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Primary Sources: Collections available through Cornell: Published Books

A guide to digital, print, and archival historical primary sources available at Cornell

Primary Sources in Print

Lots of historical primary sources are published as books. Browse footnotes and bibliographies of secondary source books, encyclopedias, and articles for the titles of published primary sources. 


Two methods for finding primary sources published in books

1. Search the Library Catalog using the advanced search with terms related to your topic and subject terms such as:

  • sources [in library catalogs this term describes published primary sources or books about primary and secondary sources]
  • diaries
  • personal narratives
  • interviews
  • letters


2. Search on a topic in the Library Catalog then limit by publication year of the pertinent historical period using the option to the left of a search results:

NOTE: The date of publication of a book (which appears at the end of the title in Cornell's Library Catalog) is not always an indication of whether something is a primary source. Sources are often published many times. A modern, critical edition of a published primary source will have a recent date of publication. The dates associated with the author(s) of the book can be a better indicator. Examples:

If you're still not sure, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian

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