Search for Primary Sources

A primary source is an item that was created during the period being studied, and it documents in some way what is being studied. Examples of primary sources include speeches, diaries, newspapers, and personal accounts. 

Additionally, primary sources can be contextual to the research. For example, a television show like Game of Thrones could be a primary source for research about power relationships.

Search Primary Sources Databases

You can find primary sources databases on Brennan Library’s Database A-Z List. Under “Database Types,” select “Primary Sources.”

 Primary Sources Filter

Check out these awesome primary sources databases:

    • American Memory
      Written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.
    • Associated Press (AP) Images
      This database captures the greatest events in history and brings them to life with photographs, audio sound bites, graphics and text.
    • Oyez
      Oyez (pronounced oh-yay), a free law project at Chicago-Kent, is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez exclusively offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and opinions.

Search Laser Search

You can find many primary source documents in Laser Search. Enter your search term in the box and click Search. Next, limit your results to “Primary Source Documents” using the Format filter on the left-hand side (you may have to click "Show More").

 Primary Sources Filter in Laser Search

Search the Public Domain

If your topic is pre-1923, you can find primary sources that are in the public domain. Resources in the public domain are not under copyright protection and are usually available online for free. Google, HathiTrust, and the Digital Public Library of America have digitized documents from the world's major research libraries. The Chronicling America project at the Library of Congress has digitized American newspapers from 1836 to 1922.

Search Lasell’s Winslow Archives

The Winslow Archives collects materials that document the history and growth of Lasell from its beginnings as the Auburndale Female Seminary in 1851. Types of materials collected include:

    • Administrative and committee records
    • Lasell College publications
    • Photographs
    • Audio visual materials
    • Manuscript collections of alumnae and current and former members of the faculty and administration
    • Student life records
    • Lasell College ephemera, such as apparel, event posters, and tchotchkes

Explore Lasells’ rich history at our very own archives; our digitized collection online includes all our yearbooks, Lasell Leaves (a student newsletter turned alumni publication), Lasell: a History by Don Winslow, as well as, all of our course catalog. These materials have been made available through a partnership with the Boston Public Library and Digital Commonwealth.

Visits to the archives are by appointment only. To set an appointment e-mail the college archivist Allison McCarter at