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Guides for finding Primary Historical Sources - The Details

In depth guides and instructions for locating primary sources in using search engines and archives such as Google Books Advanced, HathiTrust, Chronicling America, Poole's Index, and Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature

Google Books Advanced Search

Google Books is one of the fastest search engines for primary sources. This makes it a good option for students with short attention spans.

Use the Advanced Search of Google Books - google:  Google Books Advanced

Google Books Advanced Search allows you to limit your search to either Full view or Limited preview sources

Google Books Advanced Search also allows you to limit your search to specific years [Publication Date] 


Using the "Find results", "Search", and "Publication Date" settings in Google Books Advanced Search


Note - Keep “Content” set to “All Content” unless the intention is to search the very specific (and limited) collections found in Google Magazines or Google Newspaper Archive.

Setting the Google Books Advanced “All Content” setting to Magazines IS a good strategy for finding primary historical sources for the Civil Rights era (1950s and 1960s). Black Press publications found in Google Magazines include: Black World, The Crisis, Ebony and Jet. Google Magazines also provides free access to Life magazine from 1936 to 1972.

Note - While not ideal, Google Books Advanced might also be used to find limited previews of secondary historical sources in book format published in the past four to five decades. If searching for portions of secondary source books, be sure to set the search to “Limited preview and full view”.