Skip to main content


Jessie Ball duPont Library

United States History

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

NEW - Civil War Primary Source Documents

Civil War Primary Documents

The Library has a new online collection from EBSCO called Civil War Primary Source Documents.

 From the New-York Historical Society, Civil War Primary Source Documents is an archive of unique manuscripts chronicling the American Civil War as it was experienced. Providing both Northern and Southern perspectives, it covers all aspects of the war, including reactions and impressions from the home front.

Content Includes:

·        Over 110,000 pages from over 400 individual collections

·        Extensive correspondence from both the Confederate and Union troops, societies and individuals and their families

·        Diaries from soldiers on the field and civilians on the home front

·        Hand-drawn illustrations, maps, and engineering notebooks

·        Military content from both the army and navy, from the front lines to hospitals and prisons

·        Letters and first person accounts from such well-known leaders as Ulysses S. Grant, as well as accounts from individual soldiers and sailors

Civil War Primary Source Documents
Limit Your Results

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