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Civil War Primary Sources

A list of the American Civil War primary sources

Civil War Primary Resources

This guide provides links to Civil War primary resources hosted by other institutions. 

Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study.  These sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event.

Examples of primary sources include the following: (click on a type of source to see an example)
 
- Letters  - Diaries
- Newspapers  - Speeches
- Personal Narratives  - Correspondence
- Interviews  - Memoirs
- Photographs  - Video Recordings
- Documents  - Archives
 

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources.  These sources were created at a later time than the event being studied. 

Examples of secondary sources include:
 
-Biographies -Literary Criticisms
-Monographs -Reviews
-Most Journal Articles -Most Published Books
   
   
   

Primary Sources in the EIU Library Catalog


You can also look for primary sources in the library catalog by combining a type of primary source with a topic. 
Examples might be:
 
Civil War AND diaries World War II AND memoirs
Lincoln AND speeches Vietnam War AND personal narratives
 
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