A multimedia web site of digitized historical documents, photographs, sound recordings, moving pictures, books, pamphlets, maps, and other resources from the Library of Congress’s vast holdings.
What Is a Primary Source?
"Anything that has been created by a person who witnessed or experienced an event as a contemporary would be a primary source. Examples of primary sources would include letters, diaries, autobiographies, and contemporary documents such as newspaper articles, government documents, and oral histories." --Tim Watts
1. Enter search terms that describe your topic (example: Japanese Americans) in one box.
2. Enter search terms for primary sources in a second box. Possible terms include:
Combine the primary source terms using the word OR (example: sources OR papers OR letters OR diaries)
Primary Sources in Databases
These databases are good starting points for primary source materials.
We have many more databases with primary source materials. Find them by using the "Primary" tag on our databases page. Each database includes a description so you can decide if the material is relevant to your research.
These databases cover a diversity of publications and time periods and are typically digitized copies of documents, so that you can see them in as close to their original form as possible.
Publication Dates Covered: 1500 - 1955 Paid for by K-State Libraries
Artemis is a tool that allows users to search multiple primary source databases, including: Archives Unbound, British Library Newspapers, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers, Sabin Americana, 1500 - 1926, and the Times Digital Archive.
Provides online access to millions of records, maps, photos, and documents held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the nation’s official record keeper. Note: This database is currently being developed by NARA. It will eventually replace NARA’s Archival Records Catalog and perhaps its Access to Archival Databases system. At present, it does not include all the content available through those systems. For more information about its scope, see NARA’s About Online Public Access page.
Publication Dates Covered: 1600-2000 Paid for by K-State Libraries
Examines perspectives on women’s social movements from colonial times to the present. Brings together books, images, documents, scholarly essays, commentaries, and bibliographies, documenting the multiplicity of women’s activism in public life.
A growing digital image library offering searchable collections of images and descriptive information. Covers many time periods, cultures, and the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, anthropology, and ethnographic and women’s studies, as well as many other forms of visual culture. Best viewed in Internet Explorer. Enable browser pop-ups in order to use all the features of Artstor.
35,000 individual tracks of music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds. World Music, Smithsonian Folkways, historical speeches, poets and authors reading their own works, an extensive children’s collection (kindergarten through middle school).