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Finding Primary Sources for Historical Research: Library Catalog

How to find primary sources for historical topics


When searching for primary source materials in resources such as books or videos, search Research@UWW, the Library's online catalog.

Research@UWW  is a one-stop solution for the discovery and delivery of books, ebooks, government documents, media, articles, reserves, images, guides, and more. It includes many, but not all, of the Library's databases. If you need more specialized information or want to look at a database not searched by Research@UWW, search individual databases.

To find books, do a simple search in the Research@UWW box on the Library's home page. On the search results page, change the scope in the dropdown menu next to the search box to either Books, Media & more (for items in Andersen Library), or to UW System Libraries Catalogs (for items in all UW System libraries), and do your search again. Then narrow your results using the Genre search facet at the left, and choose keywords that may denote primary material.

In the Search box, type one or more search terms that define your topic, as well as a term used for primary sources, such as

  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • interviews
  • sources
  • personal narratives