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HISTORY (general)

This is the general history subject guide. Other guides may be available for specific aspects of history, time periods, and classes.

Databases with Strong Primary Source Content

Specialized (Online) Reference Books Containing Primary Sources

Many of these titles are also available in print and may be easier to use.

History Article Databases with Primary Source Limiters

Archives of Historical Documents

Search for Primary Sources in Books & eBooks

When searching for primary sources in books and ebooks researchers at GCC may find it useful to use the OneSearch box (below) or on the library homepage and then select the 'Find Books' tab.  The following 'subject terms' are a list of selected terms that may be useful for finding primary sources in books and ebooks. The sample searches use 'holocaust' as a topic, but you may replace 'holocaust' with a key word related to your topic (i.e. slavery, Rhode Island, American West, manifest destiny, Abraham Lincoln, Lewis and Clark, etc.)

[Limit to eBooks before you search by choosing the 'eBook' radio button or after your search by using the 'Online Items' limiter at the top of the left sidebar on the results page.] 

For example, click on the link below to see the results of the search with the term 'holocaust' added.  To search different topics, exchange the word 'holocaust' with a word that relates to the topic being researched. Also, the searches below are for books and eBooks at GCC. Your search may be broadened to include ALL Maricopa Community College libraries or limited to include just online / ebooks.

Other keywords that may be useful for finding primary sources include:

Of course, these searches do not produce an exhaustive list of books that contain primary source material on your topic.  Many other books and encyclopedia on your topic may contain primary sources as well.  Also, researchers need to conduct multiple searches using various terms for their topic.  For instance, searching on 'nazi persecution' returns different results than searching on 'holocaust'.  Also, using these terms in a 'keyword' search rather than a 'subject search' will yield more results thought they may be less focused.

Finally, it may be useful to search more broadly than your specific topic.  For instance, searching on 'genocide' rather than 'holocaust' may return results that include the holocaust among other genocides. 

Find Books



If you need help finding a book on the shelf or online... 
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All guides are available under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.