Primary sources are the accounts of eye witnesses who experienced the events being documented. Most of these resources are written or recorded at the time of the event, but primary sources can also include journals and diaries, autobiographies, and oral histories recorded at a later date.
To find books that contain primary sources, search the Library Catalog. When performing a keyword search for your topic, try adding one of the words below to find primary source materials. For example Civil War AND diaries. Also try entering manuscripts, speeches our autobiography.
Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
“To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society, a core group of current and historical Government publications is being made available for free, permanent, public access via GPO Access.” http://www.gpoaccess.gov/coredocs.html
Library of Congress American Memory
“The original formats include manuscripts, prints, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. Each online collection is accompanied by a set of explanatory features designed to make the materials easy to find, use, and understand. Collections may be browsed individually, searched individually (including full-text searching for many written items), or searched across multiple collections.”-Library of Congress: About the Collection. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
A site hosted by the U.S. Dept. of Education containing a listing of 134 resources for primary documents. http://www.free.ed.gov/keywords.cfm?keyword_id=701&res_feature_request=1