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Finding Primary Sources in the FIU Libraries Catalog

How to pinpoint primary sources in the FIU library catalog, library databases containing primary sources, and freely accessible primary sources on the web

HOW TO FIND LIBRARY DATABASES BY SUBJECT

If you know your subject area, you can find databases of primary source materials by:

  1. clicking on RESEARCH START from the library home page
  2. then click on the SUBJECT RESOURCES tab.
  3. Find your subject on the list and click on it
  4. Click on the DATABASES tab to see all databases related to your subject
This description of the database will often tell you if primary source materials are included. 
Look for keywords in the description such as "original documents," "archives" or "source materials."

HINT: 

IF YOU DON'T NEED A PARTICULAR SUBJECT AREA, GO TO THE A-Z LIST INSTEAD--

then type in "PRIMARY" in the SEARCH BOX to see a list of databases that include primary sources. 

PRIMARY SOURCES BY DISCIPLINE

Each field of study has its own sources, conventions, and vocabularies.  This list will help you to identify primary sources in your own discipline.  In general, personal correspondence and diaries or journals are considered to be primary sources by all disciplines. If you are unsure that a source is considered primary by your discipline, ask your professor or a reference librarian for assistance.

    • Archaeology/Anthropology: an artifact or object that provides evidence of a society, such as clothing, farming tools, household items, and buildings.

    • Arts and Literature: the original artistic or literary work that forms the basis for a criticism or review, such as feature films, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, novels, plays, and poems.

    • Biology: 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).

    • Business: market research or surveys, anything that documents a corporation's activities, such as annual reports, meeting minutes, legal documents, marketing materials, and financial records.

    • Communication: websites, blogs, broadcast recordings and transcripts, advertisements and commercials, public opinion polls, and magazines (e.g., Rolling Stone).

    • Engineering: design notes, patents, conference proceedings, technical reports, and field surveys.

    • Geography: field notes, census data, maps, satellite images, and aerial photographs.

    • History: government documents (e.g., treaty, birth certificate), photographs, store account books, artifacts (such as those listed for archaeology/anthropology), maps, legal and financial documents, and census records.

    • Law: court decisions, trial trancripts, and law codes.

Source:  
David Kupas's "Finding Primary Sources" libguide:   URL: http://pitt.libguides.com/primarysources