A primary source is a document, recording or other source of information created at the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described.
Primary sources include diaries, letters, family records, statistics, speeches, interviews, autobiographies, film, government documents, or original scientific research.
Primary sources can be found in Woodruff's Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).
You can also find many primary source materials via discoverE.
Databases like JSTOR, LexisNexis, and Academic Search Complete provide citations and/or full text of journal articles, books, and other materials. Emory University Libraries pay for access to the contents of more than 400 databases. See our Databases page for a complete listing. For help with searching databases, see our Finding Articles at Woodruff research guide.
Access from off-campus is available only to current Emory University students, faculty and staff, and requires an Emory Network ID and password.
Start with: How do I find newspaper articles?
Our newspapers in print and microfilm are listed on this research guide.
You can also look at the list of databases that contain electronic newspaper articles.
Emory University makes a good deal of primary sources available to students in a digital format. To see the complete list of primary source databases available to students, click here
Below you will find a select list of databases that are particularly appropriate for your coursework. This list is not exhaustive.
For searching and browsing American newspapers published in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, Early American Newspapers, 1690-1922 is the most comprehensive online resource available.
Times Digital Archive (1785 to 1985)
The Times Digital Archive offers full page and article images of the Times (London) with searchable full text, including searchable advertisements and photographs, back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue. This archive does not include the Sunday Times, a newspaper independent of the Times.
17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers (1604 to 1800)
The largest single collection of 17th and 18th century English news media available from the British Library. The collection includes more than 1000 pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers from the period. The collection covers more than 200 years of accounts from newspapers from England, Ireland, Scotland and a handful of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.
The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection is a comprehensive collection of more than 6,500 American magazines and journals from the AAS, the premier library documenting the life of America’s people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction.
British Periodicals I (1691-1937)
British Periodicals Collection I consists of more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.
Contains virtually every book, pamphlet and broadside published in America during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (1701-1800)
Digital images of every page of 150,000 books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of approximately 33 million pages, Eighteenth Century Collections Online allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.
Eighteenth Century Journals (1685-1815)
This portal to newspapers and periodicals provides full-text access to rare British newspapers and periodicals from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Google Book Search provides access to full-text primary sources in the public domain.
HathiTrust is a very large scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via the Google Books project and Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.
Sabin Americana 1500-1926 is a fully searchable online collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, from the time of their discovery to the early 1900s.
This series brings together a wealth of collections spanning two centuries of Britain's colonisation, commercial, missionary and even literary relations with Africa and the Americas. It includes materials such as journals, correspondence, official records and personal papers spanning two centuries of Britain's colonial, commercial, missionary and literary relations with Africa , India and the Americas.
Defining Gender is a collection of original source materials from British and European archives. Documents from 21 libraries are thematically organized by areas: Conduct and Politeness, Domesticity and the Family, Consumption and Leisure, Education and Sensibility, and The Body.
Original manuscript collections from the unique holdings of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. Offers access to six major organizational collections and twenty-four collections of personal papers.
Includes the immediate experiences of some 200 women, as revealed in more than 28,000 pages of diaries and letters. The collection includes one of the most comprehensive bibliographies of women's diaries and letters yet published.
A resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, the website seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding.
The primary sources in this microfilm collection provide a wealth of material for a broad range of topics. Coverage ranges from 1631-1837. There are 1,151 individual titles available in this collection, including, but not limited to almanacs, broadsides, journals and pamphlets. There is an online guide available here. There is also a set of printed guides available in Microforms Reference, call number MICFILM 3546 GUIDE.