Finding Primary Sources in the Online Catalog
This is Ellen and I'm going to show you how to use the online catalog to locate primary sources. Primary sources are first hand accounts or direct evidence of events or situations. They may be personal writings, such as diaries or letters, or they may be contemporary accounts published in magazines, journals or newspapers of the time. The library's online catalog is one tool you can use to locate primary sources. Go to the library's catalog and click on the Guided Keyword tab and in the first text bar of the search form, type in words that describe your topic, such as American Indians. In the next text bar you need to enter terms that librarians use to catalog book records that describe primary sources. These terms will include words like diaries, correspondence, sources or interviews. You then need to change the drop down menu to 'any of these' terms and that way the online catalog will search for records that have American Indians and anyone of the primary source terms. Then click on the search button and the results that will come up will show you a variety of primary sources that we have in the library. You can just click on any of the titles to find a complete record of information. Another good search you can use to locate primary sources is the search phrase personal narratives and the words for your research topic, like American Indians.