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Primary Sources - Examples and Definitions: Selected Primary Sources on the Web

Time and History

In this list you will see many examples of time turning what was a secondary document into a primary document. Yes it can be confusing. For more thorough-going examples and definitions see the Yale University site below.

Primary Sources - Yale

Yale University has a very well-designed page describing primary sources. While all of the Suggested tools for... lead to Yale owned material, the examples/definitions for each type of material are excellent.

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Commercially Produced Primary Sources to which UTPB has access

20th Century American and 20th Century British Poetry
Select 20th Century American or 20th Century British from the collections menu; includes 50,000 poems from 300 American poets, and 600 volumes of poetry from 283 British poets.
American Film Scripts Online 
Choice Highly Recommended site; The full images of 265 scripts written by 334 authors; examples of authors are: Joan Didion, Ruth Gordon, D.W. Griffith, and John Huston
American Periodical Series, 1740-1900 
Choice Highly Recommended site;  In order to access this database you must select Databases selected just under the Basic search tab at the top of the default/ start-up page; scroll to the bottom of the resulting page to Historical Databases. Note: In ProQuest historical databases cannot be searched in combination with non-historical databases. The database provides access to more than 1,100 journal titles (more than 7 million pages) published from 1740-1900.
Early Encounters in America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment 
The full images of 83,000 pages, authored by 1,076 writers; North America includes a limited number of works from Canada and Mexico
Early English Books Online: EEBO 
Choice Outstanding site; The full images of 125,000 early English books from 1475 to 1700 [Malory to Locke]
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) 
180,000 books published between 1701 and 1800; 33 million pages of full-text;  The database is full-text searchable using a basic or advanced search. A Fuzzy Search option captures variant spellings and OCR errors by retrieving similar terms to those sought. Results display in digitized page format with the searched word highlighted.
The Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online, 1453-1945 
Choice Outstanding site; An international digital library that spans four centuries and documents the lives and experiences of women in public and private arenas. Contains more than 2,000,000 page images in 15 languages. The collection is made up of 265 periodical titles and 4,471 book and pamphlet titles.
HarpWeek, 1857-1912 
HarpWeek is the full-text and full-image reproductions of Harper's Weekly. There is a searchable database which offers several different ways to access the material. The database introduction and help pages are excellent. The vendor also provides Finding Aids for some of the most common areas of interest--e.g. Geography, Literary Genre, Occupation or Role in Society and so on
Historical Newspapers: London Times Indexes 
Palmer's Full Text Online, 1800-1870
Palmer's Index to the [London] Times, 1790-1905
The Official Index to the [London] Times, 1906-1980
Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2006) 
Choice Highly Recommended site; In order to access this database you must select Databases selected just under the Basic search tab at the top of the default/ start-up page; scroll to the bottom of the resulting page to Historical Databases. Note: In ProQuest historical databases cannot be searched in combination with non-historical databases.
Humanities and Social Science Retrospective, 1907-1984 
Choice Highly Recommended site; The complete online backfile indexing of Wilson's Humanities and Social Science Index and the subsequent Humanities Index and Social Science Index.
Latin American Women Writers 
The full images of 100,000 pages, authored from 1700-present. Authors from the 19th century include: Clorinda Matto de Turner (Peru), Juana M. Gorriti (Argentina), Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (Cuba), Delmira Agustini (Argentina), and Julia Lopes Almeida (Brazil), among others. A number of important figures from the early 20th century are also targeted for inclusion, such as Alfonsina Storni (Argentina), Juana de Ibarbourou (Uruguay), Gabriela Mistral (Chile), and Clarice Lispector (Brazil).
National Security Archive  
comprehensive collection of significant primary documents central to US foreign and military policy since 1945. Nearly 40,000 of the most important, declassified documents - totaling more than 250,000 pages - are included in the database.
North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories 
Choice Highly Recommended site; The full images of 37,500 pages, authored by 342 writers; North America includes Canada and covers the period from 1800 to 1950
North American Women's Letters and Diaries: Colonial to 1950  
Choice Outstanding site; The full images of more than 150,000 pages of diaries and letters written by 1,325 North American women
Reader's Guide Retrospective, 1890-1982 
Choice Highly Recommended site