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Primary and Archival Sources

This guide provides a brief overview of the UWRF Archives and Area Research Center.

The National Archives

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Main website

Research by Topic

National Archives Catalog

America's Historical Documents (a sampling of NARA's records, from the most celebrated milestones to little-known surprises)

Digital Vaults


Library of Congress

Digital Library

  • American Memory
  • written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience

"History Topics"

Primary Sources by State

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (digitized, searchable)

Online Primary Resources

Many states have statewide digital "libraries" of archival materials. Just a few examples:

Find more digital libraries with archival materials:

Digital Public Library of America

  National History Day and Archives Toolkit, under Information for Students and Teachers:

  • Introduction and Video - has nice video on visiting an archives for the first time (made over at UW-Eau Claire)
  • Using Primary Sources - has examples of different types of archival materials and other primary sources, including some examples from UWRF's collections; also has a video from the Minnesota Historical Society on primary vs. secondary sources