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 and images are a reflection of the time and culture in which they were created and may contain language or images that are considered offensive today.
Important notes for searching for primary sources in news / periodical databases:
These databases also contain primary source material:
American Eras: Industrial Development of the United States, 1878–1899 (American eras primary source series). Ref E169.1 .A47198 2013 v.1 (also an online ebook)
American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change. Ref JV6465 .E53 2013 4 vols (also an online ebook)
Anti-immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Ref JV6450 .A67 2011 2 vols.
Conflicts in American History: A Documentary Encyclopedia. Ref E174 .C655 2010 8 vols (also an online ebook; to search the ebook edition, search the Table of Contents using the word Volume and then click on Volume V.)
Congress Investigates: A Critical and Documentary History. Ref KF4942 .C66 2011 2 vols (also an online ebook)
Defining Documents in American History: the 1900's (1900-1909). Ref E756 .A19 2016 (also an online ebook)
Defining Documents in American History: the 1910's (1910-1919). Ref E761 .A19 2016 (also an online ebook)
Defining Documents in American History: The Emergence of Modern America (1874-1917). Ref E661 .E447 2014 (also an online ebook)
Defining Documents in American History: Immigration and Immigrant Communities (1650-2016). Ref JV6450 .I46 2017 (also an online ebook)
Defining Documents in American History: Secrets, Leaks, and Scandals. Ref JF1525.S4 S43 2018 2 vols (also an online ebook)
Development of the Industrial U.S. Reference Library. 2006 4 vols (an online ebook)
Gilded Age and Progressive Era Reference Library. 2007 . 4 vols (an online ebook)
Immigration (American Experience series) / Dennis Wepman. (an online ebook)
The Industrial Revolution: Key Themes and Documents. Ref HC105 .O452 2015 (also an online ebook)
Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power, and Greed. Ref JK2249 .G767 2008 2 vols (also an online ebook)
Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era. Ref E661 .R664 2017 2 vols (also an online ebook)
Technical innovation in American History: an Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. Ref T21 .T37 2019. 3 vols (also an online ebook)
U.S. Immigration and Migration Reference Library. 2006 4 vols . (also an online ebook)
Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection. Ref HQ1410 .W6468 2017 4 vols (also an online ebook)
To ensure equitable access, all reserve materials are to be used only in the library for the duration of the project.
DURING CLASS TIME IN THE LIBRARY:
Books about your nation Your group may take these books to your workspace on the Library main floor. Return all your books to a library staff member either at the Circulation Desk or in the Reading Room.
General books and Primary Source books Your group may sign out 2 of each at a time. Return all your books to a library staff member either at the Circulation Desk or in the Reading Room.
OUTSIDE OF CLASS TIME, you may come to the Circulation Desk and sign out up to 2 books at a time for use in the library only. When you return those books, you may sign out up to 2 additional books. (Note: the limit to the number of books is to ensure equitable availability of materials among the 5 sections of US History.)
General Collections of Documents from the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Industrialization / Labor Movements
Digital History (comprehensive U.S. history website from the Univ. of Houston's College of Education; see Documents button above the overview article.)
Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets (Primary source collections exploring topics in history, literature, and culture developed by educators)
The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era: A Digital Primary Source Guide (A topical guide to primary source material from U.S. History Scene, a multimedia history education website composed of historians and educators at over fifty universities dedicated to providing students and teachers with easy access to premier digital resources.)
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Documents Library (the archive also includes documents preceding the IWW founding in 1905)
Library of Congress
Library of Congress U.S. History Primary Source Timeline
Middle Tennessee State University "Teaching with Primary Sources" Resources
Teaching American History Core Document Collections by Era (TAHorg, a project of the Ashbrook Center, Ashland University, is dedicated to supporting students and teachers of U.S. history)
TO SEARCH GOOGLE: Combine your topic search term(s) with the phrase documents OR "primary sources"
To cite a Primary Source, first choose the NoodleTools option that best describes where you found it:
Next, determine what kind of primary source you are citing: