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HIST 259: The History of France, 1815-Present: Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?

A primary source records or documents events as seen or experienced directly by witnesses or persons involved in those events.

For more detailed explanations with examples:

More at the Primary Sources Guide from your librarians

Primary Sources at K

Primary Source Databases subscribed to by the K Library

 Primary Sources in the Kalamazoo College Library

   Use these search terms in OneSearch to locate primary sources (search by subject and keyword)

  • Diaries
  • Correspondence
  • Speeches
  • Autobiographies


Primary Source Websites

Digital Public Library of America 
The DPLA contains metadata records—information describing an item—for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Each record links to the original object on the content provider’s website.

Hathi Trust
A large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from resarch libraries including content digitized via the Google Books Project.

Internet Archive
A digital library of books, movies, music.  It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. Created to offer permanent access for researchers and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

Internet Archive : Moving Image Archive

Eurodocs: History of France 
Links connect to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.
World Digital Library
an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.




Primary Sources at Western Michigan

  • Times of London (London, England : 1788 : Online)

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