in American History

  • American Social History Online
    Provides access to 175 digitized library collections related to U.S. social history.
  • Everyday Life and Women in America
    Providing access to primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History, Duke University and The New York Public Library. It comprises thousands of fully searchable images (alongside transcriptions) of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes.
  • Chronicling America
    This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. To date, over 200,000 pages of California newspapers have been digitized.
  • Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment
    Includes prints, drawings, paintings, maps, bibliographies, letters, photographs, and original facsimile pages documenting the relationships among peoples and with the environment in North America. Focuses on personal accounts and providing unique perspectives from all the protagonists, including traders, slaves, missionaries, explorers, soldiers, Native Americans as well as a wide range of Europeans.
  • Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
    Includes Chicago Defender (1910-1975). Chicago Tribune (1849-1988). Los Angeles Times (1881-1988). San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922). New York Times (1851-1994) with Index (1851-1993). Wall Street Journal (1889-1994). Washington Post (1877-1995).
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective
    Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982.
  • HarpWeek
    Full-image reproductions of Harper's Weekly from its beginning in 1857 to 1912. Provides access to information about 19th and early 20th century advertising, illustrations, culture, history, literature, and notable figures.
  • Nation Digital Archive
    Full text access to The Nation, a weekly news magazine covering U.S. politics and society since 1865.
  • Working Women, 1800 -1930
    Provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections. Explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Documents working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygeine, conduct of life, policies and regulations governing the workplace, and social issues. When completed, the collections will contain more than 2200 books and pamphlets, 1000 photographs and 10,000 pages from manuscript collections.
Last Update: September 12, 2013 11:11