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Primary Sources

Using Secondary Sources to Locate Primary Sources

Secondary sources and reference books usually have a listing of primary sources located in the reference list, bibliography list, or further reading sections.

These lists may be located in the back of the resource, the end of a chapter, or end of an encyclopedia entry.

Suggested Series Titles

Voices of an Era Series                

The Voices of an Era series utilizes primary document excerpts, with introductory and follow-up material, to illuminate the character and social history of particular historical periods.

Documents Decoded Series 

Each book pairs key documents with in-depth analysis, all in an original and visually engaging side-by-side format.

Defining Documents in World History 

Written by historians and experts in the field, this series examines a wide array of primary source documents with an in-depth critical analysis. Articles begin by introducing readers to its historical context, followed by a description of the author’s life and circumstances in which the document is written. A document analysis guides readers in understanding key elements of language, rhetoric, and social and political meaning that define the significance of the author and the document in history.

Defining Documents in American History

Defining Documents offers a broad range of historical documents on important authors and subjects in American history, with primary source documents, and  in-depth analysis. Included are founding documents, speeches and political tracts, political sermons, and letters.


Searching the Catalog

You can search the University of Akron Libraries Catalog to find direct references to primary source material.

Perform a keyword search of your topic and add any of the terms below:

  • Archives
  • Charters
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Description and travel
  • Documents
  • Early works
  • Interviews
  • Letters
  • Manuscripts
  • Oratory
  • Pamphlets
  • Personal narratives
  • Primary sources
  • Sources
  • Speeches

For example: Martin Luther King AND documents

UL Catalog