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The UC San Diego Library is closed December 23, 2023 - January 2, 2024. Access to online resources remains available.

Guide to Online Primary Sources: Home

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


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.

Other primary source assistance at the UCSD Library includes: a short YouTube video that explains what primary sources are UC Library Search for finding primary documents (or other materials) 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-Us reference service or visit/call the Research Assistance Desk (858-822-0450) from 10am-4pm Monday through Friday.

Remote Access

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

Guide Author

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Kelly L. Smith
UC San Diego Library
9500 Gilman Dr. 0175R
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
858-534-6712 (email strongly preferred)
pronouns: she/her