Any document, image, or artifact created at the time of the topic being researched is a primary source. Examples include: eyewitness accounts, autobiographies and memoirs, diaries, letters, speeches, reports, newspapers, household and day-to-day objects, clothing, works of art, architecture, and photographs.
Please note: primary source documents are a reflection of the time and culture in which they were created and may contain language or images that are considered offensive today.
NOTE: when searching for primary sources in historical newspaper / periodical databases, ALWAYS limit your search to the date range relevant to your topic. You may also want to limit to editorial / opinion articles.
These original journals are shelved at the end of the Reference collection.
Thank you for handling these fragile bound volumes with care.
If you would like a copy of an article or an advertisment, please take a picture using your smartphone.
BlackPast, Remembered & Reclaimed: Primary Documents (a searchable collection of documents arranged chronologically from BlackPast, the "Google" of African American history)
Digital History (Comprehensive U.S. history website including primary source documents; a partnership of the Univ. of Houston, National Endowment for the Humanities, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and others)
Discovering American Women's History Online (digital collections of primary source materials browsable by subject, place, time period, and source type)
Library of Congress
LIFE Magazine Archive (published from late Nov 1936 to 1972, LIFE was "the photographic magazine that chronicled the 20th century")
The New York Times TimesMachine Over 150 years of New York Times journalism, as it originally appeared. From Volume 1, Number 1 (1851) to 2002. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit of digital subscribers so be sure to sign up here to access the library's digital NYT account.