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Last Updated: May 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Primary Sources Print Page

Examples of Primary Sources


Sleepy Lagoon Defendents.1944.  UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library   Calisphere.


Davies, Lawrence E.  "Seek Basic Causes of Zoot Suit Fray." New York Times (1923-Current file): 21. Jun 11 1943. ProQuest. Web. 11 Sep. 2013 .

Cover Art
MEMOIRS: Chicano Sin Fin! : memoirs of a Chicano journalist - Joe Olvera
Call Number: PN4874.O64 A3 2007
ISBN: 0977799298
Publication Date: 2007

Songs My Mother Sang to Me - Patricia Preciado Martin
Call Number: GR111.M49 M37 1992
ISBN: 0816513295
Publication Date: 1992-07-01


What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence on a subject.  They are created by someone who experienced the period or event first hand.  Examples include:

  • diaries or correspondence
  • autobiographies and oral histories
  • photographs and illustrations
  • newspaper articles (from the time period)
  • manuscripts
  • pamphlets, broadsides, or other ephemera

Source: What are Primary Sources (Yale University)


Primary Sources: Databases


Primary Sources / Original Research: Sciences

In the sciences a primary source is original research.    Article with primary source, original research include:

  • A methodology
  • Data sets
  • Surveys
  • Clinical Studies

To find articles with primary source, original research in PLOS ONE go to advanced search and select Research article


Primary Sources: Digital Collections

Primary sources on California history from the University of California
Primary sources on U.S. history from the Library of Congress
Primary sources on U.S. History from the National Archives
Primary sources on U.S. History from libraries, archives, and museums around the country.  From Digital Public Library of America

Subject Headings

Do a subject search using the subject headings below to find primary sources in the Library catalog.

  • sources
  • personal narratives
  • oral history
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • autobiography

Google Books

Find historical first editions of books on U.S. and World history using Google Books Advanced Search.  

Search by author and limit your date range to the period they were publishing.


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