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HIST 11A-12A: Transnational Migration (Gomez): Primary Sources

What is a primary source?

What Are Primary Sources:

"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research."
(American Library Association, Reference and User Services, History Section)

Finding Primary Sources

Primary Sources in OSCAR

You can  use the library online catalog, OSCAR, to find  published primary sources or books including primary documents    If you are interesting in the writings of a specific individual, just do an author search.  If you are looking for primary sources on a specific topic, just enter your keywords and add one of the following words, depending on what you are looking for:  correspondence, papers, speeches, memoirs, personal narratives, documents, sources.  
For example: immigration and documents
                       immigrants and memoirs

Databases and Collections of Primary Sources

Newspaper and Magazine Archives

Government Documents

Government Documents

Government publications are a rich source of primary documents. Use this database to find congressional publications, bills, laws and regulations, hearings, and government reports.  

Here's an example of the kind of documents you can find in the database:

Public Policy Research

Use this database to find public policy research and analysis from think tanks, university research programs, research organizations and publishers. Provides links to fulltext where available.