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Pacific Lutheran University

Inquiry. Service. Leadership. Care.

*African American History: Primary Documents

What is a primary source?

A primary source is firsthand testimony. It is the words of the witnesses or the first recorders of an event. In general, it is created contemporary to the events and include: diaries, letters, manuscripts, archives, speeches, audio recordings, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, original art, and maps. It also includes books that are firsthand testimony of an event. 

Online Primary Documents

Historical Newspapers & Magazines

A woman being held in a Washington, D.C., prison. (Library of Congress)

Topic: Civil Rights

Topic: Slavery