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Locating primary source materials isn't difficult but you need to know where to look, how to search, and capture your images.

What's the difference between Primary and Secondary Sources?

Watch this video from the folks at Common Craft to understand these two distinct source types.


Remember, primary source materials are literally artifacts from the past that have been preserved and are available to us now. Primary sources include:

  • Journals

  • Letters

  • Diaries

  • Photographs

  • Original works of art

  • Newspapers & magazines from the time period

  • Documents (e.g., speech, ticket, license, warrant, poster, legislation, etc.)

  • Maps, Data sets, Charts and Graphs

  • Physical Objects from the time period

  • Film, Video, Audio Recordings

Primary Source Collections/Websites

Popular Collections

Civil War

US Immigration 1830-1900's

Key search terms: immigrants, immigration, anti-immigration, dates 1830-1900, and specific nationalities (e.g., Irish, Jewish, German, Chinese)

World Wars


From the Awesome Stories About page:

AwesomeStories is about primary sources. The stories exist as a way to place original materials in context and to hold those links together in an interesting, cohesive way (thereby encouraging people to look at them). It is a totally different kind of web site in that its purpose is to place primary sources at the forefront - not the opinions of a writer. Its objective is to take the site's users to places where those primary sources are located.

If you get stuck or have trouble finding primary sources come to the LMC so we can assist you with searching these and other more specific sources.

Video Tutorials on how to use Save to Google Drive to collect and organize Primary Source materials

external image 485px-Nico_Video_logo.pngVideo 1-Creating an Images Folder on Google Drive

external image 485px-Nico_Video_logo.pngVideo 2-Locating & Collecting Primary Source Images to Google Drive