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Seton Hall University Seton Hall University University Libraries Seton Hall University

Primary Sources - An Introductory Guide  

This site outlines what constitutes a prime research resource. The information presented here is designed to illustrate details on the value of finding and utilizing unique historical materials.
Last Updated: Jan 6, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Our Collections

The following links will lead you to options for primary source exploration via our own Archives & Special Collections Center information sites.  Other examples found throughout the University Libraries site can be found elsewhere within this reference guide. 

Research Help

Research Appointments

Research aid is always available through our office. 

Please feel free to contact Alan Delozier, Special Collections Librarian by e-mail  or via phone at:  (973) 275-2378. 

Quick Questions / Problems?

Call the Reference Desk: 
(973) 761-9437.

Information Technology Help Desk 973-275-2222. For problems with Email ID and password, or other technical issues.

email a question:  Ask a Librarian


    What Is A Primary Source?

    Materials of this type comprise original thought and reflect first-hand perspective on a particular subject(s).  Popular examples include letters, journals, newspapers, photographs for instance, but resource types can also be published, or non-published alike.  The following links are designed to provide users with quick access to resource tools that can aid their search for precise information on what constitutes a primary source in more detail.


    How to Use Archival Resources

    Archives or archival collections usually have unique materials generated or collected by a person or organization in their work or activities. The word "archive" may refer to a building or institution that holds these materials, or it may refer to the materials themselves. In either case, archives are often excellent sources of primary sources.

    Most archives collect materials related to a certain region, topic, historical period, or institution. A university may have an archive of records documenting the activities of the university and its students, a city may hold materials related to its own history and government, or an art museum may collect documents related to artists and a particular type of art.

    Because most archival collections contain a group of unique materials, descriptions of archival collections are created.

    How To Search

    When it comes to searching through our various search engnes and databases using a logical sequence of short, precise keywords will help yield the most productive results list possible.  These can consist of single words/phrases, or used in conjunction with each other. 

    Example - "New Jersey" and "History"

    Typically, a search session has to be conducted by a specifc paramater (i.e. author, title, keyword, subject, etc.) leading to a more precise list of matches. 





      Contact Information

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      Alan Delozier
      Contact Info
      University Archivist/Special Collections Librarian.

      Archives & Special Collections Center
      Seton Hall University Libraries
      400 South Orange Avenue
      South Orange, New Jersey

      Phone: (973) 275-2378
      Send Email

      Library Information

      The following information will help start you in the right direction to access of various library-related resources.


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