This is the "Primary sources
general info" page of the "Canadian primary sources" guide.
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Canadian primary sources  

Find print and digital sources via the UW Library.
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Primary sources general info Print Page

About this page

These sections provide general information relating to primary sources.

  • What are primary sources?
  • Find primary sources via the library catalogue
  • Cite primary sources
  • Visit archives

This page has 3 subtabs that help you find primary sources by geographical area:

  1. Canadian primary sources
  2. European primary sources
  3. USA primary sources

What are primary sources?

First hand observations of a time, person or event, or material culture associated with a time, person or event.

Some types

newspaper and magazine articles .. diaries .. letters .. government reports .. minutes .. advertisements .. photographs .. military,  church,  synagogue records .. shopping lists .. Twitter tweets .. YouTube videos and comments .. Facebook posts ..


This toothpaste ad appeared in Collier's magazine in 1943. "How to catch a husband" by Bob Hope. Step 1: "Of course, you know what a husband is! That's a bank account with pants and an empty stomach ..." 

Pespodent toothpaste ad from 1943: How to catch a husband by comedian Bob Hope.

From: John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History





Find primary sources on all manner of topics
via the library catalogue

This quick search targets records describing primary documents. Give it a try.

  1. Run the pre-configured library catalogue search. THEN ...
  2. In the 2nd blank box add your own keyword(s) relating to your topic. Separate keywords with AND to ensure all terms appear in the records you retrieve.

Here's an example using poverty AND laws 

Primo search for primary sources


Visit other archives

Before you go check the pre-visit advice, e.g.,



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