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SSI2-180: The French Revolution

Primary Sources

Primary sources are the "raw materials" of scholarship. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline. Your selection of primary source materials for your research project will depend on your topic and your approach.

It's a good idea to explore more than one possibility for your primary sources; try to identify at least three possibilities and then browse through all three before making your final choice.

The examples and collections listed below are just a sampling; ask a librarian for help in identifying additional primary sources.

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Finding Primary Sources with Primo

Library of Congress Subject Headings are quite useful for discovering primary sources. The following subheadings usually are added to indicate that the material is a primary source: sources, personal narratives, correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, "early works to 1800" or notebooks.  Once you've discovered the subject heading for secondary sources, try adding one of the primary source subheadings to see what you find. Here's an example:

Secondary source subject heading: France -- History -- Revolution, 1789 1799
Primary source subject heading: France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Sources

Featured Primary Sources in Print

ARTFL Encyclopédie

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Digital Collections