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History-Finding Primary Sources for Historical Research

Diaries and Letters

Letters and diaries can be written by the famous or by  those without  power. Those  written by well-known in history often are collected in published collections. If the diary or letters are unpublished, they are often housed in a special collection.   In either case, the content of this  type of writing often gives a more personal  perspective on historical events or life for this person during this time period. However as you analyze this type of source, keep in mind  the writer's motivations and biases.


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Digitized Collections- United States

Here are some examples of diaries and letters which are available on the web. Many of the sets listed below are part of the Library of Congress American Memory Project.

Digitized Collections-Europe

Digital Collections-Pacific Northwest

Digitized Collection-Latin, Central and South America

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Mary Linden Sepulveda

Mary Sepulveda's picture
Mary Sepulveda

Coordinator of Collection Development

and Special Collections