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How do I find primary sources?

Brief overview of finding primary sources at the University of Chicago

About this Guide

This guide provides a brief snapshot of some of the library resources available for primary source research by format.

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are the objects of study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of objects created by other people.

The definition of a primary source changes dependent on your field of study, application, and interpretation of the source. This library guide provides guidance on finding common examples of primary sources in the library. 

Primary Source Examples
Discipline Primary Secondary
Art Original artwork Article critiquing the work
Engineering Experimental data Journal article analyzing data
History World War II personal narrative Book analyzing military strategies of WWII
Literature Shakespeare's Hamlet Critique and analysis of characters in Hamlet
Science Data reporting oceans' temperature Analysis of oceans' changes over 20 years
Theater DVD of a performance Review of the performance
Psychology Notes about a client with autism Book about autism