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Stony Brook University

AAS 401/501

Finding Primary Sources

To find primary sources at Stony Brook, use the Libraries' "SEARCH" discovery tool. 

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 the Philippines, you can search for Philippines and sources.

Also try these Library of Congress subject headings that are often used for primary sources:

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Personal narratives

Audio and Visual Resources

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.

Digital Collections at Stony Brook

Searching Historical Newspapers: Online


New York Times Archive - 1851-3 years ago. Online access to page images and fulltext articles from the New York Times as far back as the first issue.

For newspaper articles after approx. 1980, you can search the following databases:

LexisNexis Academic - Thousands of newspapers, from major ones to more regional titles. Washington Post goes back to about 1975. Most papers go back to the mid 1980s or 1990.

Ethnic NewsWatch - Newspapers from minority and ethnic presses that often don't get covered in LexisNexis or Factiva. Most go back to early 1990s.

Newsday - 1985-present.


Chronicling America - The Library of Congress - Newspapers from some states from 1860-1922. 

ICON: International Coalition on Newspapers - Best single guide to online newspapers.  Lists digitization projects in the U.S. and around the world.  Shows which are freely accessible and which cost money. 

Google News Archive - Contains a mix of free and pay online newspapers, mostly from the 20th century.

Primary Sources on the Web

Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives select, acquire, preserve and provide access to rare, valuable, and scarce primary and secondary materials  in a variety of formats in support of the educational and research endeavors of Stony Brook University's students, faculty, and staff.

The department also extends its services to researchers in the wider geographic region, nationally, and internationally. 

The collection includes: books, manuscripts, and maps dating from the 15th century; the University Archives; audio/visual materials;  and a digital repository. All are welcome to explore the library's unique collections.