Loyola University Chicago

Women and Leadership Archives

Using Primary Sources


Unsure where to begin? We're here to help.

Primary sources provide a wealth of interesting information ‌to the historical researcher, but if you've never done research with primary sources before, it can be an intimidating prospect.

So what is a primary source?
Where do I begin?
What kind of sources are reliable?
Can I take what my source says at face value?
How do I analyze and interpret a primary source?

If you've found yourself feeling unsure about how to approach primary sources, be sure to explore our guide to working with primary sources for explanations and suggestions as well as exercises to improve your research abilities.

Additionally, the Library of Congress has fantastic resources for teachers about using primary sources in the classroom. Check it out here.

Want to see what it is really like to do research at the WLA? Watch this short video of Lu Wolf, Loyola's mascot, visiting the archives!