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Primary Sources: Where to Find

Finding Primary Sources

This guide contains places to search for historical primary sources. Regardless of where you look, check whether the documents you find are truly primary sources. The Primary or Secondary? guide can help you decide.

Online Collections

Primary Sources in Books & Ebooks

You might find books and ebooks containing primary sources in QuickSearch. Be aware that you may have to sort through items that are ABOUT primary sources rather than containing the primary sources themselves.

This customized search in QuickSearch is limited to books and ebooks that are likely to contain primary sources. Simply add your term(s) to the search box near the top of the page and hit enter or click the magnifying glass icon.

Example: If you are looking for primary sources related to the Holocaust, add the word Holocaust to the search box.

Screenshot of QuickSearch showing the search terms "primary source holocaust" along with the top result, a book called "Hidden Teens, Hidden Lives: Primary Sources from the Holocaust."

Archives at UAA/APU

Archives & Special Collections at the UAA/APU Consortium Library
To see what the Archives has, you may need to search these two ways.

Other Archives in Alaska

Alaska has many archival organizations. If you are seeking support or assistance with your institution's archival holdings, you may want to start with the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) or the Archives Rescue Corps (ARC). 

Other archives in the state include:

Alaska and Polar Regions Collections
Rasmuson Library
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association
Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska State Archives
Juneau, Alaska

Alaska State Library Historical Collections
Alaska State Library
Juneau, Alaska

Anchorage Museum Library and Archives
Anchorage, Alaska

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Anchorage, Alaska

NARA Pacific Alaska Region (moved to Seattle)
National Archives
Seattle, Washington

Sealaska Heritage Institute
Juneau, Alaska

Many Alaskan museums and libraries also hold archival materials. The best sources for locating those are through Museums Alaska or the Alaska Library Association.

Another resource to search for archival materials in Alaska, try searching the Directory of Archival and Manuscript Repositories in the Northwest. The directory is a compilation of information about heritage institutions in the five-state Northwest region, comprising Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Its purpose is to provide the researcher with information about the content of primary sources in these institutions.

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Guide Owner

This guide is maintained by Daria O. Carle.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

This work by the Consortium Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and is based on University of Texas Libraries' Find Primary Sources guide. Note that linked and embedded content is covered by its own licenses. We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.