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HIST 451 - Senior Seminar Prep - Dr. Alvis Dunn - Spring 2023: Primary Source Material and Thesis Ideas: Digitized Primary Source Collections

Your one stop shop for online sources for your Senior Capstone.

Ramsey Library Database

Another good place to check for primary sources is:

Primary Source Collections from Ramsey Library's Databases

This is the filtered list of every primary source containing database we have access to.

Additional Online Research Tools and Aids

National Archives and Records Administration Genealogy ...


Digitized Primary Source Collections

Online Finding Aids at Western Regional Archives: Digitized Finding Aids and materials on some of their most popular collections, including American Enka Company and French Broad Lodge.

Library of Congress Digital Collections: Newspapers, photographs, documents, and other materials from the Library of Congress's extensive collections

Making of America: The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction

Documenting the American South: Contains texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture, from the University of North Carolina libraries

The National Park Service Online GalleryA comprehensive library of NPS images, video, audio, maps, presentations, documents and more.

Cold War International History Project: From the Wilson Center

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History: A directory of primary sources sites compiled by Brigham Young University

World Digital Library- Provides free access to maps, photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings, and documents from around the globe

Primary Sources from DocsTeach: Thousands of online primary source documents from the National Archives to bring the past to life 

The National Archives Catalog: Find online primary source material from The National Archive's Online Catalog

Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents in American History

Duke University's American Slavery Documents: A collection curated over time around the singular topic of American Slavery

Gender, Culture, and the Economy in the Post-War United States: J. Walter Thompson Co. advertising agency for Ford Motor Co. during World War II- this digital collection represents all of the print advertising prepared for Ford and could be used to explore the intersection of gender and consumer culture during the postwar period in the United States

Feminist Movements, 1880s to the Present: Duke University Online Guide documenting feminist movements at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture in the Rubenstein Library

What is a Primary Source?

Essentially, a primary source is a first-hand account created during the time period being studied. These include newspapers, letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, photographs, autobiographies, memoirs, posters, film footage and audio recordings.

By comparison, a secondary source is generally interpretive, analytical or evaluative. These include scholarly books and articles, biographies, and encyclopedia entries.