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Link to Clark Family Library

Political Science

This guide will introduce you to resources you can use when doing research in political science.

Why Use Primary Sources?

WW1 soldier diary

Primary sources:

  • provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence of a topic
  • are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events and conditions being documented
  • are often created during the time of the event, but some are created after the fact, such as oral histories or autobiographies


Image from of page six and seven of Diary of Joseph Cecil Thompson in April 1915, taken by Ellen Thompson.

Where to Look for Primary Sources

The Find Online Resources page contains links to many websites that include primary source material. 

To find primary sources online for your topic, use these tips: 

  • Type your keywords into a search engine
  • Add terms such as "primary source" or specific types of primary sources such as "diary" or "letter"

Summon and many of our databases will also allow you to filter your results by source type (often in a side panel on the left hand side of the screen). Select options such as newspapers, primary sources, letters, archives, etc. 

Find Primary Sources in Databases

Find Primary Sources in Websites

The "find reliable websites" page contains links to many websites that include primary source material. 

Use the two links below to search some of the largest freely available digital collections for U.S. history primary sources.