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Primary Sources in American History: Home

A guide to finding primary sources in American history at Bowdoin and online.

Primary Sources in American History


"Primary sources are materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration, either as participants or witnesses." Secondary sources, on the other hand, "comment on and interpret primary sources".*

Examples of Primary Sources

Hint: Another very good way to find primary sources is to consult the bibliographies of relevant secondary sources (books, articles, dissertations, etc.) that have used primary sources.

*Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, 4th ed. (Boston: Bedford, 2004), pp. 5-6.

Subject Guide

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Barbara Levergood
Bowdoin College
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Bowdoin College Library
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