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.
Finding primary sources is a multi-step process. There is no "one-stop-shop" database that will give you everything you need for your paper. Follow these tips:
When searching for primary source collections online, include the following additional phrases with your keywords:
Be aware that digital collections only show a small portion of what an institution holds!
This brief list of selected materials from UD's Special Collections demonstrate the wide range of primary sources available to researchers. This list includes examples of period "professional" literature, artists' books, literature, Delaware authors, personal narratives, broadsides and graphic collections.
It can often be challenging to locate current, contemporary primary sources for your research. Below are some types of primary sources and where you might find access to them. Typically, because these sources have been created recently, the best option is to see if you can see find them where they were produced.
|Types of Primary Sources:||Where you can find them?|
|Social media||Social media platforms|
|Interviews, News Articles, Op-Eds||News outlets|
|Documentaries||Library databases and search engines|
|Government reports||Government websites|
We have the following databases that have current documentaries on a variety of topics. You can also search for documentary videos in our catalog, DELCAT Discovery.
Examples of Documentary Websites:
Consider the following questions and points when evaluating current primary sources.