In addition to primary source collections for particular geographic areas or time periods, we have a number of services available to help locate primary sources.
You can find primary sources held by archives and museums using ArchiveGrid (a database of information about archival collections), or using the "archival material" format in WorldCat. Microfilm facsimiles of primary source materials are also included in WorldCat and other library catalogs.
To locate microform resources in the library you can use the library catalog. If a resource is on microform, there will be a prefix before the call number, as seen below:
An item's page will also tell you its location. Many of the library's microform holdings are located in the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper library, but they can also be found in the Main Stacks and in the off-site storage facility. Many microform collections have printed guides that should also be visible from the catalog, which can help you locate specific reels of film. It also pays to keep in mind that microform collections are often made up of large collections of documents covering a variety of topics, so when searching the catalog for collections it helps to keep your search terms general. For example, if you are looking for civil rights activism in a particular American city, you may want to try searching for "African Americans AND Civil Rights" rather than for the city name, as collections may not be cataloged with a heading for the name of the city. Do not hesitate to contact someone from the HPNL, as we would be happy to assist you in tracking down materials.