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Primary Sources: A Research Guide

Healey Library Catalogs

Recommended E-book Collections

Electronic books

Full-text electronic books can be found by searching UMBrella. These collections are recommended:

Healey Library Print Collection

Finding primary sources can be challenging depending on the subject area. Some primary source material is available through the library databases such as federal and state laws, newspapers and news transcripts, original research, and data. Many items cannot be found in the databases and require finding collections or website devoted to the particular topic. For outside resources look at the Open Access tab or Statistics and Data by Topic. The reference librarians are happy to help you search for material, just Ask a Librarian

Using certain keywords or phrases will help direct you to primary sources. These terms can be used as part of a general search or added to Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Adding them to a subject search in a library catalog will focus your results.

For example, searching the subject Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States -- Sources will have fewer but better results than searching for Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States. 

Try the following subheadings in UMBrella or UMass Boston WorldCat

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works to 1800
  • interviews
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • sources
  • speeches
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