Skip to main content


HIS 196H: Sex and the City --The History of Sexuality in Urban Areas Around the Globe

Login Instructions

Information about Primary Sources: types, collections, & databases

Familiarize yourselves with a few useful concepts:

Primary Source Types - Refer to guide on Distinguishing Between Popular and Scholarly Journals below for an explanation. Your assignment specified documents representing different perspectives, including diaries, pamphlets, tax lists, etc. 

Collections - In the field of archives, primary documents are grouped together into unique collections. Collections can be dedicated to individuals, organizations, publications, and so on. Collections reside in archives centers, for example UCSC Library has its own space: Special Collections & Archives. Additionally, some collections might be re-printed in their entirely in book collections or microforms.

Digital Primary Source Collections/Databases - The digitization of collections has been a boon for researchers. Publishers/vendors bring together collections into database, which they then sell to libraries, for campus users to be able to search. There are Open Access databases as well.

Guiding questions when selecting a database to search:

  • Is the type of document you need included?
  • Is your topic's time period covered by the database/by the collections included?
  • Are the collections included/is the subject matter of the databases relevant to your research?
  • What are the perspectives covered?  

Finally, use the filters in the Library's A-Z Database to discovery additional primary source databases UCSC owns or subscribes to. 

Relevant Primary Source Databases


Historical Newspaper Databases