Use the GIL-Find Catalog to locate primary sources using keywords such as documents, sources, letters, and correspondence combined with your subject. For example, Abraham Lincoln and letters.
Books in libraries are assigned one or more subject headings. These are standardized terms that ensure books on the same topic can be found even if the keywords are different.
Doing an "Exact Search" in GIL-Find using a basic or broad subject heading will give you a list of subcategories for that subject.
Examples of broad subject headings:
Subcategories like "--Sources," "--Correspondence," "--Diaries" are good indicators that an item is a primary source.
When you find a good book, look at its subject headings in the catalog record. Follow these to list other items on that topic. Or, use the subject heading terms in a new keyword search.
1) Do a keyword search on your topic, and add any of the following special terms as subject keywords:
|early works to 1800||interviews|
|pictorial works||oral history|
|description and travel|
2) Use an author (or corporate author) keyword search to find books written by key participants and organizations. (Also search for names of key people in the subject.)
3) Limit your search by publication date
4) Try adding the keywords papers or document? or memoir? to your search
This will pull up titles such as The Papers of Thomas Jefferson and the Columbia Documentary History of Race and Ethnicity in America