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Research Help

The librarians and staff of the Arthur A. Wishart Library are here to help you with your research. We offer a number of in-person and onlines services to assist you.

Below you'll find answers to your most frequently asked questions. Have a question that isn't here? You can submit your questions and feedback through our Contact Form.

How do I find primary sources for my History assignment?

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Primary sources are documents that contain first-hand information or original data on a topic. They are works created at the time of the event, by a person who directly experienced or reported on it at that time. They can come in many formats including: letters, diaries, journals, hand-written notes, newspaper articles, government documents, ephemera, or magazines. 

A great place to start your search for primary sources is the History Subject Guide which lists databases and resources relevant to your discipline. The Library subscribes to a number of primary source databases, including:

Early Canadiana Online (ECO):  first large-scale online collection of early Canadian print heritage. ECO contains a digitized selection of the content from the microfiche held by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. The collections include material published from the time of the first European settlers to the first two decades of the 20th Century.

Artemis Primary Sources: Artemis Primary Sources combines major archives of eighteenth and nineteenth century monographs, manuscripts, newspapers, maps, and early photographs. 

The Times Digital Archive:  delivers every page as published from 200 years of The Times (London) (1785-1985). The Times is the "world's newspaper of record" and covers all major international historical events from the French Revolution to the Falkland War. Users are able to search the full-text of the entire newspaper, including articles, editorials, and advertising.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online: access to the digital images of every page of books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of millions of pages, this database allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more.

Early English Books Online (EEBO): contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

English Historical Documents Online: an authoritative collection of documents on British history, including access to over 5,000 historical documents


Local Archives

Algoma University has also developed an important collection of archival resource materials that may be of interest for your history assignment. Archives are those records, in any format, created, received and retained by individuals, families and organizations as evidence of their activities and transactions. As such they serve as their "memory" and thus provide important information about the functions, activities, and decisions of record creators over time. 

Search the Archives & Special Collections - Quick Search

To learn more about the unique archival materials at Algoma University select one of the following archival areas: