Primary Sources

Information on primary sources—what they are, how to find them, and how to use and cite them.

What are primary sources? Primary sources are the raw material of history.

They provide direct or firsthand evidence for your research topic or question. Typically, primary sources were created by individuals who witnessed or participated in the event or period you are studying.

Primary sources can be found in all of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries and museums. You can use this guide to identify collections, explore sources in various formats, or learn more about finding and citing primary sources.

For a video explanation, What is a primary source?

AM Research Methods

Johns Hopkins has purchased a Research Methods: Primary Sources that has videos and tutorials on how to locate, understand and use primary sources. Designed as a tool to support students of the humanities and social sciences, Research Methods Primary Sources introduces the key approaches to working with source materials and historical evidence.