Finding Primary Sources in the Online Catalog

Listed below are a number of special subject headings that you can use to locate printed publications of primary source materials in a library's online catalog or WorldCat. For more terms, consult a list of Library of Congress subject headings for primary source materials.

  • archives
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • case studies
  • description and travel
  • sources
  • interviews
  • manuscripts
  • public opinion
  • songs and music
  • notebooks
  • personal narratives
  • posters
  • statistics
  • To create a search statement to find primary source materials, select one of the terms from above and combine it with a keyword on your topic. Below are some search examples for you to try.

    Click on Try It! below to practice searching for primary source material.

    Search Strategy


    holocaust and personal narratives Try it!

    slavery and sources Try it!
    World War, 1939-1945 and diaries Try it!

    When you have tried some of the practice searches, please continue.

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