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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries


A guide to high quality American history focused resources for EWU students majoring in history. For other time periods, see the Class Guides on the left hand column of the Articles page.

What's the Difference Between Primary & Secondary Sources?

Useful Words for Finding Primary Sources in the Library Catalog

To find books that reproduce primary sources on your topic, you need to enter the topic (or person) you are researching and one of the following subjects:

Archives, correspondence, diaries, interviews, letters, manuscripts, maps, memoirs, narratives (personal, slave, etc.), photographs, propaganda, sources, speeches.

If you want to find reproductions of important primary sources from U.S. history, then you can do a subject search for United States History Sources in the EWU catalog.

Databases Containing Primary Sources

*Note: For historical newspapers, see the Newspapers tab on the left hand navigation pane.

EWU Resources

EWU Digital Collections []: Publicly available archival photographs highlighting the history of people and places of Eastern Washington University and the Eastern Washington region.  Select the collection you want to look at and click on the Browse All link at the top to see all the materials/photographs. 

Location of the physical EWU Libraries Archives & Special Collections: Lower level of the JFK Library (Tel.# 509-359-2475).  Contact person: Steve Bingo, Digital Projects Archivist [].

EWU Digital Commons []: This collection holds research and scholarly output by individuals, university departments and centers on campus.  Examples include electronic copies of recent masters thesis, faculty publications and more.

Local Resources

National Resources

International Resources