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HIST 3500 Primary Sources: Printed/published

Guide to researching first-hand accounts

Guide to historical newspapers and periodicals


Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) has digitized several Georgia newspapers, mostly issues before 1922 and including: the South Georgia Historic Newspaper archive, Atlanta, Athens,  ColumbusMacon and Milledgeville newspapers. 

Books as primary sources

Many printed/published documents such as books, government documents, maps, films, etc. are primary, e.g. are first hand accounts.  Library catalogs help identify such sources. Interlibrary loan (ILLIAD) services can retrieve them.

Keywords for primary sources

[Topic, e.g. United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 >] Sources

personal narratives




For Example!

Recommended by Nathaniel Philbrick in an interview New York Times,  May 26 2016: 

"What was the most interesting thing you read in researching your new book?

"it was a memoir of the War of Independence by a humble private in the Continental Army named Joseph Plumb Martin that I found particularly revelatory. Martin was a kind of Forrest Gump of the Revolution (if there was a major battle or event, he was invariably there), and thanks to a keen intelligence and a very wry sense of humor he viewed his military superiors (and his country) with an appropriately jaundiced eye."

Governemnt documents

Magazines in Google Books

Some magazines are digitized in Google Books, lncluding Life Magazine (digitized and keyword searchable  from 1935-1972, no printing.) Use the link to browse a list of other titles available.  Or, do an advanced search of Google books, limiting to magazines, notice you can also select a date range.  Mostly articles from  U.S. during 20th century


JStor includes historical sources.. For example currently in JStor American Naturalist is available from 1867-2015, American Scholar runs 1932-2011 and American Sociologist 1965-2013.  Some JStor journals date to the 19th century, many started in the early 20th. 

Godey's Lady's Book 1837-1877