Archives are the gatekeepers of primary source materials. These repositories are as varied as the materials that they house. Archives can be found in government settings, museums, college or universities, historical societies, even in an institutional setting such as a corporate headquarters. Archives may contain physical artifacts, visuals such as photographs, paintings and film, as well as paper artifacts with examples ranging from private papers, diaries, journals, maps and business ledgers to unpublished manuscript materials. These materials can illuminate the daily lives or business dealings of the records creators themselves.
In addition to the thousands of physical archives in the United States, 21st century technology has brought many of these diverse collections into our home or office, providing digital access to a myriad of primary source materials. Many collections housed by major libraries have been digitized providing access to the researcher day or night. In addition, there are commercially-produced databases that libraries can subscribe to, adding additional primary resources for their patrons. This research guide will showcase the primary source databases available from the Newman Library.
A primary source is a first person account of an event. It can refer to original documents, research or physical objects and can include but is not limited to diaries, speeches, letters, newspapers, photographs, artwork and manuscript materials.