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Primary Sources   Tags: primary_sources  

A basic explanation of what primary sources are, a description of the characteristics of primary sources.
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Primary Sources: Tutorials

  • UC Irvine: Introduction to Primary Sources
    A basic explanation of what primary sources are, a description of the characteristics of primary sources, specific examples of primary sources, and an explanation of how primary sources differ from secondary and tertiary sources.

UC Merced Library Links


UCSD: What is a Primary Source?

Primary Source Databases & WebSites

  • Ad Access Project
    An image database of over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspa
  • American Women's History
    American Women's History provides citations to print and Internet reference sources, as well as to selected large primary source collections.
  • ARTstor
    ARTstor is an ever-growing digital library of over one million images of art, architecture and archeology from a wide range of cultures and time periods to support teaching and learning in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record
    The approximately 1,235 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery.
  • Calisphere
    A free public gateway to thousands of digitized primary sources - including photographs, documents, newspaper clippings, works of art - from UC museums and libraries and other cultural heritage institutions across California.
  • Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) 1950s and 1960s
    Freely available digital archive of historical new film, digital collections, reference materials, editorial cartoons, transcripts, diaries etc. documenting the civil rights movements. Browse and search capabilities are available. Provided by the University of Georgia.
  • Early American Imprints Series I: Evans
    A major collection of 17th and 18th century books and pamphlets based on Charles Evans American Bibliography. (Use Series II for 1801-1819.) The definitive resource for every aspect of life in 17th- and 18th-century America, from agriculture and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy, literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary War, temperance, witchcraft, and more
  • Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker
    1801-1819. Covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States, this primary source collection provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first 19 years of the nineteenth centu
  • Empire Online
    A collection of original documents relating to Empire Studies from 1492 - 2007 sourced from libraries and archives around the world.
  • Everyday Life and Women in America
    Rare primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History, Duke University and The New York Public Library. Comprises thousands of fully searchable images (alongside transcriptions) of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes.
  • Founders Early Access (From National Archives and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities)
    5,000 previously unpublished documents from our nation's founders including letters and other papers penned by important figures such as James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Gerritsen Collection Women's History Online
    (1543-1945) Trace the evolution of feminism by using digital images from more than 4,700 books, periodicals, letters, diaries and pamphlets from Europe, the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. Contains over two million page images of primary sources.
  • In the First Person
    A landmark index to English language personal narratives, including letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories.
    Search by subject or browse full text of more than 500 scholarly journals in social sciences, humanities, and sciences, to their earliest issues. Many titles extend as far back as late 19th or early 20th centuries; most recent 3-5 years not included.
  • Political Americana
    The Cornell University Collection of Political Americana is comprised of approximately 5,500 Presidential promotional and commemorative items dating from 1789 to 1980. The collection contains political materials in a variety of formats, including cartoons, prints, and posters; lapel buttons, ribbons, textiles, hats, and other costume items; ballots, broadsides, leaflets, and other ephemera; pamphlets and other formal publications; sheet music and songbooks; and a variety of three-dimensional ite
  • The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960-1974
    The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960-1974 brings the 1960s alive through diaries, letters, autobiographies and other memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia and scholarly commentary.
  • World Digital Library
    The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The objectives of WDL include intercultural understanding and partnerships as well as providing resources for educators and scholars.
  • World War II Posters
    The World War II Poster Project was created by the HIST100 class at Bucknell University during the Fall 2006 semester. Students worked in pairs to research and present one of the posters found in Special Collections/University Archives from World War II.

Resource Access and Instruction Librarian

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Susan Mikkelsen
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UC Merced Library
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
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