This guide contains primary sources that can be used to do research on U.S. History before 1877. A primary source is a firsthand account or direct evidence of an event or topic. They are original works created at the time of the historical event, and can be documents, images, or artifacts.
These differ from secondary sources, which are one step removed from the original work. In other words, they are an interpretation or analysis of a historical event or topic based on what was learned from primary or other secondary sources.
One way you can tell these two types of sources apart is whether or not they have a reference or works cited list. Primary sources should not have these since they are the original record of an event! Secondary sources will contain references.
The tabs on the left represent different historical events for which you may need to use primary sources in your research. Within each tab are different places where you can locate these works: in the Library Catalog (Books & Media), in the Library Databases, or on the Internet. The first tab, "Books Spanning Time Periods" contains books that either cover many years or do not fit into another category.