Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

POL 250: Working with Primary Sources & Archives

This guide was made for POL 250 to help students get started on their primary and archival research. Use this guide to explore resources available through Pace and beyond, as well as learn more about how to do archival research.

Primary Sources

A primary source is a source that contains first-hand accounts and/or information about a specific event from the time in which that event occurred.

A primary source can be:

  • correspondence / letters
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • personal narratives
  • pamphlets
  • speeches
  • historical newspapers / accounts from the time an event occurred


A secondary source is a source that is about a specific event but was created after that event has taken place.

A secondary source can be:

  • a book, or article discussing a specific event and/or topic after the fact
  • a book, or article that gives an overview or survey of a specific event or time period
  • biography
  • critique of a particular work and/or event
  • reviews of related studies and/or works

To search for books, articles and more - start with the Quick Search tool:

Through the Library you can access a few primary source collections such as:

Newspaper articles published when an event took place can be considered a primary source:

For more information about primary sources, take a look at our Primary Sources in History Research Guide