A primary source is an item that was created during the period being studied, and it documents in some way what is being studied. Examples of primary sources include speeches, diaries, newspapers, and personal accounts.
Additionally, primary sources can be contextual to the research, for example a television show like Game of Thrones could be a primary source for research about power relationships.
Go to the PSU Library Catalog and look for primary sources on a certain topic by using the Advanced Search:
This image shows a search for a memoir related to Paul West.
Choose multiple related topics by inserting a capitalized OR between them.
This image shows a search for "civil war" as a keyword phrase and correspondence OR diaries as the types of primary resources.
If your topic is pre-1923, you can find primary sources that are in the public domain. Resources in the public domain are not under copyright protection and are usually available online for free. Google, HathiTrust, and the Digital Public Library of America have digitized documents from the world's major research libraries. The Chronicling America project at the Library of Congress has digitized American newspapers from 1836 to 1922.