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Primary Resources

Guide to Primary Sources

"Students and researchers now have greater access to primary source materials for historical research than ever before. The traditional use of sources available in print and microfilm continues to be the foundation for research, but in some cases documents, letters, maps, photographs of ancient artifacts and other primary material are available online in different formats from free websites or subscription services on the internet. Users of primary sources have always needed to examine their sources critically, but now with the proliferation of electronic resources from a wide variety of web site producers, evaluation is more important than ever before. Users of web resources must now consider the authenticity of documents, what person or organization is the internet provider, and whether the electronic version serves their needs. This brief guide is designed to provide students and researchers with information to help them evaluate the internet sources and the quality of primary materials that can be found online."

Primary vs. Secondary sources

Sometimes it is important to differentiate between Primary and Secondary Sources; since the the difference is often contextual, it can be hard to tell. Check the link below from the Borough of Manhattan Community College Libraries below for some clarification and examples.

General Primary Resource Databases

General Open Web Resources US Atlantic

Online Digital Collections

Africa Related Primary Resource Databases

Art Related

Black Studies Related Primary Resource Databases

China Related Primary Resources

Civil War Related Primary Resource Databases

Classics Related

Cold War Related Primary Resource Databases

Early New England Related

Economics Related

English & Literature Related Primary Resource Databases

Europe Related Primary Resources

Government Documents

Historical Magazines

Historic Newspapers

Immigration & Emigration Related Primary Resources

Latin American & Caribbean Related Primary Resource Databases

Legal Documents

Media, Cinema, and Entertainment

Medical Related Primary Resource Databases

Medieval & Classics Related Primary Resource Databases

Middle East Related Primary Resource Databases

Music Related

Native American Related Primary Resource Databases

Ohio Related Primary Resources

Personal Narrative, Diaries, Letters & Memoir Related Primary Resource Databases

Philosophy Related

Political Science Related Primary Resource Databases

Popular Culture Related Primary Resource Databases

Queer Studies Related Primary Resource Databases

Religion Related Primary Resource Databases