ICSM Adventures in History

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Primary Sources

See the guide for primary sources relating to the United States:
History - United States - Primary Sources

Primary Sources in Books in the Library

Primary sources can be published in books. Use the main search and include search terms personal narratives, sources, diaries, memoirs, papers, speeches, or letters. For books in the library, limit the search to catalog.

Personal narratives is a term assigned by librarians and is used for first person accounts.
Diaries and memoirs are terms used by writers and editors to describe their document. These are also normally in the first person.
Letters and correspondence are published correspondence and occasionally include both outgoing and incoming letters.
Papers include correspondence, speeches and other previously unpublished items by the author.
Speeches were written to be spoken and have often been published.
Sources is another term assigned by librarians and often includes all of the types of documents listed above as well as government records.