Sources created by those who lived it
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.
Thank you for handling these fragile bound volumes with care! Want a copy of an article or advertisement? Please take a picture using your smartphone.
The Gallup Poll : public opinion, 1935-1971. Ref HN90 .P8 G35 3 vols
Historical statistics of the United States: from earliest times to the present [colonial times to 1970]. eBook on the U.S. Census website.
Presidential elections, 1789-2004. Ref JK524 .P6783 2005
Public opinion, 1935-1946 / edited by Hadley Cantril. eBook on the website, Internet Archive.
This is who we were Decades series. Taft Subscription Database: Salem History. "Each volume combines census and other government data with personal narrative, advertisements, clippings, and so forth to provide a portrait of a decade" (Library Journal). Volumes cover decades from 1880 - 2000; the volume for the 1930s is titled A companion to the 1940 census.
Vital statistics on the presidency : Washington to Clinton. Ref JK518 .R34 1996.
The Black Past: Remembered & Reclaimed The "Google" of African American history includes an online encyclopedia, primary sources, and much more.
Digital History An extensive documents collection is part of this award-winning American history website from the College of Education at the University of Houston.
Digital Public Library of America: Primary Source Sets A vast collection of free content from American libraries, archives, and museums.
Discovering American Women's History Online Digital collections of primary source materials browseable by subject, place, time period, and source type.
Finding Primary Sources is the launch page to the vast collection of American history primary source content available online at the 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.
Presidential Libraries and Museums offer digital document archives and museums full of important Presidential artifacts from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama.
Social History for Every Classroom a database of primary documents, classroom activities, and other teaching materials in U.S. history. Keyword search or browse by theme (Civil Rights and Citizenship, Immigration and Migration, Labor activism, etc) or by historical era.
For a new citation, click on +New Source.
To cite a primary source, first choose the NoodleTools option that best describes where you found it:
Database = a document found in a Taft Subscription Database such as the New York Times, 1851-2014 or Annals of American History.
You must provide the permanent URL for your source. Look for terms such as permalink, persistent link, durable link, "Get link", or Cite.
Website = a document on a website found through a search engine such as Google or the list of websites on this course guide.
Next, determine what kind of primary source you are citing:
Look at the list of options in NoodleTools. Is it a newspaper article, a speech, a letter, or another item listed? If so, choose that item type.
If you are not sure, you can use Anthology / Collection which enables you to cite a source found within another source.