Primary sources

Primary sources are original documents and objects created at the time of an event, such as a newspaper account, photographs, or videos. Primary sources may also include diaries, memoirs, interviews, and other records that document a past event.

Digitized primary sources

This is a listing of some of the primary source databases to which the library provides access, as well as some open source collections. See also primary source databases.

Afghanistan Digital Collections
Find unique collection of documents related to Afghanistan history, culture, and its development. Most documents are in English or the principal languages of Pashto and Dari. Includes two newspapers: Anis and Kabul Times.

American Periodicals
Find articles from special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals from 1740.

Adam Matthew AM Explorer
Find primary source materials from digital collections on American Indians, the American West, China, the Middle East, Latin America, gender studies, early modern women writers, Virginia Company and more, published by Adam Matthew Digital.

Archives Unbound
Find historical documents, including women's issues, health policy, film studies, the American Indian Movement, Mexican history, Afghanistan and the United States, records of the Persian Gulf War, and the U.S. Middle East Peace Policy. Note: Click on Collections in upper right menu to see those we have available.

Border and Migration Studies Online
Find a collection of texts, videos, images and historical documents that explores and provides historical context on many worldwide border areas, including the U.S. and Mexico.

ProQuest Congressional
Find Congressional reports, bills, hearings, committee prints, serial set maps, and other documents. Check out our tutorial for ProQuest Congressional.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets
Find digitized primary source collections, along with teaching guides on a variety of topics.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
Find full-text English-language and foreign-language titles covering multiple disciplines printed in Great Britain from 1701 to 1800. Check out our tutorial for Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Search a wide range of digitized materials, subjects, and time periods from U.S. history.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Find primary source collections from the 19th century, including monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, and statistics. To select a specific archive, use the drop-down on the left side of the search form.

Other types of primary sources

See our guides to finding other types of sources:


Using Primary Sources on the Web - American Library Association
Learn how to identify, find, and evaluate primary sources.

Primary Sources: Analyzing a Photo - UA Special Collections
Learn to analyze primary sources, such as historic photos. 

Frequently asked questions