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History

A guide to help students research historical topics.

Finding Primary Documents

Historians rely on primary material such as manuscripts, letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, speeches, and maps, to learn about and analyze the past. The MacPhaidin Library has many such primary sources in it's collection and countless others are available online.

Primary Source Collections:

  • Library Primary Source Materials -  (print materials and electronic books) - use HillSearch, the library's catalog, to search for primary source materials in our collection. Adding terms such as "sources", "narrative", "oral history", "letters" or "correspondence" to your search terms might help narrow the results set to primary source materials.
  • Library Primary Source Databases - (materials available in library databases) The Library's Alexander Street Press databases provide access to tens of thousands of primary source resources arranged in specific collections. Those collections include those focusing on The Civil War, American immigrants, women and social movements and more. Read the descriptions of the individual collections to find one that suits your research needs.
  • Online Primary Sources/American History - (resources freely available on the internet) The pages on this primary source guide  were designed to help you locate primary sources related to American History by providing links to approximately 200 digital collections. This primary source guide has been organized chronologically. Navigate to the appropriate historical era using the tabs at the top of the page. On the pages for each historical era, links have been arranged alphabetically and contain a brief description to help you determine which collection might be helpful in your research
  • Online Primary Sources/World History - (resources freely available on the internet) The pages on this primary source guide  were designed to help you locate primary sources related to World History by providing links to dozens of digital collections. This primary source guide has been organized  geographically. Navigate to the appropriate geographic area using the tabs at the top of the page. On the pages for each geographic area, links have been arranged alphabetically and contain a brief description to help you determine which collection might be helpful in your research
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