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Primary Sources

So what is a primary source? 


Library of Congress:

"Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience."


American Library Association Reference and User Services Association:

"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons."


This guide will provide examples of different types of primary sources, how to locate them in the UArts Libraries, and links to external sites containing additional information regarding primary sources.


If you need help accessing any of these sources, please contact a librarian!







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Reference Materials 

in Print


Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008.

Greenfield Reference 001.4 B644c 2008 

Music Library Reference LB2369 .B66 2008 


Hacker, Diana, Nancy I. Sommers, Thomas Robert. Jehn, Jane Rosenzweig, and Van Horn, Marcy. Carbajal. A Writer's Reference. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009.

Greenfield Reference 808.02 H115w 2009 


Reference Materials




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.