What are primary sources?
Primary Sources are original, or “first-hand”, sources of information, created by those who were present for or involved in the event or topic in question. Primary sources can come in many formats, including, but not limited to: diaries, manuscripts, recordings, photographs, newspaper accounts, official documents, and autobiographies.
How to locate primary sources
Foley Library has a large number of resources related to primary sources, both in physical formats and online.
- Browse our list of online Primary Source Databases
Depending on the subject area of your research, the time period from which you are seeking primary sources, and the specific type of sources you need, your starting place my vary.
See the following research guides for lists of resources recommended by librarians for getting started with primary sources:
- World History
- United States History
- Additionally, meeting with a librarian (in person or online) is a great starting point for primary sources research. To make an appointment, please visit our Research Appointment Page for online scheduling.
Gonzaga University Primary Sources
The University Archives and Special Collections department at Foley Library is responsible for maintaining and granting access to the original primary sources related to the history of the University, as well as many other materials such as historical sheet music, manuscripts, and other items.
These materials are available to student and faculty researchers at Gonzaga, as well as the public. To make a research appointment with an archivist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-313-3837.
An ever-growing digital repository of Gonzaga University primary sources including photographs and other documents can be found online through our .