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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

20th Century US History: 1960s-1970s Activists Project: Primary Sources

Primary Sources

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.


Find Primary Sources in RhinoCat

RhinoCat is the Library's automated catalog of books, ebooks, and other materials.

  • An Author search using your activist's name will result in books written by your activist.
  • Keyword search using your activist's name will give you books that include something written by your activist. These may also interviews interviews.

Click here to do an Advanced Search in Rhinocat to identify library books and ebooks containing primary sources relevant to your topic: 

  • In the first search line change Keyword to Subject and paste in (sources OR diaries OR narratives) including parentheses ( )
  • In the second search line, leave Keyword and substitute your search term for xxxxx.

    • If your keyword term is a phrase such as United Farm Workers, use quotation marks around the phrase: "United Farm Workers"


Historical Newspapers

Find Primary Sources in Taft Online Databases

Important tips for searching for primary sources in historical news databases:
  • Always limit your search to the date range relevant to your topic.
  • Try searching terms, phrases, etc. that were commonly used at the time in relation to your topic.
  • Look for document-type limiters that may improve your results, such as article, commentary, editorial, front page / cover story, letter to the editor, etc
History Databases Also Containing Primary Sources