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Primary Sources: What They Are and Where to Find Them

This guide explains what primary sources are and how to find them

Books in Library

Search@UW provides access to Primary Sources in several ways.

Limiting by scopes will focus on results.

--Everything is the most general search. This option searches all of the databases UWRF subscribes to.  It includes Articles, Digital Objects, Ebooks, Digital Collections (Minds@UW, UWDC, and UW Milwaukee ), and materials housed in UW libraries.

--Books and Media@

  • UWRF - Limits search to UWRF materials
  • UW Libraries - search all the libraries in the UW System. Select a resource to be sent to UWRF.

 --Digital Collections Contains: Minds@UW, University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, and UW Milwaukee's Digital Collections

--Archives and Special Collections will search the collections housed in the UWRF Archives and Area Research Center

Search Tip: Use keywords such as "letters," "diary," "narratives" and "manuscripts"  will focus the search toward historical documents or first-person accounts.

University Archives and Area Research Center

The University Archives and Area Research Center (ARC) houses the permanent, historical records of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.  The ARC provides students, faculty, and the general public regional access to historical materials, local government records, manuscripts, and special collections from four northwestern Wisconsin counties: Burnett, Pierce, Polk, and Saint Croix.


Databases that Contain Primary Sources

Consider these lists as a starting point, not a comprehensive list of primary source databases. Every item in these databases is not necessarily a primary source.