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"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical
events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral
histories. ... These sources serve as the raw
material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with
previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources
necessary for historical research."
The vast majority of primary sources remain available
only in paper.
Types of primary sources:
objects and/or artifacts
Hofheimer Library owns some runs of the 19th century periodicals Harper's Weekly and Littel's Living Age, which will be of interest as primary source material for a variety of history projects. Harper's covers some of the 1850's and late 1860's through just past 1900. The library already has coverage of the Civil War years, 1861-65, and Reconstruction and researchers will need to see a librarian for assistance. Littel's Living Age runs 1844 through 1851, and 1861-1865, and these can be found in the First Floor Periodicals section.
Also of interest to students working on Civil War topics is our collection of Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, which was pro-South in its reporting on the Civil War. Hofheimer has 4 volumes, 1862-65.
The Gale Primary Sources cross-search interface provides access to The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003, and The Times (London) Digital Archive, 1785-2012. Does not include access to the Sunday Times.
Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law from HeinOnline provides access to information about slavery and abolition movements in the United States, Great Britain, and throughout the English-speaking world. The collection includes colonial-era, federal, and state slavery statutes, pamphlets, and other historical documents, as well as scholarly articles, judicial cases, and selected publications from the University of North Carolina Press's slavery collection.
The Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. Offers access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
A digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.
The National Security Archive is an independent, non-governmental research institute and library at George Washington University, which collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act.