Clear Lake High School AP Capstone: Primary Sources

Neumann Library resources for Clear Lake High School's Advanced Placement Capstone Seminar

Selected Primary Source Databases and Collections

Additional primary source collections can be found on relevant subject guides, including History, Women's Studies, Texana, and Statistics.

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources:

  • are "fundamental, authoritative documents relating to a subject, ...e.g., original records, contemporary documents, etc."*
  • first-hand accounts by a direct participant or witness
  • may include letters, diaries, interviews, photographs, films, maps, government documents, field notes, and more

For the arts, history, and humanities, original primary source documents usually are housed in museums, archives, restricted library collections, and government offices. Reproductions often can be found in online digital collections, microform collections, books, and other secondary works. 

For the natural and social sciences, primary sources include the original account of a research study, typically published as an article in a scholarly journal.

*Young, Heartsill, ed. The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science. Chicago: American Library Association, 1983, p.176

handwritten correspondence, a film, and a map

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