Access to Primary Resources


Characteristics of Primary Resources:

  • have the character of origin or 'firstness'
  • not limited to unpublished materials
  • that which secondary sources interpret and are built upon

Selected Print Tools for Locating Primary Material

(these tools provide citations to primary resources)

Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the United States
Ref CD3020 .D49 1988
Directory of Business Archives in the United States and Canada
Ref HD2770.5 .D57 1993
The French Image of America: a Chronological and Subject Bibliography of French Books Printed Before 1816 Relating to the British North American Colonies and the United States
SpecCol Ref E141 .E24 1994
Guides to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography (Arranged in 13 subject areas, with single author, name, subject index)
SpecCol Ref CD3022 .A2 D48 1994
Guide to Ethnic Museums, Libraries, and Archives in the United States
Ref E184 .A1W95
Guide to Indian Manuscripts: Materials from Europe and North America
SpecCol Ref DS463 .R54 1993
Guide to Manuscripts in the Presidential Libraries
Ref CD3029.82 .B87 1985
Ref Z663.74 .N3
Picture Researcher's Handbook: an International Guide to Picture Sources
Ref N4000 .E8 1992
SpecCol Ref N4000 .E8 1992 
Subject Collections: A Guide to Special Book Collections and Subject Emphases dictionary catalog using LOC subject headings)
Ref Z731 .A78 1993
SpecCol Ref Z731 .A78 1993

Selected Electronic Tools for Locating Primary Material

(again, these tools provide citations to primary resources)

National Resources Location
Center for Research Libraries
See Handbook & Subject Brochures
CRL Web PAC or Connect via Merlin
Library of Congress
Archive Finder (sign up for free trial)
C-H Database
The National Archives
National Archives
Monthly Catalog of the GPO
GPO Access
International Resources Location
OCLC/WorldCat Catalogs primary sources: search accn #3244509
Merlin (FirstSearch) Database
Repositories of Primary Sources
4200 Websites describing holdings throughout the world
University of Idaho
The National Archives of the United Kingdom (including Public Record Office)


Locating Regional and Local Primary Resources

Labudde Special Collections & Marr Sound Archives
UMKC Miller Nichols Library


Selected Print Guides to Overall & Specialty Holdings of Individual Repositories

American Indian Resource Materials in the Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma
SpecCol Ref E78 .O45 A69 1990
The Archives: a Guide to the National Archives Field Branches
SpecCol Ref CD3026 1988
Guide to the Archival Collections of the Kansas City Museum
Ref. CD3338 .K2 K26
SpecCol Ref. CD3338 .K2 K357
Guide to Civil War Maps in the National Archives
Ref E468 .G85 1986
SpecCol Ref E468 .G85 1986
Guide to the Holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the National Archives
SpecCol Ref CD3027 .S75 1990
Guide to the National Archives of the United States
Ref CD3023 .U53 1987
National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United States
Ref CD3022 .N3
The Trans-Mississippi West, 1804-1912
(Records of the State Dept. & Dept. of Justice)
SpecCol Ref F591 .T73 1993


Selected Print Guides/Indexes/Finding Aids to the Contents of Specific Collections in Repositories

Labudde Special Collections & Marr Sound Archives
UMKC Miller Nichols Library
Dedicated collection web pages and finding aid documents
Benjamin Franklin: a Register and Index of His Papers in the Library of Congress
Ref Z6616 .F83 U66
Index to the Archives of Harper and Brothers, 1817-1914
Ref CD3065 .H37 I6 1982
Index to the William Howard Taft Papers
(all Presidential Papers indexes will be in the Z6616 area)
Ref Z6616 .T18 U6
Tales of the Supernatural: a Selected List of Recordings Made in the United States and Placed in the Archives of Folk Culture
GovDocs LC 39.13/2:13
The Virgil Thomson Papers
Music Ref ML134 .T385 R893
SpecCol Ref ML134 .T385 R893


Primary Source Content

(Full Text - transcriptions and virtual originals)
Internet/World Wide Web
(see also: The history highway 2000 : a guide to Internet resources)
Academic Info History Gateway: Digital Library Independent Internet subject directory
American Memory Project Library of Congress
Making of America (UM)
Making of America (Cornell)
19th century books & journal articles
University of Michigan
Cornell University
The Avalon Project
Text of Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
Yale Law School
Documenting the American South
Southern history, literature and culture
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
Presidential Library System (NARA)
FDR Presidential Library Presidential Library System (NARA)
The Historic American Sheet Music Project
3042 pieces of 19th & early 20th C sheet music
Duke University
EDSITEment (History section) NEH Top Humanities Sites
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies Georgetown University
Kansas City: Paris of the Plains
The Jazz Age in Kansas City, 1920-40
University of Missouri - Kansas City
Government Documents
Government Documents in Miller Nichols Library
(in print, on microform, & on CD-ROM)
Locate via Merlin
Microform Collections
UMKC Microforms collection
- microfilm, microfiche, and microcard -
- includes government documents, newspapers, periodicals -
- all subjects covered, including much history -
Missouri Newspaper Project (MNL & SHS)
The Kansas City Journal Post
The Kansas City Star
New York Times
Times of London

Compiled by Robert Ray
Special Collections Librarian
Miller Nichols Library
University of Missouri-Kansas City

For : History classes in Research Methodology and Historiography     03/18/00 - 09/17/03

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