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+ Find Primary Sources for Historical Research: Books

Finding Primary Source Books

Search LibrarySearch to find primary sources in books and ebooks.   When searching the catalog, you will want to use specific subject headings in your searches to single out the primary source materials.  These subject headings are specialized "tag" added to the records to books by catalog librarians to provide accurate descriptions of books.  Using the following subject headings in your search will help you find the source material you seek:

correspondence literary collections 
personal narratives pictorial works 
songs and music sources
diary or diaries documents
interviews  

 

For example:  A researcher needs to find first hand accounts of soldiers experiences during the U.S. Civil War.  The most relevant subject heading for this search is:
 

United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861 - 1865 -- Personal narratives
 

It is a long and complicated subject heading to remember. However, a researcher can use the the recommended terms in a keyword search to get similar results.  For example:
 

"Civil War" and "United States" and "personal narratives"

Find Primary Source Books in Databases

The UST libraries subscribe to various databases which provide online access to primary source books.