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I Am Looking for Primary Sources
In the arts and humanities a primary source is a source created during the historical period being studied. It documents the subject of study in some way. In the sciences "primary source" refers to an original research study.
This page focuses on primary sources for the arts and humanities. Examples of such primary sources include:
||Letters, diaries, and scrapbooks
(research data, statistics,
congressional transcripts, laws, etc.)
|Personal accounts, autobiographies, memoirs
|Images and museum artifacts
|Data from scientific experiments
Other types of information may also be primary sources if they are analyzed for their historical or cultural significance. You can use this tool from Library of Congress to Use this tool to record your responses to a primary source.
Video Explaining - Primary & Secondary Sources
This short video explains primary and secondary sources.
Library Databases with Primary Sources
The following databases are recommended for finding primary sources. Many also include secondary or tertiary sources.
Access to these online subscription resources is restricted to NWACC students, faculty, and staff. Please use your My NWACC Connection login credentials if prompted.
Academic Video Online This link opens in a new windowAcademic Video Online: Premium is Alexander Street's most comprehensive video subscription. Launched in 2013, this expansive resource comprises the full content of dozens of video collections and bonus discipline clusters, and grows by 7,000 titles each year.
Access World News This link opens in a new window NewsBank's Access World News database features full-text articles from national and world newspapers and transcripts of broadcast news reports. The database includes full text from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (2015-present), Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (1994-present), Arkansas Times (2004-present), Arkansas Traveler (2004-present), Benton County Daily Record (2001-2015), Morning News of Northwest Arkansas (2004-2009), Northwest Arkansas Times (2001-2015), Rogers Morning News (2009-2015), and Springdale Morning News (2009-2015).
American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection This link opens in a new windowA comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1684 and 1912. 50 thematic collections from the American Antiquarian Society may be searched separately or in combination. Full-text results include digitized images of magazines and journals covering advertising, health, women's issues, science, the history of slavery, industry and professions, religious issues, culture and the arts, and more.
Britannica Academic This link opens in a new window Delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information. The rich combination of the insightful Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough research—all from one resource.
JSTOR Arts & Sciences I & V This link opens in a new window Provides access to the highest-quality academic journals, books, and primary sources in art and art history, classical studies, history, language and literature, music, philosophy, and political science. Collections on JSTOR include the complete archival record of each journal. Coverage begins at the first volume and issue of the journal ever published, and extends up to a publication date usually set in the past three to five years.
Online Free Primary Sources
Search Google Books.
If your topic relates to an event that occurred before 1925, there are likely relevant primary sources available in the public domain. Google Books has digitized and made available many such books.
Search for a specific work or for a general topic. Note, however, that Google Books also lists resources that are only available to preview. Look for resources with publication dates before 1925 and with a Read Preview link. The Advanced Book Search allows you to limit to Full view only books.