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Humanities Core Course: Primary Sources


Primary Sources

Power figure, nkisi nkondi (Kongo)

Primary Sources are "documents, images, or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence of the topic under humanistic investigation... these sources are original documents or artifacts that were created at a particular moment in time and are often intimately related to their author or maker."  - Humanities Core Handbook, Chapter 1

Image: Power figure, nkisi nkondi, oblique side view. 19th century. Artstor

Primary Source Portals

Digital Primary Source Collections

The most comprehensive and updated listing of the library's streaming media options are found on our Streaming Media Research Guide. 

As a student, you are not limited to the library's holdings of streaming media content for your research project. If you have access to other streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Apple, etc., you are welcome to use films and media you find through those platforms as well. You may also use any media or film that you personally have access to in another way (e.g. Bluray, DVD, etc). 

Try searching for a book title in Library Search first - UCI Libraries has access to many electronic books through multiple platforms. 

For more information about the library's various e-book collections, visit our eBook Research Guide.

General places to look for digitized books and texts

Special Topics - also see the "Sources by Topic" tab

Early and Historical texts

Also see the "Sources by Topic" tab

There are several more comprehensive guides for finding newspaper sources:

Current News (last 20 years)

Historical News 

Special Collections and Archives

Digitized Primary Source Collections at UCI

Many of the digitized primary sources from both UC Irvine as well as our sister campuses can be found in Calisphere. This is a good place to start.

Links for searching and viewing UCI's Primary Sources

Here you can search for material to request to view in person once the library reopens.   

Please refer to the pages below to learn more about when you can visit or contact to make inquiries about collection availability.