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.)
Newspapers are often excellent primary sources. Be sure to check the Newspaper Articles guide, authored by Emeritus Librarian Jack Bales.
Also be sure to check the UMW History and American Studies Resources page.
Simpson LIbrary's Special Collections and University Archives includes a collection of rare books and archival materials relating to the history of the Fredericksburg area and of the institution. Access is by appointment only at this time. To make an appointment, call (540) 654-1752 or email
Our Digital Collections include collections of photographs, materials relating to James Farmer, oral histories compiled by university faculty and students, and a rich array of other items. You can search through digitized versions of the Battlefield, the Bullet, Blue & Gray Press, and other publications using Eagle Explorer.
The DIgital Archiving Lab in room 322 of the Hurley Convergence Center has specialized equipment for scanning and preserving materials from our collections or for projects in History and American Studies courses.