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Finding Primary Sources

A guide containing resources for primary source research in history and the humanities.

Locating Primary Source Collections by Subject

Most academic libraries have collections of primary sources that history students can use in their research. Often, these are collections of sources about the same event or group of people. These books are usually cataloged with the subject heading "Sources." Locating books with the subject heading "Sources" AND a subject heading for the event or concept you are researching will usually find lots of primary source material. 

This search in JaySearch (Advanced):

Finds great primary sources, like these: 

Locating Primary Sources By Date

Most catalogs and journal article databases have an option to filter results by date. If you confine your search to the dates under study in your project, you will find material from that date. Academic libraries keep old books in their collections so they can be used for this type of research.

This search in JaySearch (Advanced):

Locates these books that mention Japan, and were written between the year 1900 and the year 1920.