PRIMARY: First hand testimony or direct evidence.
A primary source is information that has not been interpreted, condensed, evaluated, or commented on.
The web has revolutionized access to primary source material. This link is just one place to start searching!
To do searching on your own, search your topic with the phrase "primary sources," and especially look for museums, archives, or educational institutions in the results.
SECONDARY: When an author interprets primary evidence in some way.
A secondary source from one era can become a primary source to another era--if you wanted to know how 19th-century scholars wrote Shakespeare biographies, those biographies would function as primary sources for you even though otherwise, they function as secondary sources.
Books in our Catalog: Search for books in OneSearch (also see above)--limit to "Books" and then "Available in the Library" if you don't want to see ebooks, either.
Books with Re-Printed Primary Sources: Go to Advanced Search to find books with primary source material like this:
Further Book Searching Tips: Notice other subject terms on book record pages you can use as keywords or searches yourself:
TERTIARY: Summaries or overviews of topics and/or collections of sources.
Although tertiary sources such as scholarly encyclopedias are important in starting your research, they are not traditionally cited in the end academic product (such as research papers).
This database is exclusively primary sources.
~NEW~ in Fall 2018
While this will only apply to research from American history during the covered dates, this is still an exciting addition to our offerings! Check it out.