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HIST 091: Senior Research Seminar (SC)

History 091: Senior Research Seminar (Azfar and Burke, Fall 2017)

Primary Sources: where to look and how to find them

There is no single comprehensive place to find primary sources. Instead, there are various websites, books, and other resources useful for finding primary sources of different kinds. Each page linked below contains some recommendations.

Want recommendations for your research project? Email the librarian working with History 91, Sarah Elichko, at selichk1@swarthmore.edu

Key Resources

Search strategy: use bibliographies to identify primary sources

Start by using Tripod to find a recently published scholarly book related to your research interests, written by an historian. The bibliography will likely separate the author's sources by type.

For example, look at this bibliography from Our Separate Ways: Women and the Black Freedom Movement in Durham, North Carolina. The author includes a list of archives she visited and periodicals (e.g. magazines, organizational newsletters, newspapers), among other sources.

So by finding a scholarly book related to your topic, you might be able to identify a specific newspaper or magazine, an online database, or an archive - related to your research interests - that you could visit or use.