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Primary Sources for History

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Tips for Searching UC Library Search to find primary sources

1. When doing a keyword search in UC Library Search include terms that describe primary sources such as: personal narratives, diaries, letters, correspondence, maps, pictorial works, memoirs. Even adding the term "sources" to your search can help limit your results to primary sources.

  • Example: American Revolution and personal narratives
  • Example: women and civil war and diaries
  • Example: frontier life and sources
  • Example: Great Britain and history and sources

2. Do an author search in UC Library Search using the name of a person who was instrumental in the event/time period being researched.

  • Example: Franklin, Benjamin
  • Example: Mao, Zedong
  • Example: Roosevelt, Eleanor

3. In the advanced keyword search in UC Library Search limit the date range for when the material was published to the dates an event took place.

  • Example: Spanish American War and limit dates to after 1897 and before 1900
  • Example: French Revolution and limit dates to after 1788 and before 1800