• Primary Sources


    What is a Primary Source?

    Primary sources are original materials. It is a source of information that was created at the time you are studying. They are original materials on which other research is based. They can be physical, print or electronic formats.


    Some examples of primary sources:


    - Artifacts

    - Audio recordings

    - Diaries / Journals

    - Interviews (oral histories, etc.)

    - Newspaper articles written at the time

    - Original documents (trial transcripts, etc.)

    - Records of organizations

    - Proceedings of meetings

    - Works of art

    - Photographs

    Primary Source Databases


    ProQuest Historical Newspapers for Students

    A subscription database in the JPC collection.


    Brooklyn Daily Eagle

    Digital copies of the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Search back issues from 1841-1902.


    American Memory Project

    Resources from the Library of Congress


    In the First Person

    Index letters, diaries, oral histories, and personal narratives.


    Digital History

    An annotated selection of primary sources.

    Topical Primary Sources 

    Lewis and Clark



    Lewis & Clark and Mountain Men

    Mountain Men

    Gold Rush

    Documents from American Memory Project

    Louisiana Purchase
    The Dawes Act

    Slavery Issues

    Digital Quaker Collection (Good for Slavery topics, Underground Railroad, abolitionist)

    Amistad Trials

    Dred Scott

    John Brown

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Civil War Related

    Documenting the American South

    Eyewitness to History

    Civil War topics

    Native Americans
    Wounded Knee
    Indian Removal

    Biographical Resources

    Mark Twain in His Times

    Thomas Jefferson

    Mark Twain Letters

    Women's Issues

    American Women's History (various topics)

    Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment

    Additional Information on Primary Sources

    Using Primary Sources on the Web

    Primary Source Directory