Brainstorm keywords and phrases in advance. You can use Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, books, articles, etc. to help you think of as wide a variety of search terms as possible. You also want to combine the terms in different ways in your searches. Quotation marks will keep the words of a phrase together in the search and help with precision in the results.
|Benjamin Franklin||American Revolution; American War for Independence; Poor Richard's Almanac||1700-1800; 18th century||France; Philadelphia; American colonies||letters; publications; diaries|
|Mao Zedong; Chairman Mao; Mao Tse-Tung||Chinese Communist Party; Chinese Cultural Revolution||20th century; 1949-1976||People's Republic of China; China||writings; photographs; correspondence|
|Malcolm X; Malcolm Little; el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz||racism; Black nationalism; Nation of Islam; Muslim Mosque, Inc.||20th century||United States; Mecca; New York City||videos; oral histories; papers|
If you want to locate groupings of primary sources around a topic or theme, try using search terms like these
|collection||"digital library"||"teacher's kit"||"lesson plans"|
|"digital exhibit"||"digital collection"||exhibition||archive|
If you want a shortcut to finding primary sources on a topic, you can also try looking for course or subject guides created by librarians at other colleges and universities. The system used to create course guides is called LibGuides, so if you add that to a search, you might find some guides with great information.
Example: Nazi propaganda "primary sources" LibGuide
*Other universities may be subscribed to primary source databases that they're paying for so their students have access, but you wouldn't be able to access the content. If you see a lock next to an link on a guide, that's an indication that it's only available to members of their campus community.
Questions to ask when you think you've located a primary source online