FYE 112: Africana American Studies II: Primary Sources

Professor Cona Marshall. Spring 2018.

What Are Primary Sources?

A primary source is a document or piece of evidence written or created during the time of study; primary sources offer an eyewitness account of a particular event.   


Some examples of primary sources include:

  • Newspapers
  • Speeches
  • Government documents
  • Images
  • Works of art
  • Personal papers: letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, oral histories, autobiographies.

Image source:  Wikimedia Commons.  Runaway Slave Advertisement.  Public Domain.


Links below will provide you with primary sources; they are a very small representation of what's available.

Google is an excellent resource for finding primary source materials.  A search of your topic AND "primary sources" will garner additional links. 

Additionally, newspaper articles from the time period you're researching may be found in Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Early American Newspapers, the New York Times, or the New York Times Historical. These sources are under the FIND Articles tab.