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Primary Sources

A guide to identifying primary and secondary sources.

Published Primary Sources

Use one of these catalogs to find primary sources published in books:

How to Search for Primary Sources

Try using one of these official headings as a SUBJECT in your search:

  • Sources
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Description and travel
  • Early works
  • Personal narratives
  • Public opinion
  • Speeches
  • Caricatures and cartoons

For example, if you want primary sources about the Vietnam War, you could try:

  • "Vietnam war" as KEYWORDS
  • "Personal narratives" as a SUBJECT

Here is an example of how this search could be done in LibSearch:

Vietnam War as Select a Field, Personal Narratives as Subject

Then you may need to limit your search to books:

Choose SOURCE TYPE books