It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, MASKS are required inside the library at all times.
  • Good luck preparing for finals! Remember, the library staff is available to help you finish the semester on a strong note!
  • Research Help: Primary Sources

    Use this guide to help you learn about research and perform research yourself for both academic and leisurely activities.

    Primary Sources and Gov Docs

    The Library has two departments with resources available that are considered primary sources.

    1) Archives & Special Collections

    Learn about history of LWC, the city of Columbia, the commonwealth of Kentucky, and more! Ask one of the library staff members to access this collection. It has restricted access in order to preserve the collection. Some of the items are more than 150 years old.

    For more information, click this link.

    2) Government Documents (Gov Docs)

    Katie Murrell Library participates in the Federal Deposit Library Program (FDLP) and is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents, which provides the public with direct access to government information in practically every federal government entity. To access the FDLP, click on the logo image below.

    For assistance with Gov Docs in the library, contact Amelia Thomas at or click this link for the Gov Docs LibGuide, which has more information on this department.

    Search for Gov Docs online:

    1. at GovInfo provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of our federal government; or
    2. in the Catalog of US Government Publications (CGP). CGP provides online access to historical and current publications.

    What are primary sources?

    Primary sources are first-hand accounts. These sources did directly witness what happened or participate in an event. For example, witnesses create original documents like the Constitution or watched events like the Lindsey football team winning their first championship. 

    Check out the library's in-house archives and special collections department for primary sources for materials dating back to the 1860s!

    What are secondary sources?

    Secondary sources are second-hand accounts. These sources did not directly witness what happened or participate in an event. For example, visitors to the Corvette Museum learn about the sinkhole that happened there in 2014. They share their knowledge with friends and family because they learned about it *from a primary source*, which is the museum.

    For additional information, check out this online guide:

    These databases are available through the Katie Murrell Library and allow you to find resources that are considered primary sources.

    These are other websites you can use to find primary sources.

  • #LifeIsGoodInTheLibrary