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Summer Opportunity for Academic Research (SOAR)

What are primary sources?

What constitutes a primary source varies by field. This guide will point you to some commonly used primary source databases, but primary sources take many forms! For more subject-specific examples, consult a research guide in your discipline

Discipline Primary Source Examples  
History Artifact, Diary, Government Report, Interview, Letter, Map, News Report, Oral History, Organizational Records, Photograph, Speech  
Art  Painting, Photograph, Print, Sculpture, Film or other Work of Art, Sketch Book, Architectural Model or Drawing  
Literature Interview, Letter, Manuscript, Personal Account by Writer, Poem, Work of Fiction or Drama, Contemporary Review  
Anthropology Artifact, Field Notes, Fossil, Photograph  
Sociology Cultural Artifact, Interview, Oral History, Organizational Records, Statistical Data, Survey  
Psychology Case Study, Clinical Case Report, Experimental Replication, Follow-up Study, Longitudinal Study, Treatment Outcome Study  
Natural Sciences Research or Lab Notes, Genetic Evidence, Plant Specimens, Technical Reports, and other Reports of Original Research or Discoveries (e.g., Conference Papers and Proceedings, Dissertations, Scholarly Articles).  


Below are a curated list of newspaper databases. For a more comprehensive list, see the Woodruff Library Newspapers Guide.

Government and Legal Documents

Archives and Manuscripts

Data Sources