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History - Modern History primary sources

Primary source databases for Modern History


This study guide groups primary sources by subject.

Each tab contains our recommended resources and includes some information about the coverage.

What are primary sources?

Historical photo


Hans Weingartz Leonce49

"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 can include:

  • Newspaper articles
  • Photographs
  • Diary entries
  • Letters
  • Speeches
  • Pamphlets
  • Court files
  • And more...

Links and more

There are more primary sources available online and in the MQ Library. Here are some suggested links: