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What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. 

  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS such as diaries, speeches, letters
  • CREATIVE WORKS such as poetry, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS such as pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

What about Science?  In the sciences, a primary source is the published result of experimental or observational research.

Digital Collections

At Mount Holyoke

On the Web

Primary Sources in the Library Catalog

Search by keyword for primary sources in the 5 College catalog
You can search the catalog to find direct references to primary source material. Here are some words to include as keywords that would identify a source as primary:

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works
  • interviews
  • manuscripts
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • speeches
  • letters
  • documents

in
Mount Holyoke College Five Colleges

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Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form