Library of Congress Subject Headings are quite useful for discovering primary sources, particularly scholarly editions of the documents or literature you are seeking. A scholar or group of scholars may have spent years or even decades collecting and faithfully transcribing primary sources, and then preparing careful annotations and writing introductory essays to the collection. If you can find scholarly editions, use them!
The following Library of Congress subheadings usually are added to indicate that the material is a primary source: sources, personal narratives, correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, or notebooks. Examples:
China--History--Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1864--sources
China -- History -- Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976 -- Sources.
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 email@example.com.
A small selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.
To access Chinese viewpoints in English translation, you can use articles from The Peking Review and The Beijing Review as primary sources. The Communist Party of the People's Republic of China began publication of this journal in 1958. It consists primarily of English translations of articles and editorials that first appeared in official Chinese-language newspapers and magazines, although some extra content is occasionally provided.
Collins Library owns all issues of The Peking Review from volume one (1958) through volume 21 (1978). Take a look at the catalog record to determine the format available for the dates that you need; you'll see that volumes from 1958 to 1966 are available in microfilm, while volumes from 1967 through 1978 are available in print. The Beijing Review (catalog record) is available in print format.
Both print and microfilm are located on the lower level of the library (see map).
There are several online primary source collections available to you. Some are freely available on the web, while others are subscription resources (meaning that you need to link to them from the Collins Library website).
Pictorial Record of the Qing Dynasty [library subscription]. Consists of four subcollections:
Rivers and Sites. [library subscription]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Claire and Don Egge Collection on China, 1987-1999, includes English-language newspaper clippings from the People's Republic of China, 1987-1990, which focus on political and economic questions and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Also included are books and pamphlets on Chinese education, culture, politics, economics, and business, maps, and similar material collected by an American couple living and teaching for four years in China.