Answered By: Kathryn Park
Last Updated: May 13, 2015     Views: 1686

We have some great primary in our US History libguide. There is a tab for Primary sources on the US in general, and then for each era designated by the tabs (such as 1763-1820) you will find more primary sources specific to that era

But when you want a primary sources on a specific person that is not listed in the libguide, your best bet is to search our catalog or the Internet.

Catalog
In our catalog you can put au: in front of the specific persons name and search to see if we have anything written by them. These would be primary sources. Books written about them would be secondary source, that's why you need to include the au. Your search term in this case would be au:Dorothea Dix. Unfortunately while we do have some books with information about her, there weren't any works by Dorothea Dix, so your next step would be the Internet.

Internet
You can use the terms below with of, from with the name of an individual or event on Google. For instance papers of Dorothea Dix.

  • journals
  • papers
  • correspondence
  • autobiography
  • documents
  • oral history
  • eyewitness accounts
  • first hand account
  • archives

It can take a while to get through a result list like that. Another trick you can try is restricting to .edu and .org sites, since they are the most likely to have primary sources. The search would look like this: papers of dorothea dix (site:.edu OR site:.org).

Here is an example of a primary source I found using papers of dorothea dix (site:.edu OR site:.org):

Dorothea Dix pleads for a state mental hospital: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-newnation/4748

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