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Oral History 4023/AIS 4043: Historical Information/Oklahoma History

Primary Source Information and Search Tips

What are primary sources?

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.

  • oral histor* (Note: by placing an asterisk, the search will look for all variations of the root word, e.g. history, histories, historical)
  • "oral history" (Note: enclosing the phrase by using quotations marks, the search will locate records with the complete phrase)
  • personal narratives
  • speeches
  • documents
  • diaries
  • memoirs
  • interviews
  • archives
  • microform
  • letters

Combine these keywords with search terms:

  • "cold war" and memoirs or use "cold war" memoirs
  • president speeches or use campaign speeches
  • reconstruction documents
  • immigration sources

Oklahoma History/websites

The following websites offer information about Oklahoma History and Native Americans.

Search Terms

The following search terms can be used to locate items related to public history, historic preservation, historic sites and museums, etc.

  • Public History
  • Public History - United States - History
  • Historic Preservation
  • Historic Preservation - United States - History
  • Historic Sites - Conservation and Restoration
  • Historical Museums
  • Historical Museums - United States - History
  • Nature Conservation
  • National Parks and Reserves - United States - History
  • Historic Preservation
  • Preservation of materials
  • family archives
  • digital preservation
  • museum labels - handbooks -manuals
  • museum techniques

Example item: This book was located using the NSU Libraries' Discovery system and the "Everything" tab and subject search option. Search terms used: museum labels handbooks manuals

NOTE: If the item is not owned by NSU Libraries, it would be an Interlibrary Loan item.