Library:Guide to Finding Primary Sources

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This guide to primary sources focusses on collections owned or subscribed to by UBC Library. Freely available resources are also described if they are significant collections or have a Canadian focus.

For more primary sources in specific subject areas, please use the appropriate UBC Library Research Guides.

What are Primary Sources?

Primary Sources are the direct evidence or first hand accounts of events without secondary analysis or interpretation. A primary source is a work that was written or created at a time that is contemporary or nearly contemporary with the period or subject being studied.

The definition of a primary source varies depending upon the academic discipline and the context in which it is used.