Primary sources "include all materials produced by people. They include obvious sources like diaries, letters, speeches, government documents, contemporary publications, laws, police and court records, maps, newspapers, and photographs.
"Remember, however, that there are other primary sources too: public opinion polls, telephone directories, coins, inscriptions, advertisements, business records, works of art, city directories, poetry, music, buildings, statues, organizational minutes, railroad schedules, birth, marriage, and death records, novels, political debates, films, furniture, and tombstones. This list is far from exhaustive." (From the UMW History and American Studies' Primary Sources web page.)
While writing research papers, you may need to:
♦ List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and
♦ Provide either footnotes or endnotes.
Here's a useful guide:
When looking for primary sources related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library:
Note: A volume (usually the last) of many subject encyclopedia sets is frequently devoted to significant documents and related primary sources. See also the bibliographies / notes in books and journal articles. These references often include primary as well as secondary materials.
A subject heading in the Library's online catalog with the subdivision "sources" will pick up primary sources on that subject (e.g., "Germany--History--1933-1945--Sources"). Using a keyword search, combine your topic with "sources." For first-person accounts, try "personal narratives." With people's names you can use "diaries" and "correspondence." Other terms are "interviews" and "archival resources." For an excellent, entertaining article on subdivisions and how researchers can "finesse their keyword searches," see "Amazing, Magic Searches!" (by Becky Kornegay, Heidi Buchanan, and Hiddy Morgan), published in the November 1, 2005, issue of Library Journal. See also the subject headings and subdivisions handout on the Class Handouts page.
Note: See also the bibliographies / notes in your various resources (both print and online). These references often include primary as well as secondary material.