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A Research Guide: From the Secondary Source to the Primary Source

Tools for Locating Diaries

Diaries are a vital part of the historic record. They contain the private thoughts of individuals and open windows to the events of the past through the eyes of one person. Each of the sources listed below will assist in locating diaries by date and by subject. Most will inform you of the existence of original writings and their whereabouts. American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography is unique because it lists diaries that have been published. Primary sources printed in books or on microfilm can be more widely distributed and ultimately are more accessible to a wider population of researchers. Note: A primary source document that is published in a book or journal is still considered a primary source as long as the intellectual content remains the same.

Bibliographies:

American Diaries in Manuscript, 1580-1954: A Descriptive Bibliography

Similar Sources to Consult:
American Diaries: An Annotated Bibliography of Published American Diaries
British Diaries, 1492-1942: An Annotated Bibliography

The entries in American Diaries in Manuscript are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically within any given year. Each diary is listed in the year it begins. The descriptive information provided about the diary is brief and contains broad descriptions of what subjects the diary contains. This source also lists where the original diary is housed and contains an index of undated diaries.

 
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Introduction | Essay | Timeline | 10 Accounts | Biographies
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