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History: Primary Sources

Primary Source Databases

Wabash College and Indiana history

Primary Sources are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it (a participant or observer). Primary sources do not have to be used in their original form. They may be reproduced electronically, printed or published later and still be considered primary sources.


  • Speeches, diaries, letters, interviews
  • Photographs, video, or audio that capture an event
  • Newspaper reports, by reporters who witnessed an event or who quote people who did
  • Texts of laws and other original documents
  • Artwork, poetry

Online Primary Sources by Area

Finding Archives and sources on your own

To find material on your own, try adding the keywords "digital collections" or "digital library" to your web search to find digital collections related to your topic.

Lilly Library is a founding member of PALNI, ALI, and The Oberlin Group

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