African Studies: Finding primary source material
Primary sources are generally considered to be firsthand accounts of an event or
the actual documents associated with an event.
Firsthand accounts can be found in diaries, memoirs, letters, speeches,
autobiographies, scholarly articles giving the results of research, etc.
Documents might be laws, treaties, transcripts of hearings, court cases,
To find these in the Library Catalog:
Speeches, letters, journals, diaries, etc. of an individual may be found by
looking for the name of that person as an author.
Books which are collections of personal stories or reminiscences of an event
are listed under the event with the subdivision PERSONAL NARRATIVES.
Because it is difficult to get the subject heading exactly right, it is
easiest to use keyword.
south africa and personal narratives
slave trade and personal narratives
Books which are collections of various documents from a particular country
are entered under the country name with the subdivision HISTORY perhaps a
time designation is next, then the subdivision SOURCES.
Africa, West -- History -- To 1884 -- Sources.
Missions -- Sierra Leone -- History -- Sources.
Because these are complicated, you can add sources
to a keyword search.
s:africa history and s:sources
nigeria and s:sources
Use the S: to have your search term found in the subject field.
Take a look at some of the microform primary source collections available in Pickler Memorial Library
Microforms - African Studies
Other examples of primary sources including travel writings:
An account of the native Africans in the neighbourhood of
Sierra Leone by Thomas Winterbottom -
General Collection - DT516.42 .W53 1969
British Policy Towards West Africa : select documents -
General Collection DT502 .B74 1992
Documents from the African Past -
General Collection DT1 .D55 2001
Discourses, Series One: Women, Travel & Empire, 1660-1914 - Microfilm PN
6071 W72 C64 1998
Maiden voyages : Writings of Women Travelers -
General Collection G465 .M336 1993
Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley -
General Collection DT472 .K53 2003
You can ask for further assistance at the Library Servcie Desk
or contact the Reference librarian for History.
Janet Romine, Reference Librarian for History