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Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.

Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format.

The following are website where educators and students may find primary sources in a variety of formats for their research.

Source: http://www.yale.edu/collections_collaborative/primarysources/primarysources.htm

Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Primary Sources at Yale
http://www.yale.edu/collections_collaborative/primarysources/primarysources.html

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
http://www.gilderlehrman.org/

New York Public Library - Digital Gallery
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm