Answered By: Ian Fraser
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016     Views: 111

The library catalogue contains many different publications of primary sources, depending on what subject area you are exploring. To find Primary Sources in the library catalogue, click on "Classic Catalogue". Then, on the right hand top corner click on (More Searches), select "Advanced Keyword". In the space under "Any Field" type in your subject, as a keyword, and in the second line type in "primary source". In some catalogue entries, the note field will state whether or not the source is a primary source. This approach won't find all primary sources, as some are not identified as such in the catalogue record. There are some useful subject headings that might identify a primary source (for instance, a person's name, followed by "Diaries", "Correspondance", etc.)

You can also locate some primary source documents through the library databases. Under "Browse Databases by Content Type" you can select archival documents, images, and newspapers, all of which may constitute primary source materials.

There is also no shortage of primary source materials available on the open Internet. National Libraries and Archives will frequently have digital collections to browse. For good Canadian collections, you may cosider the following sites:

For more information, please see our News section for the Library's video on Locating Primary Sources.

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