Key Databases for Journal Articles: 

See also the full list of databases available by subject

Theses Databases:

Historical Newspapers

Under the News Databases, browse down to Historical Archives.


Photographs, illustrations and graphic images are often used in academic writing. Consult the library's Image find guide to help you find and use images properly and in accordance with copyright.

Primary Sources in the Library

What are they?

  • A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. They may also present original thinking, new discoveries or new information collected at the time of an event.
  • Types of primary sources
  • Original documents (including excerpts and translations): diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, technical reports, empirical studies (research based on scientific and experimental results), news film footage, autobiographies, official records, ancient literature, magazine and newspaper articles, public opinion polls, medical charts.
  • Creative works: poetry, drama, novels, printed music, sound recordings, art.
  • Relics or artifacts: pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings. 

Examples of primary sources

  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • The Constitution of Canada
  • Newspaper article from the time an event occurred
  • A journal article reporting new research or findings
  • Weavings and pottery
  • Plato's Republic 

Where to find them in the Library

  • In the library collection
    • Original documents can be found by consulting the Archives and Research Collections (ARC) website.
    • Reproductions can be found by checking the library catalogue.
    • Use specific words to locate primary sources in the library catalogue, such as: correspondence, sources, diaries, letters, personal naratives. KEYWORD search examples:
      • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:correspondence
      • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:diaries
      • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:letters
      • [KEYWORD] and s:sources

Other primary source databases

Primary Sources: International Databases


Sage Research Methods is designed to support researchers with writing a research question, choosing a method, gathering and analyzing data, to and writing up & publishing the findings.

  • Tip: Browse by discipline, look for 'History' to find a number of handbooks and case studies.


Nvivo Software

Nvivo is qualitative data analysis software intended to help researchers organize and analyze data, identify trends, and cross examine information in a variety of ways.  Consult the NVIVO web page for more information about this tool and training workshops.

Content last updated: January 22, 2019