Resouce Guide for Primary Sources

It is easy to be confused about the difference between primary sources and secondary sources. In her excellent book, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History , Rampolla defines primary sources as:

...materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration, either as participants or witnesses... Some primary sources are written documents, such as letters, diaries, newspaper and magazine articles, speeches, autobiographies, treatises, census data... works of art, films, recordings, items of clothing, household objects, tools, and archaeological remains... By examining primary sources, historians gain insights into the thoughts, behaviors, and experiences of the people of the past.

Find Articles & Databases
Many of our databases contain primary sources-- try looking for a historical newpaper article or photograph from the time period, a speech, interview, & more.

Find Books
Search for books at Bryant, books available through the library catalog, or order books using InterLibrary Loan. Books are also great primary sources -- try looking for autobiographies, personal narratives, correspondence, diaries, speeches, & more.

Recommended Websites
The Web is full of primary sources that have been digitized by museums, libraries, & other institutions.

How to Cite Your Paper
Get help creating a works cited page or doing parenthetical citations.

Bryant Logo

For further assistance, contact:
Maura Keating, Research and Instruction Librarian
(401) 232-6299 or IM a Librarian

Subject Specialities:
Arts - History - Global Studies - Latin American Studies - Literature - Mathematics - Web Evaluation