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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

IR 210: Theories of Foreign Policy

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are sources that were created during the time period a researcher is studying, and provide firsthand evidence about a person, event, work of art, or object. This can include:

  • letters or other forms of direct communication
  • creative writing such as novels, poems, or plays
  • speeches
  • newspapers
  • works of art, photographs, and music recordings
  • eyewitness accounts
  • interviews
  • maps

A.M. Explorer


  1. Search a specific collection, for example, The Nixon Years, 1969-1974.
  2. After doing a broad search (e.g. "Vietnam War"), filter by collection.

International Primary Sources

United States Primary Sources