Skip to main content

HIST 391 19th Century America, Prof. Behrend: Researching 19th Century America

19th C. Primary Sources

Finding Books

Advice on Searching for Published Primary Sources

You will get limited results if you try to search for "primary sources" in library databases since the Library of Congress does not use that subject heading.  Try searching these subject headings instead:

sources
personal narratives
diaries
letters
documents

speeches
memoirs

You will get limited results searching for the word "autobiography" since the Library of Congress does not use that subject heading.  Try searching for "biography" but then look to make sure that the author is also listed as a subject. That is your clue that the person is writing about him or herself, and that is a primary source.

Finding Scholarly Articles

Use these databases to search for scholarly history journal articles (secondary sources)

Research Help

If you need help with your history research, sign up for a one-on-one Student Research Consultation (SRC) with a reference librarian who can help guide you through your research project.