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The Modern Civil Rights Movement: Primary Sources

Welcome to the library guide for HY 430: The Modern Civil Rights Movement! This guide will provide you with helpful resources from the library and across the web.

Primary Sources: Best Bets

Best Bets

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources are original materials.  They are firsthand and often eyewitness accounts.  They were created by someone who lived during an event, and often experienced the event themselves. Primary sources can include diaries, memoirs, letters, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, manuscripts, music, and videos--if they were created by someone who was involved in the event.

For example, here are examples of primary sources on the battle of Normandy (D-Day) in 1944:

--the diary of an American solider who fought there

--a newspaper article about the battle published in 1944

--a video produced by a reporter who was on the beaches with the soldiers

--a memoir written by one of the American generals

--an original photograph depiciting the fighting