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Primary Sources

General help with finding primary sources at UD and beyond.


Welcome to our research guide on primary sources!

Use the navigation tabs on the side of the page to find out more information on what a primary source is, search tips, primary source collections located at UD, and how to cite sources correctly. It can often be helpful to think about what primary sources might be available to you at the beginning of the project. 

Questions? Contact the Librarians and Archivists who are located on the pages!

What is a Primary Source?

word cloud of primary source types including photographs, music, newspapers, maps, reports

Primary Sources are: 

  • A first-hand account or testimony of the past, written during that present moment

  • Something that describes the reactions or thoughts of a particular time period

Primary Sources are vastly different across a variety of disciplines, but the basic definition of what a primary source is stays the same - a testimony or an account describing reactions or thoughts from a particular time. How these testimonies take shape is what changes across disciplines.