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Japan Studies Primary Sources: Home

Finding Primary Sources

UNC Libraries have access to the following types of resources:

Find articles from newspapers about Japan

Find primary databases and archival sources about Japan

Find statistics and governmental documents about Japan

Find literary sources about Japan

Find historical sources about Japan

Find art historical sources and images about Japan

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources vs. secondary sources: 

Knowing how to use sources is crucial to produce solid academic research.

According to historian Robert C. Williams a primary source is "a document, image, or artifact that provides evidence about the past. It is an original document created contemporaneously with the event under discussion. A direct quote from such a document is classified as a primary source."  (The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History, p.58 ). Based on these definitions examples of primary sources include, but are not limited to:

  • magazine /journal, newspaper articles  
  • manuscripts (i.e. hand-written documents like diaries and journals)
  • maps, laws, court cases
  • speeches
  • interviews, records of government agencies
  • artifacts (of all kinds)
  • audio recordings

For more information about primary sources check  What Makes a Primary Source a Primary Source?  by the Library of Congress and UNC's  Finding Primary Sources Lib Guide.