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Archival Resources: Finding Primary Sources

Locating Primary Resources at ASU

The primary source material is located on the 2nd Floor in the Levi Watkins Learning Center.


You can search for primary source material in two ways:

  1. The library catalog - use keywords about the topic
  2. The finding aids - 
    • Finding aids are located within the Archives, but can be requested via email. Send requests to archives 


Watch this short video to understand more about finding aids. Although ASU Archives' finding aids are not identical to the one in the video, all finding aids have the same general outline. 

Primary Sources in ASU Archives

Commonly Used Primary Source Material

  • Vertical Files
    • A variety of items (newspaper clippings, short excerpts from publications, etc.) housed in filing cabinets
  • Photographs - Print and Digital
  • Oral Histories

Other Primary Source Material

  • Rare Books
  • Microfilm & Microfiche
  • Manuscripts

Local Institutions

Below is a list of some of the local institutions that house primary sources related to Alabama topics. This list does not cover all of the local institutions but serves as a starting point. 

Institutions that House Primary Sources

  • University and Public Libraries
  • Local Churches
  • Local and State Historical Societies
  • Museums
  • State Archives
  • Corporate Archives
  • Town Records
  • Local Schools 
  • Local Community Members


Rosenzweig, Roy. "Primary Sources: What Are They?" Teaching History. Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, n.d. Web. 27 June 2017.

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