Published Primary Sources

Many of the same tools that you used to find secondary sources can also be used to find published primary sources. Search for books, newspapers, journal articles, etc. published at the historical period under investigation. Use date limiters to restrict your searches to the relevant time period. 

Published Newspapers

Manuscripts and Archives: Search Tools

Manuscripts and Archives: Archives Online

If you're interested in researching a particular institution, you'll want to explore its university or college archives. Many colleges and universities have digitized some, but never all, of their archival material. Especially if you're interested in an institution that is not local, check early in the semester to find out what is available online.

Here's an example of a Google search for digitized archives at Duke:

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Despite the search terms, the first Google result links to the main archives page. Whenever you're on an archives site, look for a link to online or digital or digitized collections to see what you can access from a distance. Here's the Duke page:

Manuscripts and Archives: Short List of Aggregated Digital Archives

Manuscripts and Archives: Local

If the collections you need are not digitized and you're unable to travel to distant archives, make use of local archives.

Very important! Visiting archives near or far requires planning ahead. Read the Society of American Archivists very helpful, time-saving tips:

Selected local college & university archives:

Congressional/Senate Hearings on Higher Education Policy

To find hearings and other documentation associated with enacted federal legislation, go to ProQuest Legislative Insight

  • Click "Popular Names of Laws List" and scroll to the name of the law you are interested in. 
  • Click search.

When you retrieve the legislative history for your law, you can choose which documents to view:

To find hearings and other documentation associated with enacted state legislation, see State Legislative History on the Legislative History guide from the Harvard Law School librarians or contact the HLS librarians for help.