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UMass Amherst Libraries

History 593S/Spanish 597: The Spanish Civil War

What is a primary source?




A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study.

Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. Examples include:

Original documents: autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, speeches.

Creative works: art, drama, films, music, novels, poetry.

Relics or artifacts: buildings, clothing, DNA, furniture, jewelry, pottery

(Thanks to the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries website; used by permission)


Finding primary sources

The following sources are "primary" sources; i.e., contemporary accounts of the Spanish Civil War in newspapers and magazines published during the conflict.

E-Indexes or full-text newspapers:

Historical New York Times
The entire New York Times, searchable, in image files, from 1851 to three years ago.

Historical Boston Globe
The entire Boston Globe, searchable, in image files, 1872-1922.

Historical Washington Post
Paper of record of the nation's capital, 1877-1995

Readers' Guide Retrospective
Citations to articles in 600 popular U.S. magazines, 1890-1982.

Wall Street Journal 
Searchable full text of the backfile of the financial paper of record, 1889-1990.

Microfilm resources:

The Times (London) Microfilm A9

Spanish Civil War Collection
57 reels of film containing thousands of pamphlets, editorials, broadsheets, etc. in many languages on the civil war. Guide to the collection is The Spanish Civil War collection : a guide to the microfilm collection.
(UM Microforms Guides ; Z2700 .S626 1989 + )

The International Brigade archives at the Marx Memorial Library, London
UM Microfiche Storage  706