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.
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.
stanton, elizabeth cady
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.
korean war and personal narratives
depression and 1929 and personal narratives
The Library also has a large microform collection containing
primary source material. For example:
Diaries: Firsthand accounts of the lives,
contributions, and thoughts of women from the colonial period
through the turn of the 20th century.
History Collection: More than 1000
memoirs by 20th-century political, social, media, scientific,
artistic, and economic leaders.
Western Eyes: Diaries, records of explorers,
Click to view the entire list of our
Microform Collections by subject..
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.
united states and history and civil war and s:sources
cold war and s:sources
ancient rome and s:sources
Laws, hearings, court cases, etc. can be found in
Library has a guide to help you use
this source most effectively.
Many government documents are available on the Internet. The University of Oklahoma College
of Law has an excellent
chronological list with links, beginning with pre-colonial
Annual reports and SEC filings of a business can be considered a
primary source. These can be found on
*Must be on the Truman network to access.
Results of research are published in scholarly journals. To
find them you must use an appropriate subject periodical index.
Look at the Library's
list of databases to find the ones appropriate for your topic.
For help, come by the Library Service Desk, call 785-4051, or