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Primary Sources

A primary source is usually a record made at the time of an event by participants or by firsthand observers. Examples include:

  • contemporary newspaper or magazine accounts
  • government reports
  • books that contain personal writings such as diaries

See the boxes below for resources to help you find different types of primary source material.

Check Secondary Sources!

 A great way to find primary sources is to check the bibliographies, footnotes, endnotes, etc. of the secondary sources that you find.
Articles and books written by historians should cite primary sources, many of which may be available at OU or via our interlibrary loan service.

Books and More

Newspapers and Magazines

Government and Legal Publications

The University of Oklahoma's Government Documents Collection is now in storage, but items may still be retrieved via Sooner Xpress. Contact the Government Documents Librarian, Jeffrey Wilhite, and see his research guides.
The Donald E. Pray Law Library  is open to main campus students, and many (but not all) of its online resources are also available with a main campus OUNetID. See this page for all Law Library research guides, this one for resources related to the Supreme Court of the United States. Contact their Reference Desk at (405) 325-5268 or email them at
Also see this guide on locating court records, briefs, and oral arguments from Yale University.