Look for the following key indicators of a primary source:
These dates should be contemporary to the period of time you are examining. Ex. Topic on 1918 Influenza, primary sources would be published between 1918-1920, or the author would be alive during this time.
To find diaries, letters, autobiographies, personal papers, etc., search a person’s name as an author.
To see what actual manuscripts we have at Swem Library, do an advanced search in the online catalog:
On the top half of the screen, type what you’re looking for (author, subject, etc.) In another search box type "manuscript".
The following words are clues that the material might contain primary-source material. These words usually appear in the title or as part of the subject heading:
You can also combine a primary source format word with an event or person
Examples: letters and Lincoln, diaries and civil war