Primary sources are original written or physical items created in the time period being studied. Historians use primary sources as the evidence about the past from which they build their historical scholarship. The book or article written by the historian is the secondary source which has been based on analysis of primary sources.
Examples of Primary Sources are:
• Ephemera (theatre programs, leaflets, posters, broadsides, etc.)
• Government or Institutional Records
• Original Works of Art (plays, manuscripts, paintings, musical compositions, etc.)
• Personal records
• Newspaper or Magazine articles published at the time under question
Learn more about Primary Sources in the library databases in our guide.
The links below are a sampling, and by no means exhaustive list, of online resources which provide access to primary source documents.
Dying Speeches and Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides (Harvard Law Schools Library)
Fashion Plate Collection (University of Washington Libraries)
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook (Fordham University)
Perseus Digital Library (Tufts University)
PALMM - Publication of Archival, Library, & Museum Materials (State University Libraries of Florida)
U.S. Historical Documents (University of Oklahoma)