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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.

Tips on searching

When searching the catalog through WorldCat Local combine your topic (such as a subject, personal name, or place name) with the words "history sources" to find works not only about the topic but with documents and primary sources related to the topic.


  • pirate history sources
  • humanism history sources
  • women france history sources

Info on primary sources

Primary sources come in a variety of formats: they can be unprinted, printed, online, or in an archives.  It is the nature of the document that makes it a primary source.  If you are unsure what a primary source is, you may wish to start with these introductions:

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