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Primary Sources

Finding Primary Sources in HoyaSearch

The library provides access to millions of scholarly resources through HoyaSearch. This includes many primary sources and collections of primary sources. To locate primary sources follow these important steps:

1. Create a Keyword List

Get to know your topic and create a keyword list, which can include names of important events, documents, people, places, dates, and specialized vocabulary.

For example, if you are conducting research on the Reconstruction Period in US History, some of the keywords you might add to a list include:

  • Reconstruction
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Freedmen's Bureau
  • Black Codes
  • Enforcement acts (1870-1871)
  • "carpetbaggers"
  • "scalawags"
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Compromise of 1877
2. Search HoyaSearch using special search words to finding primary sources

Combine the keywords from this list with special keywords HoyaSearch recognizes for finding primary sources:

  • Sources
  • Documents
  • Personal narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Public Opinion
  • Caricatures and cartoons
  • Archives
3. Review the search results and select items that look promising

The search used in the example below is Reconstruction Sources.

Details from the book The Civil War and Reconstruction : a documentary reader.

HoyaSearch Results

Note that the entry for this title from the results list includes our keywords, shows that Sources is listed as the genre - indicating primary sources, and the title uses the phrase documentary reader, which indicates a collection of documents or primary sources.