Images are credited in the order that they appear above.
This guide will point you toward primary and secondary historical sources available to you through the MU Libraries. These sources include physical items housed in MU Libraries spaces as well as online sources from government agencies and publishers in the U.S. and abroad. Emphasis will be on English-language sources. We will annotate links with information about what you can expect to find in the sources or how you might use them.
For further assistance, contact Rachel Brekhus, History Librarian, Sandy Schiefer, Documents Librarian, and Kelli Hansen, Special Collections Librarian.
A primary source is any record contemporary to an event or time period. Primary sources may be written, oral, visual or physical. Some of these sources were produced with the intent of being preserved for the future. Such intentional sources include government documents, church records, autobiographies or memoirs. On the other hand, many primary sources were produced without any intent of future use. Such unintentional sources may include private correspondence not originally meant for posterity but which later are deposited in archives and libraries. Physical evidence such as buildings, clothing, tools, and landscapes may also be labeled as unintentional sources.
--Galgano, Michael J., J. Christopher Arndt, and Raymond M. Hyser. Doing History: Research and Writing in the Digital Age. Cengage Learning, 2007, p. 57.