Help for Primary Sources

If you’re still struggling with what a primary source is:

Try this useful article and set of examples from University of California, Irvine: “What Are Primary Sources?” There’s a related link on finding primary sources that looks very promising too (though I haven’t read through it thoroughly)

Citing a primary source

Please use this basic format in your reference list:

If you’re hunting for primary sources, try:


Seriously, something like “Roman midwives primary sources” goes a long way

Poke around Twitter

Historians love Twitter! Especially medieval historians – #medievaltwitter is a thing. You might also find interesting things by searching #twitterstorians and whatever topic you’re after.

Look for texts

Fordham’s Internet History Sourcebooks (best for browsing)

Project Gutenberg or or HathiTrust (most useful if you know what you’re searching for)

Perseus Digital Library or The Internet Classics Archive (best for Greek/Roman sources)

Epistolae (Medieval Women’s Letters – specialized, but very useful)

Look for artifacts

Any museum website should be useful since you can typically filter for specific regions and time periods and then browse from there.

Some libraries that hold rare and unique books are worth looking at too (such as the British Library)

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