Primary sources are documents that provide a first-hand record of events, created at the time of the event or from the era to which they relate. These can be government, company or personal papers, newspapers, books or magazines, or films or works of art.
This resource guide brings together a variety of primary sources that are available online. Some of these resources are free to use and available to everyone. Those marked as subscription services are available for use by University of Leeds staff and students both on and off-campus.
The different types of resources are:
- Archives and archival papers
- Contemporaneous periodicals
- Early books and texts
- Graphic and audio-visual (see audio-visual guide)
- Historical government documents
- Newspaper and magazine archives (see newspapers guide)
- Play texts
Text mining and analysis
You can use the digital humanities tools in the digital scholar lab to analyse texts in new and novel ways, such as text-mining and the visualisation of the results of text analysis. The search works across all the content we subscribe to from GALE, including the archives of key British and American newspapers, digitised early books, US government documents and contemporaneous primary source material covering literature, modern history, politics and economics.
Introduction to primary sources
Watch students speak about the online primary sources they have used in their work, and how the sources informed their work and research.