Skip to main content

*Political Science

What Are Primary Sources

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format. Primary sources in political science can be found in the Libraries Special Collections Department, the Libraries' print and microfilm collections, electronic databases to which the Libraries subscribe, and on the Internet.

What Primary Sources Are in the Libraries?

 

 

What Are Primary Sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format. Primary sources in political science can be found in the Libraries Special Collections Department, the Libraries' print and microfilm collections, electronic databases to which the Libraries subscribe, and on the Internet.

What do the FSU Libraries Own?

The Library owns or subscribes to various types of published materials which can be used as primary sources.  These include:

  • Books published at the time, or later as reprints, or containing published versions or collections of letters, diaries, etc.
  • Government documents, such as debates of the House of Commons, Royal Commissions, etc.
  • Periodicals (newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, etc.)
  • Specialized Collections (Microform), such as Acts of the Privy Council of England : new series [1542-1628.]

How Do You Locate Them?

  One approach is to use one of the following subject terms or phrases when searching the Library Catalog:

  • Click on Advanced Search.
  • If you are uncertain of the exact Subject Heading, type an Anywhere search and link your subject(s) together with "AND" plus one of the following typical primary source subheadings:
  • Sources
  • Diaries
  • Correspondence
  • Interviews
  • Personal Narratives
  • Documents
  • Early Works to 1800
  • Early Works to 1900
  • Primary Source Examples: Government Documents (Available Electronically and in Print)

    The Florida State University Libraries
    Library Hours | Maps and Directions | Employment | Giving to the Libraries | The FSULib Blog | Library Homepage

    © 2016 Florida State University Libraries | 116 Honors Way | Tallahassee, FL 32306 | (850) 644-2706