Primary sources are records in real time or a first-hand descriptions of events. For example, journalists on the scene, an eyewitness, spectator, or an observer can all provide immediate accounts of an event. Among the many items considered as primary are narratives, interviews, diaries, letters, memos, memoirs, speeches, photographs, maps, oral histories, government records/documents, and more. The following links provide information about primary sources and the difference between different kinds of sources (primary, secondary, and tertiary).
Search Tips Using the library Discovery system to search for primary documents. For items owned by NSU Libraries, choose the "Books and Media" tab from the library home page (link below).
Enter in key terms and add some of the keywords to narrow the search for primary source information. Some of the items will not be primary sources in the keyword search, but many will be.
Combine these keywords with search terms:
Most databases use a controlled vocabulary to organize information and make browsing more efficient and specific to chosen terms. When building your search string, consider keywords, synonyms or related terms.
indigenous peoples and alaska
indigenous peoples and 20th century
indigenous peoples and first nations
indigenous peoples of the americas
indigenous peoples - sovereignty
indigenous peoples and movements or activitism
indigenous peoples and hawaii
creek indians AND history
creek indians AND ethnic identity
native american history
five civilized tribes
native american history AND 20th century
native american wars
native americans - treaties
native american arts
treaty indian reservations
Combine or group terms or concepts using the Boolean operator "AND" to refine your search string: native american history AND 20th century or indigenous peoples AND hawaii or try the search string: creek indians AND oklahoma . Check to see if the database offers a Thesaurus or a Subject Terms tab or link. For instance, the database Academic Search Premier offers a "subject terms" tab, and the Military & Government Collection database features a "subjects" tab, while ProQuest offers a "thesaurus" link. Enter terms in the Browsing box to see how the database recognizes them.
Depending on the database, it may offer a variety of ways to limit your results:
For articles that are not available in full text, use the InterLibrary Loan service.