For instance, a newspaper article may be primary source for one topic (an first hand account from the time being studied) OR if could be a secondary source (discussion of an event that occurred in the past). There is nothing inherent in a document that makes it a primary or secondary source. The content, not the format/container, determines if a item is a primary source for your topic.
|Search Term||When To Use It|
|sources||generic term, often produces the most results|
|archive||use with organizations, individuals and families|
|archival resources||use with topics and geographic areas (counties, cities, etc.)|
|correspondence||use with individuals, familes, classes of people, ethnic groups|
|diaries||use with individuals and families|
|manuscripts||use with individuals|
|notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.||use with individuals|
|personal narratives||use with names of events|
|personnel records||use with organizations and military units|
|records and correspondence||
use with organizations and groups
|speeches, addresses, etc||
use with individuals or groups
A search in WorldCat.org or the Library Catalog on the terms "slaves and correspondence" finds books that includes primary source material on African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction. You can search for multiple keywords, in the Library Catalog or in Worldcat, by combining multiple terms with the word OR. Ex: (sources OR correspondence OR diaries OR manuscripts OR narratives OR personnel records OR speeches)
Access to the Library Catalog from the Blume Library
I recommend limiting your search to the site or domain. For instance, edu for educational institutions or gov for government websites, or various country code for non-United States website.
Use the SIFT Method to assess a website. One idea, search for the URL you found in Wikipedia to see if you can find basic information about the website. This tip comes from the SIFT Method to assess a website.