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Addlestone Library is open to the College of Charleston community and affiliates via card access. Visitors may access Addlestone Library Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and must present a government issued ID and sign in upon entry.
Definition: Primary Sources
Primary sources are the raw materials of historical research - they are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation. Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.
- Artifacts (e.g. coins, plant specimens, fossils, furniture, tools, clothing, all from the time under study)
- Audio recordings (e.g. radio programs, oral histories)
- Internet communications on email, listservs
- Interviews (e.g., oral histories, telephone, e-mail)
- Journal articles published in peer-reviewed publications
- Newspaper articles written at the time
- Original Documents (i.e. birth certificate, will, marriage license, trial transcript)
- Proceedings of Meetings, conferences and symposia
- Records of organizations, government agencies (e.g. annual report, treaty, constitution, government document)
- Survey Research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls)
- Video recordings (e.g. television programs)
- Works of art, architecture, literature, and music (e.g., paintings, sculptures, musical scores, buildings, novels, poems)
How to Google for Primary Sources
Searching the CofC Discovery Service
To find primary sources in the the CofC Libraries Catalog ADVANCED DISCOVERY SERVICE, it can be helpful to search the following types of sources using the "subject" filter to identify relevant sources. Refine your search results by availability, date, location, subject, and more using the facets to the side.
Examples of keyword searches might look like:
- "nuclear arms" sources
- slavery "personal narratives"
- Abraham Lincoln diaries
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