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Primary Sources


This guide was created to help LMU students find and evaluate primary source materials. Students in any type of course may have assignments that involve primary sources. The LMU librarians encourage anyone working with primary sources to reach out with their questions! Please contact us using the Get Help page. 

How to use this guide: 

The first section, What is a Primary Source, addresses key questions related to primary sources, After reading this introduction, try to answer the questions posed about the source you need in the next section entitled How Do I Find Primary Sources. This will help you develop a search strategy. Then, to see what primary source databases the library has, use the Search Primary Source Collections at LMU section and use the search terms you have developed. 

Primary & Secondary Source Examples by Discipline





Image Credits (in order of appearance) 

Unknown. Victorious Youth. 300-100 B.C. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. The Getty. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

Kim, Eugene, and Philip K. Hopke. "Source Characterization of Ambient Fine Particles in the Los Angeles Basin." Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science 6.4 (2007): 343-53 ProQuest. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

Mathat, Asa. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Interviewer Carol Loomis of Fortune. Photograph Flickr. Fortune Live Media, 4 Oct. 2011. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Pub. L. 107-110. 115 Stat. 1425. 08 Jan. 2002 Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

McQueen, Alexander. Ensemble, Widows of Culloden. autumn/winter 2006-7. Dress of McQueen wool tartan; top of nude silk net appliquéd with black lace; underskirt of cream silk tulle. Courtesy of Alexander McQueen. Photograph. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.