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Tutt Library Research Guides


HY238 Colonial Hispano-America: Primary Sources

Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement, and the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

Find Primary Sources @ Tutt Library

What is a Primary Source?

From Yale University

"Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format."      


Video produced by the University of California, San Diego's Social Sciences & Humanities Library.

Researching Primary Sources

from the Spanish Colonial collection, Denver Art Museum

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Artifacts
  • Autobiographies
  • Capitivity Narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Court proceedings
  • Diaries
  • Government records
  • Letters
  • Magazines
  • Maps
  • Memoirs
  • Newspapers
  • Oral Histories
  • Pamphlets
  • Papers
  • Personal Narratives
  • Photographs
  • Records
  • Songs
  • Speeches

    Evaluating Primary Sources

    Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages from Cornell University offers an excellent guide for evaluating primary sources. 

    Learn More About Primary Sources

    Primary Sources at Yale defines and explains the importance of primary sources along with a series of questions for evaluating documents.

    The National History Day Research Roadmap provides a good discussion about the definition and use of primary sources.

    For More Information...

    For more in-depth information and links to resources, go to the History: Primary Sources research guide

    Google Scholar

    Google Scholar can be used to find primary sources. Click on the arrow to the right of the search box to open the Advanced Scholar Search window.

    Internet Resources for Primary Sources

    Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: