Primary sources are written documents, oral testimonies, visual objects, and digital materials produced by authors and artists from the historical period you are studying. Some examples include, but are not limited to, diaries, notebooks, letters, newspapers, interviews, paintings, photographs, maps, tools, instruments, drawings, and more recently tweets, blogs, websites, and social media platforms. For a more detailed look at primary sources, see Western Libraries’ research guide Primary Source Literacy.
The best place to start looking for primary sources is by surveying the references in your secondary sources. Look over the footnotes and bibliographies of the scholarly books and journal articles on your subject. After you have identified citations pertinent to your research, you can search for them in the Library Catalogue (OMNI).
You can search for primary sources – especially books – in the Library Catalogue (OMNI). Here are a few search strategies to guide you.