Hege Library & Learning Technologies

HIST 233: Medieval Civilization: Crusades and Chivalry (T. Kircher)

Library Catalog for primary sources

Try a search for: Canon law
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Try a search for: medieval marriage
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Try a search for: Charlemagne legend
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Primary Sources

Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons.

These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research" (Source: Using Primary Sources on the Web, a website created by the History Section of the American Library Association designed to help researchers locate, evaluate, and properly cite online primary sources). Scholars analyze and interpret primary sources in secondary works, particularly scholarly monographs (books) and peer-reviewed journal articles. Secondary sources need not be scholarly, however, and can include popular magazine and newspaper articles, non-academic biographies, textbooks, or websites. Please contact your professor or me if you are having difficulty differentiating between primary and secondary sources.

Middle Ages on the open web

  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook
    Sources are arranged according to region or theme, eg. Rome, France, or Renaissance, Reformation. Scroll down the column on the left to see if your topic is covered. Try a Ctrl-F and enter a key term to see if it is mentioned on the site.
  • EyeWitness To The Middle Ages and Renaissance
    This website has primary sources along with some explanatory notes. Primary sources appear in RED. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to look at the citation for the primary source. There is a search box at the top right where you can search keywords for your topic.
  • European History Primary Sources
    Index of scholarly websites that offer online access to digitized primary sources on the history of Europe. Read the brief guide to searching the portal first.
  • Avalon Project - Primary documents in law, history and diplomacy
    Enter keywords in the search box at the top right. Documents are arranged by time period.
  • Epistolæ: Medieval Women's Letters
    Epistolæ is a collection of letters to and from women in the Middle Ages, from the 4th to the 13th century. The letters, written in Latin, are linked to the names of the women involved, with English translations and, where available, biographical sketches of the women and some description of the subject matter or the historic context of the letter.
  • Sources > Primary sources | British History Online
    British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Try searching in the top right search box.