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Primary Sources

Learn what are, and where to find PRIMARY SOURCES

About: Reference Materials

Reference materials like encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and handbooks are a great way to learn terminology, important people, places or events, and related concepts when exploring a new topic.

Use the Library Catalog tab to search print and electronic reference materials, or visit the general reference databases page.

Here is a books-only search for your convenience! Try title, author, subject, or keywords.

Background Information

Before you start to find primary sources, you need some background information on the subject that you are covering, such as:

  • names of the principal participants
  • names of any organizations, political parties, ideological movements, etc.
  • names of countries involved, political figures, etc
  • dates being covered

You can find this information in general or subject encyclopedias, history books, biographical dictionaries, and subject bibliographies.

Concept Exploration With Credo


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Credo pushes online reference further, offering full-text articles and visual aids like videos and mind maps to help you explore topics and their related concepts in depth.