Virtual Learning Commons

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Did you know we have videos, ebooks, audiobooks and more too?!? ASK!

Ask questions, make a suggestion, voice a concern; we want to hear your voice! Email us or stop by!

  Amy Foster, Director, Gardiner Learning Commons

  Megan Burlington, Library Media Specialist 

  Sara Ferraris, Assistant
  Nicolle McDougal, Assistant, Archives
  Terri Moreno, Assistant

Open M-F early morning to after study hall; Sat 8-12, Sun 12-5

Primary Sources

Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or could also be memoirs and oral histories of past events. 

  • In  your search: include the words - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents, documentary or correspondence.
  • Combine these these terms with the event or person you are researching. (example: civil war diary)
  • Also search by subject for specific people and events, then scan the titles for those keywords or others such as memoirs, autobiography, report, or personal narratives.

The internet has helped to make many of these sources widely available, some of the best sources are:

American Memory Project of the Library of Congress

The Avalon Project of Yale University

Digital History of the University of Houston

Digital Public Library 


Hathi Trust

Internet Archive 

Making of America

World Wide Web Virtual Library

Don't forget about our campus-wide subscription to the New York Times: from 1851-present.

For more information on using and evaluating primary sources on the web, visit the ALA: