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History: An Introduction: Primary Sources

Tips on Navigating the Archives

Archives Made Easy :

"Online guide about archives around the world, including U.S.". Practical advice about location of archives, procedures, cost, ...


If you are embarking on history research on China, this article Researching the History of the People's Republic of China by Charles Kraus is a useful read



“Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented.” (from Yale University, Primary Sources at Yale).


Primary Sources Avaliable

Here are some the primary sources that you can refer to if you are doing a project on Singapore or Colonial Malaya:

Here is a list of primary sources you can refer to for Southeast Asia:

Here is a list of primary sources for China:


Sources on Colonial Hong Kong can be found here:


Sources on South Asia can be found here:

You can find sources on the United Kingdom here:

Here are the Primary Resources for America:

Here are the Primary Resources for the Soviet Union/Russia:

Sources about Australia can be found here:

Sources on Africa and the Middle East can be found here:

Here are some of the other useful database that offers primary sources for your research:

Database for Images

You may need to use images as both primary and secondary sources. To find out more about finding and using images, including information about copyright and creative commons, see the Finding and Using Images research guide. These are some recommended resources for images:

Resource Librarian

Resource Librarian

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Gandhimathy Durairaj
NUS Central Library
+65 6601 7077
Subjects: Area Studies