US History Pathfinder 2019 – Primary Sources

Primary Sources

Primary sources are sources that were created during the time being studied.  Examples include: diaries, letters, photographs, newspaper articles, interviews, speeches, public opinion polls, oral histories, and autobiographies.

Print sources
The library has a number of print collections of primary sources.  Please see your librarian for help locating them.

Tip: when searching for primary sources in the library catalog, it is helpful to add one of the following keywords to your search: documents, sources, narrative, voices, speeches, or recordings.

Online sources

Issues and Controversies Covers significant contemporary events, people, and topics. Includes primary sources.

Issues and Controversies in American History Covers significant American events, people, and topics. Includes primary sources.

Library of Congress digital collections (Google will direct you)

National Archives digital collections (Home -> Research our records -> Research Topics)

Newspaper articles
Newspaper articles about your topic written during the time period of your topic can be great primary sources!

Boston Globe  Full access to Boston Globe archives from 1872-present. Only five users may be logged on at one time. Students and staff, please click here for access.


Newsbank American Historical Newspapers Features newspapers published in the United States from 1690-2000.

Newsbank Access World News Features current print and online news from around the world from 1978 – current.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers  Historical news from New York Times, Chicago, L.A., and Atlanta. From late 1800s – 1990s.

Wall Street Journal  A daily international newspaper with an emphasis on business and economics. Covers current and last five years. Students and staff, please click here for access.

New York Times: Please follow the directions to create your own personal NYT account:

  1. Visit   Create a free account using your school email address.  If you already have an account associated with your school email address, log in with those credentials.
  2. Check your email inbox for our confirmation message.  Click on the link in your confirmation message to validate your email address and claim your Pass.  If the confirmation email didn’t arrive, check your spam folder. If it isn’t there, send an email to from your school email address to request confirmation.You have successfully claimed a Pass when you see the Start Your Access screen.

Social Activism in the United States – A collection of digital archives related to various social justice issues throughout US history including the Civil Rights Movement, the LGBTQIAP+ rights movement, women’s rights movement and more.

Lexis-Nexis Scholastic Edition  (From off-campus, use the following login information –  username: nscho5 and password: noblegreen3) Over 50 major U.S. and international newspapers since 1989. Transcripts of radio and televised national and international broadcasts are available as well as legal cases