For certain assignments you might be asked to use primary sources. Primary sources are works created at the time of an event, or by a person who directly experienced an event.
It is the content that matters and an on-line source can still be a primary source. For example, an online copy of a newspaper from May 8, 1945, is still a primary source even though the original article has been digitized.
Primary sources can include:
Secondary sources are works that are written after the original event or experience; they provide criticism or interpretation of the event or experience.
Some examples of secondary sources are:
Check out University of Victoria’s Library video on Primary vs. Secondary sources. (Closed Captioned)
To find primary sources in the RU Library catalogue
Use keywords for your topic or historic person along with the word Sources. (Tip: The most relevant results will use the word Sources as a qualifier in a Library of Congress subject heading, rather than as a keyword from the contents or summary notes.)
Many governmental bodies, academic and public libraries, museums, and private organizations are creating digital collections. Often access is free of charge. Use a search engine to look for names of countries, provinces/states, cities, organizations, or individuals AND archives.
Wellcome Library of the Wellcome Trust in the UK includes extensive digital content on the history of medicine.
Parkinson, R.B. The Ramesseum Papyri. London: British Museum, 2011-
The Medical Heritage Library (MHL), a digital curation collaborative among some of the world’s leading medical libraries, promotes free and open access to quality historical resources in medicine. Access via the Internet Archive.
The UK Medical Heritage Library, brings together books and pamphlets from 10 research libraries in the UK, focused on the 19th and early 20th century history of medicine and related disciplines. Funded by JISC, The Wellcome Library, and accessed via the Internet Archive.
Using Primary Sources on the Web -- a concise guide to finding and evaluating primary sources online written in 2015 by a sub-committee of the Instructional and Research Services Committee of the Reference and User Services History Section in the American Library Association.