Overview

Broadly speaking, primary sources include contemporaneous news accounts, diaries, letters, memoirs/autobiographies and government documents. Below are listed a number of primary source databases and some search strategies for finding more.

Browsing by Library of Congress subject headings and subheadings.

Library of Congress subject headings use a controlled vocabulary. These subject headings are applied to catalog records to help scholars find additional materials. The Subject Browse option in the library catalog is very useful for uncovering the depth of our holdings in different areas and subjects. You can begin with a keyword search to find relevant subject headings.

Finding relevant LC Subject Headings to browse:

  1. Open the library catalog
  2. Start with a keyword search. Example: "united states" and suffrage
  3. Open catalog records to find relevant subject headings. Example: Suffrage > United States > History
  4.  Copy and paste the subject heading into the search window and use the pull-down menu to select [Subject Browse (A-Z).]
  5. Look for the subheading > "Sources"  or > "Correspondence" or > "speeches", etc.

subject heading browse

Newspapers and government documents