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Primary Sources: About: Finding

find out about primary sources

Where do I find primary sources?

    • Primary Sources can be found in many places such as: libraries, archives, museums, websites, and private collections.

    • Primary source materials are often reprinted in published collections such as the Milestone Documents series from Salem Press.

    • Many primary source materials have been digitized and made available on the internet, giving you access to materials that were previously only available by taking a trip to the organization that held the item.

  • Check the bibliography/works cited pages of a secondary source to see what primary source materials were used.
  • This libguide has been designed to help you find some of the primary source materials available in Trible Library as well as world wide. It is a small fraction of what is available.
  • Are you having trouble locating a primary source for your paper? Please ask for help.


    Finding Primary Sources in the Trible Library Collection

    • The online catalog is a search engine of the print and media resources owned by the library.
    • Suggested terms to look for include - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents,  documentary or correspondence.



    • Combine these these terms with the event or person you are researching.

    For example:  civil war diary as a keyword search leads you to resources such as:

    • Captain Greenlee Davidson, C.S.A. : diary and letters, 1851-1863 / [compiled by] Charles W. Turner. (Rare Books E605 .D26 1975 )
    • A diary from Dixie, as written by Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of James Chesnut, Jr., United States senator from South Carolina, 1859-1861, and afterward an aide to Jefferson Davis and a brigadier-general in the Confederate army ; ed. by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary.(General Collection E487. C524 D5
    • A Confederate girl's diary [microform] / by Sarah Morgan Dawson ; with an introduction by Warrington Dawson and with illustrations.(Microforms MICRO LAC 16356)



    • Search by subject for specific people and events, then scan the titles for those keywords or others such as memoirs, autobiography, report, or personal narratives.

    For example:  a subject search for Kennedy, John F. leads to:

    • Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. Introd. by Harrison E. Salisbury . With additional material prepared by the New York times exclusively for this edition. (General Collection  E842.9 .A55 1964 )
    • Letters to Kennedy / John Kenneth Galbraith ; edited by James Goodman.  (General Collection  E842 .A4 1998 )



    • Search for specific people that you are aware of that were involved in the event, knew the person, or for the person himself as an author

    For example:  an author search on Nixon, Richard leads to:

    • RN : the memoirs of Richard Nixon .  (General Collection E856 .A35 1988 )

    And author search on Liddy, G. Gordon leads to:

    • Will : the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy .  (General Collection E860.L713 W6 )
    Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.