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What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Archives & Special Collections Hours

Spring 2020 update:

The Archives & Special Collections is currently unable to host in-person researchers. If you need assistance or would like to set up a virtual appointment, please email us at

A small selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.

Primary Sources in Economics

  • Census Bureau
    Latest census bureau data on towns, cities, counties, and states. Includes population, education, income, race, ancestry, housing, and labor. The Census Bureau's datasets can be accessed via American FactFinder
  • World Development Indicators
    Data and statistics from the World Bank, covering social, economic, financial, natural resources, and environmental development indicators.

Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, Economics

The Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary source material documenting life at the University as well as collections representing regional, national and international issues.

A small selection of material is listed below, for additional sources, please contact

The Homer T. Bone papers, 1903-1944, document Bone's political career, including his time in the U.S. Senate (1932-1944) as well as his role in the development of public electrical power in the Pacific Northwest, and regional politics.

The Frank Williston papers, 1924-1966, was a professor at the University of Puget Sound prior to WWII, a specialist in Far Eastern affairs, his papers contain material on the political, historical and economic conditions in China, Japan, Manchuria, Malaya, Burma, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Need Help?

Ben Tucker
Social Sciences Librarian
(253) 879-3667
Office Location: Library 142
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