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Research Guides | Library | Amherst College

French 366 - Food Fights

How do I find primary sources on the Internet?

Google/Internet Search

Do a search in Google (or the search engine of your choice) that combines topic keywords with primary source keywords. Commons primary source keywords include:

  • "primary sources"
  • sources
  • documents
  • texts
  • manuscripts
  • "digital collections"

You can also try keywords for kinds of primary sources:

  • "oral histories"
  • "personal narratives"
  • letters
  • correspondence
  • interviews
  • diaries
  • For example: Searching Bracero "primary sources" will lead you to primary sources related to the Bracero program.

Remember to evaluate the sites you find -- even a quick check to see if a site is produced by an archives, museum, governmental agency, or educational institution can help you determine whether this is a legitimate, trustworthy source for information. The best sites for primary sources will provide you with the information you need to cite your sources. 

Other research guides

To see if a librarian has already identified digital primary sources related to your topic, do an Internet search for a term or phrase related to your research plus the phrase "research guide" or LibGuide.