Primary sources can be found using a variety of tools including library catalogs (selected primary sources are reproduced in books written by historians), databases, and search engines. The below databases are great places to start your search, but this is not an exhaustive list and there may be primary sources reproduced in some of your secondary sources. Also remember that primary sources are not just documents but can also be works of art, clothing, buildings, and other public locations created at a particular time.
One way to identify books that are primary sources is to look for books written by people who were involved in the event or activity you are researching. When you look at secondary sources, write down the names of people and then look for them as authors.
In the BGSU Libraries Catalog, the OhioLINK Catalog, and WorldCat, books that have been assigned subjects with the subheadings in the list below might be primary sources. However, don’t expect that a book that includes primary sources will always include one of these words or phrases in a subject heading. Also, these subheadings are not used in other databases.
The Library of Congress has a great tool for helping you evaluate potential primary sources: