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Norwich University Online

Kreitzberg Library for CGCS Students

Find and Use Archival Materials

Primary Sources in Archives

You may have already learned that primary sources are items from a specific time period, including eyewitness accounts, experiment results, statistical data, original pieces of creative writing, original artwork, and legal documents. By contrast, secondary sources, such as books and journal articles, comment on, interpret, or discuss primary sources. 

Primary sources may be found in books and other published formats, as well as many locations around the web. In most cases, however, they first originated in archives before being transcribed, compiled, or otherwise contextualized and repackaged in a published form.

This guide focuses on ways to find original copies of primary source documents in archival collections and offers more in-depth information about finding and using those resources.

Contact Information

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Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about archival research! Although our primary focus is providing access to collections in the Norwich Archives, we're also happy to provide guidance or advice related to finding and using archival collections in other repositories.


This guide was last updated by Gail Wiese in December 2023.