Library Research Guide
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.
Content Development Librarian
Primary sources can take many forms, including books, diaries, maps, photographs, advertisements, newspapers, films, and more.
Most of the primary sources you need for your research will in books or digitized online in databases or digital archives.
Find books that include primary sources by searching Search It, HathiTrust, or WorldCat.
Combine the primary source terms in the second using the word OR (example: sources OR papers OR letters OR diaries). OR tells the database that you want any of the terms.
K-State Libraries purchased or subscribes to many primary source databases that you can access from the Libraries' website.
Below are a sample of relevant primary source databases. You can find others through K-State Libraries by using the "Primary" tag on our databases page.
Reading the database description and the dates covered will help you decide which one to use.
These databases include many popular and widely read news sources. The articles can help you understand the impact of different technologies and the how social issues were addressed in the media.
These databases include digitized copies of books and pamphlets covering hundreds of years. If you learn about a book or other publication while researching, particularly those published in the U.S. before 1926, you may find a digitized copy in these databases.
Use Artstor to find a good, high quality image of a technology, work of art, or other cultural objects.