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What are Primary Sources?
A primary source is a source of information, such as
document, recording, or artifact, that has a direct connection to a
person from a period of time. Examples of primary documents are
correspondence, diaries, memoirs or oral interviews.
A secondary source uses primary sources to create their argument. Examples of secondary sources are books or journal articles.
Primary Sources on the Web
Library of Congress- American History Collections
Ever-expanding Historical Collections from the National Digital Library, are taken from the Library of Congress special collections and consist of primary source and archival materials relating to US history and culture. [Reviewed]
The portal into the U.S.'s National Archives, click on "Start your Research" to investigate research paths and see what they make available online.
Chronicling America: Library of Congress
Collection of late 19th/early 20th century newspapers
DocsTeach: Digital Vaults
From the Foundation of the National Archives, this site allows you to browse or search for historical documents that span U.S. history.
U.S. Department of State - Office of the Historian
This site offers searchable collections (sometimes in full-text format, other times only in bibliographic format) of historical documents pertaining to foreign relations in the United States during the Kennedy, up to the Ford administration. Go to the 'Historical Documents' page to browse the resources by theme, by chronology, or by volumes, as they were published.
George Mason University - History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web
This site offers a searchable and browsable collection of digital primary source archives available through the open web.
Yale Law School , Lillian Goldman Law Library - Avalon Project
This site offers primary documents important to the field of law, such as agreements, treaties, accords, hearings, etc. Browse through their twentieth century collection, or search through the site for specific keywords that reflect your topic of interest.
Central Intelligence Agency - Freedom of Information Act
Search through the titles of documents that have been made available by the Freedom of Information Act. Note that these items are not full-text.
Making of America from Cornell University
Digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.
Making of America from University of Michigan
Done in collaboration with Cornell, a digital library collection of primary sources from 1850 - 1877, concerning American history from antebellum through reconstruction periods. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.
Forest History Society's Environmental History Bibliography
**Please copy and paste this URL into a new browser window as we cannot direct link non-https:// sites** http://prestohost26.inmagic.com/Presto/home/home.aspx
Search for digitized government and private publications, as well as audio and video resources.
HathiTrust Digital Library
Search for digitized books and other works. Note, not all items in the collection are available for full-text access.