What are Primary Sources?
Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources, which are produced some time after an event, and serve to analyze or interpret primary sources. More information.
Using Outdated Terms in Searching
When conducting searches in historical primary sources, you may need to use terms used in the documents themselves during that time period. Sometimes these terms are derogratory, offensive, and hurtful by today's standards.
For the English terms: "Africans" "Blacks," you may need to use "Negro" or "Negroes"
For the German terms:"Afrikaner" or "Schwarzen," you may need to use "Neger" or "Mohren" (which comes from the Moors)
Primary Source Databases
Finding Primary Source Materials in Library Catalog
Additional primary source materials can be found by searching Libraries Search. Enter one of the terms below and keywords of the event as subject keywords.
- "personal narratives"
- "documentary film"