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Topic : History Day 2023 @ the University of St. Thomas: Getting Started

The guide is intended to assist middle school and high school history students researching History Day projects.

LibrarySearch book search

Results here are limited to books, ebooks, and book chapters.

OSF Library Locations

Finding items in the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library:

Scholarly Article Resources

What is a Primary Source

What is a Primary Resource?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence created by participants and/or observers of a historical event or time period enabling researchers to get as close to the truth of what actually happened. Often, these materials are created at the time when the events or conditions occured. However, primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs and oral histories that are written or recorded later. 

Primary sources are characterized by their content not their format.  Therefore, primary sources can be found in published books, on microfilm/microfiche, in digital form or in their original format.

The following types of materials are generally considered primary resources:

  • Diaries or journals
  • Letters or other manuscripts
  • Speeches and interviews
  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings
  • Video or motion picture recordings
  • Memoirs and autobiographies. 
  • Published materials (books, magazine and/or newspaper articles)
  • Government documents
  • Objects and artifacts