What is a primary source?
A primary source provides firsthand evidence of an event, object, person or work of art. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, statistical data, audio and video recordings, speeches and art objects.
How do I know what type of primary source I need?
It is important to have a strong grasp of your research topic and/or thesis statement before you can decide what type of primary source would fit the needs of your assignment. You will want to be sure to find a source from the time period you are researching. You may want to speak to your professor, an expert in the field, to help guide you toward the right type of primary source item (i.e. speech, newspaper article, work of art). Once you have an idea what to look for, then you can begin searching using the library catalog, databases, and link list.
Where can I find primary sources?
Primary sources can be found in many places. The OBU Library Collection will hold speeches, original works of literature, newspapers, government documents, and even books containing art. There are also many online archives that will hold scans and images of original items from the recent and distant past. Below you can find a list of many resources to get you started on your search!