Answered By: Michael Davidson
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2015     Views: 23

Searching for primary sources (aka 'primary documents') isn't as simple as searching for a certain subject or author.  This example search will help you find primary sources on George Washington in the library:

George Washington AND (narrativ* OR journal* OR chronic* OR document* OR "oral history" OR memoir* OR diar* OR "personal narratives" OR correspondence)

Of course, you can change George's name to any term you choose.

Why, you might ask, are all those OR's in there?  Because primary documents come in many different forms, we need to use several terms to find them:

  • Personal narratives
  • Personal journals
  • Oral histories
  • Memoirs
  • Diaries
  • Correspondence

I hope this has been helpful.  Please ask a reference librarian if you have further questions.