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Jessie Ball duPont Library

United States History

A brief guide to research sources in the history of the United States.

Primary Resources

Types of Primary Resources

This is a list of the most common types of primary resources in history.  When searching for sources, you might watch for these terms to help you figures out if you have found a primary resource.  You might also use these terms in your searches to help focus on a particular type of source or narrow down a large list of results.

  • advertisements
  • autobiography/autobiographies
  • correspondence
  • description and travel
  • diary/diaries
  • documents
  • early works to 1800
  • interview/interviews
  • journal
  • letters
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • trials
  • sources
  • speeches