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Topic: What is a Primary Source? — How do I find Primary Sources?

Primary Sources are EVERYWHERE!

Sometimes it is difficult to find primary sources on your historical topic but they're in more places that you might first suspect, including:

Your own home.  Does your family keep photo albums or scrapbooks of documents about you or your family, including family photographs, marriage and birth certificates or old financial documents? These are Primary Sources.

Your town or city hall or municipal office.  Towns and cities generate and store many materials that document its businesses and citizens, including land transfer documents, voters registrations, and information about changes to town or city laws.

Historical monuments and markers

Go to the Archives!

It is the mission of an archives to collect, preserve, organize, describe and make accessible to the research community the wide array of primary sources that have been gathered in the name of historical research. 

Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Library is located at the Dodd Center for Human Rights, which is next to Homer Babbidge Library. This area of the library holds the rare and special book collections, the University Archives (historical records of the University of Connecticut), and over 1200 collections of archival materials and primary sources. 

Digital Sources

The UConn Library Digital Repository has photographs, maps, audio and video recordings, printed books, manuscripts and many other historical documents from the collections at Archives & Special Collections.

Primary sources from cultural institutions around the state of Connecticut can be found in the Connecticut Digital Archive.