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Historical (or Humanities) Primary Sources
In humanities disciplines, including history, a primary source:
- Is anything produced by humans during the time period under consideration:
- Texts, whether published (books, articles, patents, transcripts) or unpublished (diaries, notes, manuscripts);
- Imaginative work, such as paintings, music, movies, or novels;
- Visual resources, such as photographs or newsreels;
- Sound recordings, such as interviews;
- Material culture, such as scientific instruments, clothing, or garbage dumps.
Tips for Finding Humanities Primary Sources
- Primo is a good starting point for trying to locate primary sources.
- For older materials, see if you can find a "scholarly edition" or "documentary history." These are collections of carefully chosen primary source materials with introductions and annotations provided by scholars.
- News databases (both current and historical)
- Ask a librarian and/or your professor for suggestions!