TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

Primary Sources

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, etc.

Here's how to find them in the Library.

Firsthand accounts

Speeches, letters, journals, diaries, etc. of an individual may be found by looking in the Library Catalog for the name of that person as an author.

Napoleon I, Emperor Of The French, 1769-1821.

Mill, John Stuart

Bismarck, Otto

Books which are collections of personal stories or reminiscences of an event are listed with the subdivision PERSONAL NARRATIVES.  Do a keyword search in the  Library Catalog.

narratives and crimean war

narratives and french revolution


Books that are collections of various documents from a particular country will have the word SOURCES as part of the subject in the Library Catalog.  Use s:sources as part of your keyword search.  You can also search for a particular event in the same way.
                    s:sources and world war 1914

s:sources and bismarck


The Library also has a large microform collection containing  primary source material. 

Click to view the entire list of our Microform Collections by subject.

Web sites

EuroDocs: Online sources for European History

Encouraging Discovery