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WR150: Living the American Revolution

Primary Sources in BU Libraries Search

The search box on the main library webpage (use Advanced Search) is a good place to begin a search for primary sources. The library uses Library of Congress subject headings to classify the books in the collection and there are a number of Library of Congress subheadings that point to primary sources. They are:

  • correspondence
  • sources
  • diaries
  • personal narratives
  • interviews
  • speeches
  • documents
  • archives
  • early works to 1800

These terms can be used in a subject search or a keyword search. Examples of subject searches would be:

  • United States--History--War of 1812– Personal Narratives
  • Presidents--United States--Messages
  • Watergate Affair, 1972-1974-Sources

Examples of keyword searches would be:

  • Civil War and diaries
  • American Revolution and sources
  • Lyndon Johnson and interviews

Many primary documents are reprinted in published sources such as Documents of American History, Annals of America, and Speeches of the American Presidents and these and others are available in the library.

Primary Source Databases

Historical Newspapers

Print books


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Donald Altschiller
Mugar Memorial Library
Subjects: History, Religion