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History Research Guide: Find Primary Sources

Primary Source Databases

The databases listed below either contain primary source material or will lead you to primary source material.  There are many other ways to locate primary source material available from the University Libraries.  Consult the Primary Sources Research Guide to learn more about newspapers, microform collections, and other resources. 

For a complete listing of databases, please see the Electronic Resources page. 


Not all newspapers have indexes.  Librarians at the South Caroliniana Library can help you search for SC newspapers and possible indexes.  Librarians at the Thomas Cooper Library can help you search for international and other national newspapers and possible indexes. Here are some strategies to help you get started.

search with county or city name followed by newspapers.  If necessary in this instance use the abbreviation (s c) for the state.

Search Terms for Primary Sources

Try a keyword search to identify books with primary source material. Example: women and civil war and s:personal narratives

Including the term s:personal narratives tells the library catalog to search for personal narratives as a subject word.

There are lots of keywords that can be used to identify books with primary source material. Some examples are:

anecdotes archives
biography caricatures and cartoons
case studies correspondence
description and travel diaries
documentary films documentary photography
interviews manuscripts
notebooks personal narratives
pictorial works public opinion
songs and music sources
speeches statistics


To learn more, go to the Finding Primary Resources guide.

Primary Source Databases - African American History

Primary Source Databases - Women's History

Primary Source Databases - Newspapers

Primary Source Databases - Magazines

Primary Source Databases - Government Documents

Primary Source Databases - Additional Databases

Contact Info

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Kathy Snediker
Research & Instruction
Thomas Cooper Library
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