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Guide to Online Primary Sources: Home

Subject listings of primary sources available online: free web collections as well as UCSD subscription-based resources.

Custom Google Search Removed

6/1/19 - Please note that the Custom Google search that used to accompany this guide has been discontinued, as it had become severely out-dated over the last few years.

Remote Access

Remote access to resources marked with a blue lock symbol is limited to UCSD students, faculty and staff.


Primary source research often strikes fear into students, who may not understand what primary sources are or how to find them. This guide concentrates on the "how to find them" part of the equation, linking to hundreds of free primary source collections on the web as well as collections to which UCSD subscribes.

The custom Google search engine (see box at left) will search collections in this guide identified by an asterisk (*). Please be aware, though, that you are encouraged to go directly to collections that may be of interest and browse the available resources.

Other primary source assistance at the UCSD Library includes: a short YouTube video that explains what primary sources are; the library catalog for finding primary documents in the library; search tips on the "Need More?" tab of this guide; and, you can always ask a librarian for help.

Key Sites

Need help?

Use the Ask-A-Librarian reference service or visit/call the Research Assistance Desk (858-822-0450) from 10am-4pm Monday through Friday.

Guide Author

Kelly L. Smith's picture
Kelly L. Smith
UC San Diego Library
9500 Gilman Dr. 0175R
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
pronouns: she, her, hers