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U.S. History: Primary Sources

About Primary Sources

Primary sources are original documents, images, and artifacts created at the time of an event. They are first-hand records by people who participated in or experienced the event. Primary sources exist in many format and content types including:

  • Interviews
  • Newspapers
  • Photographs
  • Autobiographies
  • Film and audio recordings
  • Letters and diaries
  • Manuscripts
  • Social media posts

Digitized Primary Sources

Historical Newspapers and Periodicals


If access to a newspaper is not available digitally, it may be on microform.

  • Some major newspapers may have an accompanying index, which allows you to search by subject. Without an index, you can only search microforms by date. Find indexes in Library Search or WorldCat.
  • Newspapers on microform and microform readers are located in Fondren Library, Blue Level 1. There are instructions next to the readers, or ask for help at the main desk.