chat loading...
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.

Hist480: Senior Thesis: Primary Sources

Who might be interested in your topic?

Think about:

  • Local libraries (public or academic)
  • Historical societies
  • Library of Congress

Visit their home pages. Have they digitized materials? If they haven't digitized, have they published Finding Aids (which give you a good sense of what materials are contained in their collections)?

More Primary Sources

Collected/Published Works

When searching a database of books, whether the catalog or Google Books or WorldCat:

  • Keywords to use in searches: diaries / journals / sources / personal narratives / correspondence / letters
  • Also, look for these words in subject headings, and follow the subject links.

Contemporary Publications

Pamphlets / Newsletters / Newspapers


  • Google Books makes all pre-1923 books available for download.

Oral Histories

Oral histories (usually collected through interviews) are an increasingly popular method to preserve the past. Examples are below:

Government Records/Documents

The U.S. government is one of the most prolific publishers in the world. Nearly every aspect of life is touched by government activity, and it is a publisher of all types of materials (statistics; reports; legislation; etc).

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Rebecca Seipp
JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.
MSIS, Information Science
The University of Texas at Austin
BA, History
Southwestern University