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University of Portland Clark Library

PSY 400: History of Psychology: Finding Primary Sources

What are primary sources?

A primary source is a first-hand or contemporary account of an event or topic. They are the most direct evidence of a time or event because they were created, or are things that were present, at the time or event. Primary sources have not been modified by interpretation and offer original thought or new information. Primary sources are original materials, regardless of format.

Primary sources can include:

  • Original research.
  • Datasets or survey data such as census or economic statistics.
  • Texts of laws, bills, and other government documents.
  • Newspaper articles written by reporters who witnessed an event or quote people who were eyewitnesses.
  • Memoirs, speeches, lectures, diaries, letters, and interviews - what the people involved said or wrote.
  • Photographs, videos, or audio that capture an event.
  • Artifacts created or used in that time (equipment, clothing, paintings, etc.).

UP Library Search

UP Library Search is a useful tool for locating primary sources in the Clark Library's collection, in Summit libraries, and beyond. 

Search: for:  

Add one of the terms listed below to your keyword search. 
For example: Freud collected

  • collected (finds collected works, collected papers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • documents
  • interviews
  • lectures
  • "personal narratives"
  • sources
  • speeches

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