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Ekstrom Library

Primary Sources: Finding Primary Sources

Describes what primary sources are and how they vary by discipline.

How Do I Find Primary Sources?

Finding a primary source is discipline specific. Each UofL subject guide has a tab labelled Primary Sources where you can find a list of primary sources in that specific subject area. Below are a few general ways of finding primary sources and a list of some websites that gather data about collections of primary sources.

  • UofL's online library catalog can be used to find Primary Sources. Keywords such as "papers," "records," "letters," "diaries," "manuscripts," and "narratives" would be the best words to add along with your topic to find historical documents or first-person accounts.
  • UofL subscribes to a number of databases that contain the full-text of primary source documents such as Early English Books Online, North American Women's Letters and Diaries, and the online archive of the New York Times.

Additional Open Archival Collections

Guides to UofL Archival Primary Sources