In historiography, a primary source (also called original source) is a document, recording, artifact, or other source of information that was created at the time under study, usually by a source with direct personal knowledge of the events being described. It serves as an original source of information about the topic.
Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources, which cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources, though the distinction is not a sharp one. "Primary" and "secondary" are relative terms, with sources judged primary or secondary according to specific historical contexts and what is being studied. [From Wikipedia]
To find primary sources at Stony Brook, use STARS, the Library Catalog.
You can include various words in your search that will help you locate primary source material. A good general word to include would be sources.
For example, if you are looking for primary sources on slavery, you can do a KEYWORD ANYWHERE search in STARS for salvery and sources.
Also try these Library of Congress subject headings that are often used for primary sources:
Primary source collections include:
Major Historical Sets
Index to Underground Newspaper Collection: Microforms Library Z6944.U5 B4 [1963-1985]
Alternative press. A guide to the microform collection Z6944.U5 B4 [1986-present]
Other Major Papers
Major Foreign Newspapers
Have historic newspapers for Long Island. Original newsprint copies and microfilm. Most but not all titles are in STARS. Consult with Kristen or Jason.
Card Catalog Drawer
Located at the Reference Desk. Indexes newspapers by state/region.
The American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection is the largest collection of North-American-focused historical periodicals available for purchase. Comprised of over 10 million pages, this collection contains approximately 7600 distinct periodical titles, all published between 1691 and 1877. The collection touches on a range of subject areas, including, but not limited to: science, technology, medicine, Native American and African American populations, law, politics, government, music, the arts, literature, language, publishing, agriculture, business and industry, advertising and marketing, religion, philosophy, social movements, military matters, and leisure activities.
Full-text. 1741-1930. Over 1,100 American magazines spanning 200 years and covering nearly every aspect of American culture, especially its history, science, literature, music, legal structures, agriculture, theater, and politics. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine (first published in 1741) and America's first scientific journals, Medical Repository, as well as Scientific American, to literary and professional journals, specialized titles, and such well-known popular magazines as Vanity Fair, Ladies' Home Journal and The Dial.
There are an increasing number of excelent web sites that have audio-visual proimary source material.
Internet Archive - Probably the best overall collection of audio-visual material that could be used for primary sources. The Archive currently contains almost 400,000 moving images and nearly 700,000 audio items, along with software and other material.
YouTube - Great resource for finding speeches and hidtoric news items, as well as musical and cinematic trasures.