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History 303 - Finding Primary Sources in Archives

Help with archival research for HIST303

Getting Started

Searching for primary sources at other archives and special collections

  1. Gather your research questions and topics
  2. Learn which archives holds collections related to this topic.
    1. Check footnotes of secondary sources
    2. Search for organizations, individuals, topics, with "Primary sources" or "archives"
  3. See what materials are digitized online.
  4. Meet with Cal Poly's archives staff to get help with your research question and accessing primary sources elsewhere. We can help you find primary sources around the world! Contact us at or set up a (virtual) reference appointment:

Searching for primary sources in Special Collections and Archives

  1. Gather your research questions and topics
  2. Search Cal Poly's archival holdings
  3. Search the library's catalog for published primary sources, 1470s - 2000s.
  4. See what material from Special Collections is digitized online. Learn more here.
  5. Contact the Special Collections and Archives to set up an appointment and request materials.
  6. Meet with archives staff to learn if there are any other collections that would be of interest to you and brainstorm further research ideas. Contact us at or 805-756-2305.