Primary Sources come in all shapes and sizes.

The illustrations below represent the major types of primary sources available at Yale. Click on the images below to learn more.

Please also keep in mind that a single primary source may be found in a variety of formats. For example, the original of a handwritten letter by George Washington might be available to researchers at the Library of Congress, but a copy of that letter might be available elsewhere as microfilm, in a published collection of documents, or in electronic form online. Additionally, some formats may be present within other formats. One example would be visual materials being present in archives or manuscripts.

Archives and manuscripts, Plan of Eliza and Phoebe Moheage's Wigwam by Ezra Stiles
Books and Pamphlets. Applied art, drawing, painting, design and handicraft by Pedro J. Lemos.
Stock data, including a candlestick chart and pricing information
Dissertations, bound Yale dissertations.
Ticket stub for a Benny Goodman Concert at Carnegie Hall, January 1938
Government documents, HUAC document about Communism
Maps, map of New Hampshire, Maine, and Canada
Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Preambulum 1 in C Major, BWV 772
Objects and artifacts,coiled basket with cover.
Oral histories, photo of interview in progress
Serials, three issues of Russian periodical Zritel’
Sounds recordings, early sound recording formats
Visual materials, "The Crimson Skull" movie poster