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Primary Sources at Cowles
Cowles Library subscribes to a number of useful primary source collections (and we even have some of our own!)
Artemis Primary Sources This link opens in a new window
Combines Gale databases into one searchable environment. Also provides features such as term clusters, term frequency and popularity, detailed subject indexing, annotation and tagging features, along with an easier and more dynamic search.
Chicago Tribune (Proquest Historical Newspapers) This link opens in a new window
Digital version of the Chicago Tribune (1849-1989).
Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639 - 1800 (Readex) This link opens in a new window
Searchable books, pamphlets, broadsides and other documents allow you to explore America's distant and not so distant past.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online This link opens in a new window
Every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in Great Britain during the eighteenth century, along with thousands of important works from the Americas.
Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines This link opens in a new window
Collection of historical documents allows you to browse and search HarpWeek's collection of 19th century journals.
Making of the Modern World, 1450-1914 This link opens in a new window
Archive of primary sources that track the development of the modern, western world through the lens of trade and wealth from 1450-1914.
Newspaper Source Plus This link opens in a new window
Newspapers, television and radio news transcripts.
New York Times (Proquest Historical Newspapers) This link opens in a new window
Full-text including scanned digital images of the New York Times, 1851-2009
Nineteenth Century Collections Online This link opens in a new window
These archives explore the ‘long’ nineteenth century’s diplomatic interactions, evolving education system, religious reform and social revolutions, and more, all while capturing the human experience through the unique intersections of gender, race, and socio-economic status.
Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers This link opens in a new window
This archive serves as a true portrait of the U.S. nation through the 19th century and contains primary source newspaper content. Every aspect of society and every region of the nation is found in the archive - rural & urban, large cities & small town, coast to coast & beyond. Includes major newspapers as well as those published by African Americans, Native Americans, women's rights groups, labor groups, the Confederacy, and other groups
Dickens Letters This link opens in a new window
The Letters of Charles Dickens, (1820-1870) 2nd edition.
What are Primary Sources?
What are Primary Sources? Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence about a topic or question under investigation.
They are typically created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Primary sources are often created at the time the events or conditions are occurring, but they can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.
Primary vs. Secondary Sources
What are they?
- Original, first-hand account of an event or time period
- Original, creative writing or works of art
- Usually written or created during or close to the event or time period
- Not interpretive
- Analyzes and interprets primary sources
- Second-hand account of an historical event
- Interprets creative work
- Report of scientific discoveries
- Results of experiments
- Results of clinical trials
- Social and political science research results
- Factual, not interpretive
- Analyzes and interprets research results
- Analyzes and interprets scientific discoveries
- Diaries, journals, and letters
- Newspaper and magazine articles (factual accounts)
- Government records (census, marriage, military)
- Photographs, maps, postcards, posters
- Recorded or transcribed speeches
- Interviews with participants or witnesses (e.g., The Civil Rights Movement)
- Interviews with people who lived during a particular time (e.g., genocide in Rwanda)
- Songs, plays, novels, stories
- Paintings, drawings, and sculptures
- Literary criticism
- Books and articles presenting the research of others
- Published results of research studies
- Published results of scientific experiments
- Published results of clinical trials
- Proceedings of conferences and meetings
- Publications about the significance of research or experiments
- Analysis of a clinical trial
- Review of the results of several experiments or trials
||“Song of Myself” (Poem)
||Journal article about the poem’s historical importance
||Results of clinical trial to treat ADD by modifying diet
||Book about ways to treat childhood ADD without drugs
||U.S. Census Statistics
||Book about suburban population changes in U.S.
||Text of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech
||Journal article about King's role in the Civil Rights Movement
||Ding Darling cartoons
||Magazine article about political cartoonists of the 20th century
||Diary of Anne Frank
||Book contrasting personal accounts of the German occupation