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Primary Sources in Credo: About

Primary Source Documents in Credo Reference

About the Primary Sources guide

Many reference works include primary source documents as part of their appendices or supplementary materials. Credo's Academic and Complete Core Collections contain many of these primary sources, and we've created this LibGuide to help you find and use them more easily.

To find primary sources, simply select the subject or format you are interested in from the tabs and drop-down menus. Note that many primary sources can be used across different disciplines, so be sure to check out related subjects and all the formats to use this guide most effectively.

Primary sources are a key part of research for many disciplines, most notably history and the social sciences. Unlike secondary sources, primary sources are often created by an individual or group and demonstrate their understanding of events. Thus, these works often express a singular point of view, some of which have been disproven with time. When using primary sources, its important to consider who created the source and under what context, as well as the state of the world at the time that the source was created. 

For more information about evaluating primary sources, you can suggest that your students visit RUSA's "Primary Sources on the Web: Finding, Evaluating, Using​" online resource or ask a librarian.

What are Primary Source?

Primary Sources are the first hand evidence left behind by participants or observers at the time of events.

  • Autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, emails, oral histories
  • Letters, correspondence, eyewitness accounts
  • First-hand newspaper and magazine accounts of events
  • Legal cases, treaties
  • Statistics, surveys, opinion polls, scientific data, transcripts
  • Records of organizations and government agencies
  • Original works of literature, art or music
  • Cartoons, postcards, posters
  • Maps, photographs, films
  • Objects and artifacts that reflect the time period in which they were created

Search this Primary Sources guide

Looking for primary source material on a particular subject? Search within the Credo Primary Sources LibGuide:

Video: Basic Searching


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Sara Seaman
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