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Remote Access to Primary Document Resources

Remote Access to Primary Sources

For access to digitized primary sources featuring UCSC Library Collections and the collections of other California Libraries and Museums try these resources:


UCSC Library also offers immediate, remote access to online primary source databases hosted by outside vendors. These databases gather together archives and primary sources according to subjects (like abolition) or formats (like early printed books). Access to these databases is funded by the Library and require you to authenticate as a UCSC affiliate (ie use the Campus VPN)

Check out the Library’s offering of databases for:


Primary source can also be accessed through readers or anthologies that are available online. Using Library Search, you can conduct a search for such books (and then limit to those available online). Follow these steps for results:

  • Pick a broad term related to your topic and go to:

  • In Advanced Search:

    • Sign in (upper right hand corner)

    • Set the first row to Subject and type in the term Sources and in the next row, (already set to Any Field) type in your search term or phrase and (see image below) and press SEARCH
      screenshot of advanced search

    • Next, once you have a list of results, check the boxes for Available Online and Books and Books Chapters and press on Apply Filters (see image below) 
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    • Review the results; click on a book for information about the book and a View Online link to the ebook.

Books that include other types of primary sources can be found using the appropriate subject terms listed below (Substitute one of these terms for Sources in the search above):

  • Autobiographies

  • Correspondence

  • Diaries

  • Early works to 1800

  • Interviews

  • Letters

  • Memoirs

  • Oral histories

  • Narratives

  • Pamphlets

  • Sources

  • Speeches

For addition options for online books, try:

Evaluating sources in these books: This search is meant to help you discover books, for example anthologies or readers, that contain the complete primary documents. Be sure to review the contents of these books to ensure the documents contained within represent the full documents. Some questions to ask yourself: 

  • What are the implications to your research, if the book only offers a portion of the primary source? 

  • Does it qualify as a primary source if the excerpted text is accompanied by the author’s analysis?