Skip to Main Content
UC Logo
Libraries | Ask the Libraries

CECH Template

Resources for Primary Sources

Depending on the topic, primary sources can be found virtually anywhere -- inside books, via the internet, or even within our own social circles.  This page contains many suggested library and non-library tools to help you locate primary sources. 

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources contain first-hand accounts of events or are contemporaneous to a particular happening.  As opposed to secondary sources, which tell readers about a thing, primary sources directly represent the thing itself.  When it comes to historical research, examples of primary sources can include the following:

  • Photographs/images
  • Letters, diaries, or other correspondence 
  • Government documents or legislation
  • Audio or video recordings
  • Artifacts
  • Interviews or other first-hand accounts
  • Contemporaneous writings, including news
  • Contemporaneous literature
  • Art objects

In terms of scientific research, primary sources may include things like:

  • Raw data
  • Scientific papers, reports, or conference proceedings that represent original research

Genealogical Resources

Audio Sources

Historical Newspapers

Image Sources

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

Contact Us | Staff Directory

University of Cincinnati

Alerts | Clery and HEOA Notice | Notice of Non-Discrimination | eAccessibility Concern | Privacy Statement | Copyright Information

© 2021 University of Cincinnati