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Primary Sources: Home

Primary Sources

DEFINITIONPrimary Source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the experience or time period under study. These first-hand contributions offer an inside view of a particular event. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later.
Examples of primary sources are:

  • Diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters, memos, manuscripts and other papers in which individuals describe events in which they were participants or observers;
  • Memoirs and autobiographies;
  • Records of organizations and agencies of government;
  • Published materials written at the time of the event;
  • Photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures, video recordings documenting what happened;
  • Artifacts of all kinds; and
  • Research reports in the sciences and social sciences.

Web Sources

The following are freely accessible websites where primary source collections may be found.

Library Databases

The following are Viterbo library databases which contain primary sources.  Please note that not all of the material found in them are primary sources. 

Viterbo History

Use the following collections to discover Viterbo newspapers, images, campus publications, meeting minutes, music recitals, and more!

Contact Me

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Jodi Hilleshiem
Todd Wehr Memorial Library
MC 114
La Crosse, WI 54601