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Primary Sources

Tags: history, primary sources
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Sites to avoid because of the possibility of bias or misrepresentation include:

-The History Channel website
-Sites like,

Primary Source Search Tips

Using a search engine, such as Google, copy and paste the following search string:  

digital collection slavery

  • limits your search to educational-sponsored sites, which may be more reliable than those with a .com address.
  • the word in red, slavery, is the topic that you are researching
  • You can also try the same search but replace .edu with or However, always evaluate your sources! .org sites can be from any organization.
  • In addition to digital collection, try replacing that phrase with primary source

Looking for primary sources on a particular state?

Many state libraries and organizations have digitized materials related to the their state.

The Library of Congress has assembled this list of state digital libraries. Search by state or check out the Multi-State option.

Selected U.S. Primary Source Collections on the Open Web

The list of websites below includes selected U.S. primary source collections, but there are many more available!

Many libraries, museums and organizations have posted digitized primary sources online.


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