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Tutt Library Research Guides


HY109/PA111 Civilization in East Asia: About Primary Sources

Searching for Primary Sources

To find primary sources, try using these terms in keyword searches:

  • Autobiography
  • Capitivity narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Document
  • Letters
  • Memoirs
  • Oral History
  • Papers
  • Personal narratives
  • Photographs
  • Records
  • Sources
  • Speeches

Keyword Searches

slavery and speeches
women and diaries
colorado and oral history

 Author Searches

Lincoln, Abraham
United Nations


Use a Secondary Source to Find a Primary Source

A bibliography from a good secondary source is a great way to identify primary sources.

Citing Primary Sources

The following sites offer guides to citing primary sources in the Chicago style:

Library of Congress

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Citation at a Glance: Primary Source from a Web Site (Diana Hacker)

What's a Primary Source?

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

More About Primary Sources

"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." -- Yale University

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

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