Primary sources are original documents and objects created at the time being studies, such as diaries, newspaper accounts, letters, governmental records, or drawings. Any record that documents a past event can be considered a primary source.
You can find primary sources in libraries, museums, and archives, including McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections Library (located on the 4th floor of the McLennan Library building). You can also find digitized primary sources online in library databases, such as those linked below, as well as in digitized collections, such as McGill's Digital Exhibitions & Collections.
This guide includes databases and collections of digitized primary source materials organized into the following groups:
Local newspapers provide insight into the social and cultural life of their communities. Several databases with historic American newspapers and journals are included below.
Primary sources in this group focus on Black experiences with slavery, abolition, emancipation, and freedom -- a phrase derived from the Harvard Library project linked below. Many primary sources included here are written about, rather than by, Black people; be sure to keep this in mind when analyzing these sources.