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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Lusophone Studies

Thinking about Primary Sources

A primary source is an original source of information, written or created during the time period under study. Primary sources may include:

  • Original documents like diaries, manuscripts, photographs, film footage,  newspaper articles, speeches, and official records
  • Creative works like novels, poetry, music or artifacts like furniture, clothing, buildings

Contrast these with secondary sources, which interpret and analyze primary sources.  Secondary sources are generally written after the fact.

Digitized Primary Sources


Digital Libraries:


Digital Libraries:


Digital Libraries:

Interested in finding more primary sources that have been digitized?  These are some resources that can help:

Published Primary Sources

Use these search terms- in addition to your keywords- in order to identify published primary sources at the library:

  • Archives
  • Interviews
  • Correspondence
  • Description and travel
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts
  • Oral Histories
  • Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
  • Personal narratives
  • Pictorial Works
  • Speeches
  • Sources
These search terms are especially powerful if you place them in the "subject" field in the HoyaSearch advanced search option.

Digitization projects

Web Archiving Projects

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