Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Finding Primary Sources
Finding primary source material for your topic is easier than you might think.
Many primary sources can be found in the Harbor College Library within books, encyclopedias, or as reprints of the original source.
Many more can be found on reputable websites from universities, government sites, and library websites.
Subheadings used by the Library of Congress to designate primary sources
- Caricatures and cartoons
- Early works to 1800
- Newspapers [e.g., African Americans--Newspapers]
- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
- Personal narratives (used in relation to specific events only)
- Pictorial works
- Songs and music
- Speeches, addresses, etc.
Finding Primary Sources in Books
Search the library catalog using your topic, but add the word "sources," both searched as subject keywords.
Basic Search for Books and eBooks
Advanced Search for Books and eBooks
Finding Sources on the Web
American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
Primary source and archival materials covering topics such as art and architecture, performing arts, technology and applied sciences.
American Presidency Project
Search thousands of documents related to historical and current U.S. presidencies, such as speeches, official papers, executive orders, proclamations, news conferences, and press briefings.
Digitized images including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts that reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
Making of America (Cornell University)
Primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.
Search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published from 1690-present.
Documenting the American South
Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a a project at UNC-Chapel HIll that provides online access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.