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Taft School Logo Taft School Wordmark NEWSPAPERS USEFUL LINKS •Taft Google Drive
•RhinoNet (formerly TaftNet)
•Taft Calendar
•Connecticut Libraries
HOW DO I? •Print to a Network Printer
•Request an Item the Library Doesn't Own
•Access Digital Newspapers (NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Waterbury Republican American)
•Access the Papyrus
•Download Audiobooks/eBooks
•Find and Evaluate Websites
•Find Primary Sources
•Use Noodletools

The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

How Do I?: Find 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.






  • 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. For example: Great War instead of World War I.
  • Look for document-type limiters that may improve your results, such as article, commentary, editorial, front page / cover story, letter to the editor, etc.


Resource Allows NoodleTools Export  Citations can be exported from this database to NoodleTools.
Contains Primary Sources  This source contains Primary Sources

Primary Sources: Google

To find primary sources using Google, combine your search term(s) with the phrase documents OR "primary sources"

This search will find primary source documents relating to the Berlin Wall on the internet.
Search Tip Add the phrase site:gov OR site:edu to limit your results to the domain .gov for U.S. government agencies and the domain .edu for educational institutions in the U.S, generally considered the two most reliable domains.
You may also find valuable primary source material in Google Books, which contains millions of digitized books. Books that are in the public domain may be available in their entirety; these include books published in the U.S. before 1923, but also many other works may be available due to failure to renew copyright, for instance. To find books, do a keyword, author, or title search and then click on Tools to display limiters. To find entire books that are available for free, choose Free Google ebooks.





Find PRIMARY SOURCES by or about a person relevant to your topic in RhinoCat.
  • Do an Author search using the name of a person relevant to your topic to find books, letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies written by that person.
  • Do a Keyword search using the name of a person to identify writings, interviews, and speeches in anthologies and collections.
Find PRIMARY SOURCES on your topic in RhinoCat using Advanced Search.
  • Click here to open the Advanced Search page.
  • In the first Keyword search line, substitute your search term for xxxxx.
  • In the next Keyword search line, change Keyword to Subject and paste in (sources OR diaries OR narratives)
  • You may add additional Keyword search lines, but the Subject search line should be the last line of your search.


Primary Source eBook Only Search

Use this search to find only ebooks containing primary sources
that can be accessed via our library catalog.

Select Primary Source Type:
There are three subject headings that indicate primary sources:
Sources, Personal Narratives, and Diaries.
Each drop down will give different results, so try them all!

Type of search?