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Find Primary Sources in the FCC Library
Try a search in our Library Catalog using one of these keywords:
Library Databases with Primary Sources
New York Times Historical Edition
Full text of articles from The New York Times from 1851 through 2003. Many of the articles reporting news events would be considered primary sources.
Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
To search for primary sources, on the main search page under "Search Options":
1. Go to the "Publications Type" box.
2. Scroll down in the box and click on "Primary Source Document."
3. Either enter a search term in the search box or leave the search box blank.
4. Click on "Search". All results will be primary sources.
Films on Demand: Archival and Newsreel Videos
Includes video and film footage from 1888 to the present. Majority of the clips would be considered primary sources, but there are some secondary sources mixed-in.
American Decades: Primary Sources
Part of Gale Virtual Reference Library, this "ten-volume collection provides access to and analysis of historical primary sources." Make sure to change the volume number for more decades using the volume drop-down box on the right side of the screen.
Local Libraries and Archives with Primary Sources
Find primary sources related to Frederick County and Maryland in the archives and special collections of Frederick County Libraries.
Maryland Room: C. Burr Artz Public Library
Collections, newspapers, photographs related to "peoples, places, communities, and institutions of Frederick County and City."
Historical Society of Frederick County
"Letters, diaries, Civil War records, maps, family histories, photographs, and books on local subjects are all available for use." Requires a $6.00 per day research fee.
Maryland State Archives
". . .include colonial and State executive, legislative and judicial records; county court, land and probate records; business records; publications and reports of State, county and municipal governments; records of religious bodies; and special collections of maps, newspapers, photographs, and private papers."
What is a Primary Source?
In the discipline of History, Primary Sources . . .
- are "first-hand" accounts of an event or time period.
- are normally written during or shortly after the event or time period.
- can be published or unpublished writings, audio recordings, video recordings, or photographs from individuals, organizations, companies, or government agencies.
- include diaries, letters, speeches, oral histories, news accounts (print, film, and audio), autobiographies, government or organizational records, artifacts, maps, advertisements, and photographs.
- can be found in libraries (often called "special collections"), historical societies, archives, as well as online.
Recommended Websites for Primary Sources
We recommend these websites to find even more primary sources!
National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults
Interactive exhibit from the National Archives full of primary sources throughout US History.
American Memory: Library of Congress
"...provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience."
British Movietone YouTube Channel
An "amazing array" of historical films from "one of the world's most comprehensive newsreel archives."
AP Archive YouTube Channel
Film and Video archive of the Associated Press for current and historical film footage. Updated daily.
Digital Public Library of America
". . .offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more—from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States." Search or Browse by time period, geography, or keyword.
Provides access to "historical collections that exist in digital format." Includes "texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages."
Make sure to use the Search Tools link found right below the search box.
1. Click Any books and choose the Free Google Ebooks.
2. Limit to primary sources using the keywords recommend in the "Find Primary Sources in the Library" box on this guide.
World Digital Library
". . .makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world."
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