If You Need This Type of Primary Source ... Then Do This:

Autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, interviews, speeches, letters, manuscripts...

Search the CSUMB Library Catalog, the CSU Union Catalog, or WorldCat by author (Frank, Anne) OR by subject heading and an appropriate subheading (Frank, Anne -- Diaries). Appropriate subheadings include:

  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works to 1800
  • interviews
  • personal narratives
  • sources

Consult Using Library Catalogs to Find Primary Sources

Newspaper or magazine articles from a specific time period...

Use an appropriate database that indexes or provides full-text of articles dating back to the specific time period. If you are not sure of which database to use, ask a librarian.


  • pictorial works
  • photographs

Use the CSUMB Library's guide to Finding Images on the Internet and at CSUMB.

Statistics, surveys, opinion polls...

Consult the CSUMB Library's guide to Statistical Information. Consult PollingReport.com and The Harris Poll.

Records of organizations and government agencies...

For organizations: search Voyager, Pharos or WorldCat by the name of the organization as author or corporate author. For U.S. government agencies use GPO Access or FirstGov. Use the University of Michigan's links to foreign governments and to international agencies.

Video recordings, audio recordings, and works of literature, art or music from a specific time period...

Ask a librarian.

Various types of primary sources on persons, places or events in local or California history...

Consult the CSUMB Library's guide to California & Local History. If necessary, visit local libraries or archives. Call ahead to find out about access policies and procedures.
Ask a librarian.

Research reports in the sciences or the social sciences...

Consult the CSUMB Library's guide to Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals.
Ask a librarian.

Any primary sources not listed above...

Consult the CSUMB Library's guide to History.
Ask a librarian.