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The University of Tampa Macdonald-Kelce Library


A guide to help you locate books, scholarly articles, and primary sources as well as citation guidelines related to historical research.

What Is A Primary Source?

Primary sources are original written or physical items created in the time period being studied. Historians use primary sources as the evidence about the past from which they build their historical scholarship. The book or article written by the historian is the secondary source which has been based on analysis of primary sources.

Examples of Primary Sources are:

  • Artifacts
  • Ephemera (theatre programs, leaflets, posters, broadsides, etc.)  
  • Government or Institutional Records
  • Speeches
  • Photographs
  • Diaries
  • Maps
  • Correspondence
  • Original Works of Art (plays, manuscripts, paintings, musical compositions, etc.)
  • Personal records
  • Newspaper or Magazine articles published at the time under question

Locating Primary Sources

Learn more about Primary Sources in the library databases in our guide.

The links below are a sampling, and by no means exhaustive list, of online resources which provide access to primary source documents.

Macdonald-Kelce Library - The University of Tampa - 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. - Tampa, FL 33606 - 813 257-3056 - - Accessibility