Primary sources provide first-hand evidence about an event, place, historical period, discovery, invention, organization, or person’s life.
They may be found in libraries or archives in printed volumes, in manuscripts, on microform, or online.
Diaries, letters, journals, autobiographies, memoirs, some government documents, early printed books, manuscripts, archival collections, pamphlets, ephemera, facsimiles or reprints of early works, photographs, artifacts, maps, field notes, oral histories, or records of organizations/companies may all be primary sources. Read more about them here. And here.
As you use the online catalog by subject heading watch for sub-headings: sources, personal narratives, correspondence, early works to 1800. Example: Counter Reformation--sources
Watch for, look for, citations to primary sources in secondary works and in reference sources, in footnotes or bibliography.
Watch for, look for, references to primary sources amidst search results in periodical index searches.
Archive of Americana
Portal for: 1. Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans 1639-1800, 2. Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker 1801-1819 3. Afro-Americana imprints, 1532-1922 : from the Library Company of Philadelphia.
British Isles Online Primary Resources
This is a guide to the major electronic resources M.S.U. Libraries has bought or is subscribing to about/from the British Isles, not all listed here in the Global Catholicism guide.
British Records on the Atlantic World 1700-1900
This series from Microform Academic Publishers includes archival materials such as journals, correspondence, official records and personal papers over a two hundred year period, all related to British involvement in the Atlantic region, including both Africa and the Americas. This database is also known as British Online Archives.
British History Online
British History Online is the digital library of British historical sources for historians of Britain located worldwide seeking access to texts and information about people, places, and businesses from the medieval through modern periods. It is being created jointly by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. Texts from the Centre for Metropolitan History, the Victoria County History Project, Survey of London, and early journals of the Houses of Commons and Lords are also present.
Early Encounters in North America: Peoples, Cultures, and the Environment
This collection documents the relationships among peoples and the environment in North America from 1534 to 1850. The collection includes both published and unpublished accounts, narratives, diaries, journals, and letters.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
EEBO, Early English Books Online, provides digital access to the citations, full texts, and illustrations of 106,639 works listed in Pollard and Regrave's Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 (Main or Consulting Reference Z 2002 .A27 and 1976), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English Books Printed in Other Countries, 1641-1700, (Main or Consulting Reference Z 2002 .W52 and 1972 and 1994) and the Thomason Tracts (Main or Remote Storage Z 2018 .T49 1977), a compendium of broadsides on the English Civil War, 1640-1660. M.S.U. Libraries owns microfilm of this material also in the STC I, STC II, and 14458 in Remote Storage. Search the database by author, title, keywords, subject, imprint, date, type of illustration, film reel ID number, STC number, source library, language, or combinations. Browse indexes available.
Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO)
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) contains digital versions of 150,000 works published or printed from 1701-1800 in England, and other English-speaking places around the world (including the rest of the British Isles, the American colonies, and the early United States).
Look here to find full texts of primary source materials in history, geography, literature, language, religion, philosophy, social science, fine arts, music, architecture, medicine, science, technology, and law, as well as general reference works from the 18th century.
The database also includes works in other western European languages which were published or printed in England or other English-speaking places during this time.
Search by author, title of work, keyword, publisher, or combination. Limit results by year of publication, language, or general subject area. Contains printings or re-printings of works by/about people, topics, and places of significance earlier than 1700.
Empire Online offers about 60,000 images of original documents linked to essays by leading scholars in the field of Empire Studies. The sections cover Cultural Contacts, (1492-1969); Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; the Visible Empire; Religion and Empire; and Race, Class, and Colonialism (c1783-1969). Maps, manuscripts, pamphlets, paintings, drawings, and rare books are included. Five centuries of history are represented.
It is supposed to go back to 1492, supposed to have a section on Religion and Empire. There are many entries under "missionaries." To what extent Catholic missionaries will be represented I am not sure. It is English database with English materials in it.
History of Ideas in Europe D 5 Microcards PRR/Microforms/Copy Center 2nd floor West Wing
5,000 microcards containing copies of books selected from the collections of Union Theological Seminary on the religious and ideological struggles of the Reformation. Searching the title of this set in our online catalog yields 175 entries for individual items in the set which can be read on the microcards.
Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents 1610-1791 Main F 1030.7 .J413 1959 and Microfilm set #1583 reels 581-587 Remote Storage
The web site contains entire the English translation of The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, originally compiled and edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites and published by The Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland, throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century, detailing Jesuit activities around the world. Each file in the site represents the total English contents of a single published volume. Our reprint set on paper and microform has facing pages in the original French, Latin, or Italian depending on the language of the original author.
Mary I, Queen of England, 1516-1558 #14912, 7 reels (Domestic policy) Remote Storage and #17090, 5 reels (Foreign policy) Remote Storage
Complete State Papers Domestic and Foreign of Mary, Queen of England from 1552-1558, a Catholic. Calendar (table of contents finding aid) to the Domestic material is in Main DA 25 .E3 1552.
Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu Main, Remote Storage, and Online. Cataloged Separately. Some call numbers below.
A set of primary sources containing documents, bibliographies, etc. dealing with the Jesuits, their organization, missions, and members. Do a search for the title Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu in our online catalog to see M.S.U. Libraries' holdings, call numbers, and Library locations. Briefly:
About India=Main BX 3740 .I4 W5 1948 v. 1-10
About Acadia=Remote Storage C (ask at Circulation desk) F 1030.8 .C3
About Huron Indians=Remote Storage C (ask at Circulation Desk) F 1030.7 .C3 1987
About Quebec=Main BX 3711 .Q82 C3 and Main BX 3701 .M7 C262 1989
About Paraguay=Main BX 3714 .P2 A2 2005
[Letters from Missions India and Brazil]
[Letters, Instructions, etc. of St. Ignatius] and here
[Letters of Alphonso Salmeron]
[Letters of Geronimo Nadal]
[Letters of Juan-Alphonso de Polanco]
[Letters of Petrus Faber]
Monumenta Serica. Main. Cataloged separately. Some call numbers below.
About the history of China. Some of our volumes are about the history of Christianity in China. Briefly:
[Bible in China] Main BS 315 .C59 B53 1999
[Jesuit Maps] Special Collections Rare Books xx G 7820 f.S1 F8 1941 ed. And 1943 ed.
[Jesuits and Chinese Rites] Main BV 3415.2 .M86 1994
[Jews/Judaism in China] Main DS 145 .C5 L471 1998; DS 135 .C5 F76 2000
[Johann Adam Schall, missionary] Main BV 3427 .S35 V37 1991
[Ferdinand Verbiest, missionary, scientists, engineer, diplomat] Main QB 36 .V46 F47 1994
Native American Studies Research Guide
M.S.U. Libraries' guide for researching Native American Indians by M.S.U. librarian Jon Harrison. See the section on Primary Sources.
North American Indian Thought and Culture
This fifth release of North American Indian Thought and Culture contains over 119,000 pages of text and images. Included are biographies, auto-biographies, personal narratives, speeches, diaries, letters, and oral histories. When complete North American Indian Thought and Culture will include 123,000 pages of text and images.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926
Contains full-texts of books in Joseph Sabin's Bibliotheca Americana: a Dictionary of Books Relating to America from its Discovery to the Present Time, a bibliography published from 1868-1936. The books contained are about North, Central, and South America, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the West Indies but were published in Europe, England, and elsewhere. Look here for original accounts of exploration, pioneering, settlement, military actions, Native Americans, etc.
17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers
Part of the British Library Newspapers collection, 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers is a full-text, fully searchable digital archive of nearly 1,270 newspapers and news pamphlets from the United Kingdom. Collected by the Reverend Charles Burney, this unique collection represents the largest single archive of 17th and 18th century news media available from the British Library.
The original Burney volumes are now in a fragile condition and have been restricted from ordinary reading room use. Until now, the only access to this unprecedented collection has been through microfilm. This digital collection, made possible by a partnership between Gale and the British Library, puts these early newspapers into the hands of scholars and researchers and is an invaluable research tool for all disciplines.
17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers totals nearly one million pages and includes:
Lloyd's Evening Post and British Chronicle
London Evening Post
Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser
St. James' Chronicle or, British Evening Post
Whitehall Evening Post, or London Intelligencer
And hundreds of others