Primary Documents: History

A guide for finding primary sources in the Learning Commons or on the web.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents, photos, films, artworks, literature, and other items that were created during a historical moment.

Primary sources may include:

  • Newspaper articles written at the time of an event.
  • Journal or diary entries written by witnesses to or participants in an event.
  • Letters written by people who lived through a historical event or era. 
  • Art works made during a particular historical moment.
  • Legal documents associated with historical legal or political events.
  • Oral histories
  • Speeches 
  • Much more.

This guide is intended to get you started on your search for primary source documents. If you need more guidance, please contact a DCCC librarian.