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Primary Sources for History: Primary Sources

Various primary sources

Primary and Secondary Sources in History: A Primer for Undergraduates, Challenges for Librarians

This article discusses the challenge reference librarians face in identifying primary and secondary sources in the study of history. Labeling sources depends wholly on how they are used. Through better observation of sources in history, librarians can assist instructors and students in the use of primary sources in the classroom and research.

Primary Sources at Yale

War of the Rebellion

THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 

Photographic portrait of Jefferson Davis

Contains the formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the Southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially thereto, and, as proposed is to be accompanied by an Atlas. In this series the reports will be arranged according to the campaigns and several theaters of operations (in the chronological order of the events), and the Union reports of any event will, as a rule, be immediately followed by the Confederate accounts. The correspondence, etc., not embraced in the "reports" proper will follow (first Union and next Confederate) in chronological order.

Kappler Project


Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler is an historically significant, seven volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes. The volumes cover U.S. Government treaties with Native Americans from 1778-1883 (Volume II) and U.S. laws and executive orders concerning Native Americans from 1871-1970 (Volumes I, III-VII). The work was first published in 1903-04 by the U.S. Government Printing Office.