By Lura Sanborn - Research & Instruction Librarian May 8th, 2009
Lura Sanborn – Reference Librarian
Gathering primary sources for your Fifth Form paper? Ohrstrom Library offers the following sources and suggestions:
These databases, available through the Library’s website, are those most commonly used by Fifth Formers looking for primary source periodical material.
- London Times – Provides the full-text of this newspaper from 1785-1985.
- Historical Newspaper Collection – Provides the full-text of 6 major U.S. newspapers from 1851 through the early 2000s.
- JSTOR – features a collection of 750+ journals, most dating from at least the 1800s forward. (Note, be sure to watch the date. A recent article on your topic represents current research, not a likely primary source.)
Books – More Primary Source Potential:
You can locate primary sources published in book form by using the following terms as subject searches in the Library’s Online Catalog. Or, conduct a keyword search using one term below combined with your topic (i.e. Correspondence, Darwin; or Sources, Inquisition).
- Personal narratives
Frequently, primary sources are embedded within books considered secondary sources. For example, a book about the Cold War may contain the text of a relevant speech, letter and/or legal document.
Venturing Online – Visit the Library @ Delicious:
The Library has begun collecting high quality websites in its own Delicious account. Click on the “Primary Sources” tag to generate a list of websites housing exceptional collections of primary sources. Top picks are also listed in the Fifth Form paper research guide.
Google Advanced Search Techniques:
As a final online tip, try searching your subject in Google, but first, limit the domain to .edu and add the word archives to your search string. If a University or College library has digitized a special collection in your area of research, this search could help you find it.