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Primary and Secondary Sources: Searching in Library Catalogues

Library catalogues identify some primary sources with the following genre terms.

  • Biography

Include this term in searches to retrieve works of individual or collective biography.

Example: Ethnologists--British Columbia--Biography

  • ​Census

Include this term in searches to retrieve official population counts of a place or ethnic group.

Example: Indigenous peoples--Canada--Census

  • Correspondence

Include this term in searches to retrieve correspondence to or from a person.)

Example: Immigrants--British Columbia--Correspondence

  • Diaries

Include this term in searches to retrieve personal diaries.

Example: Vancouver, George, 1757-1798--Diaries

  • Interviews

Include this term in searches to retrieve recordings or transcripts of interviews.

Example: Philosophers--Interviews

  • ​Maps

​​​​​​​Include this term in searches to retrieve maps of a place.

Example: Social indicators--Canada--Statistics--Maps

  • Personal narratives

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Include this term in searches to retrieve personal accounts of events.)

Example: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives

  • ​Remote-sensing images

​​​​​​​Include this term in searches to retrieve remote-sensing images of a place.)

Example: Phytogeography--North America--Remote-sensing images

  • Sources

Include this term in searches to retrieve collections of source materials on historical topics.

Example: British Columbia--Emigration and immigration--History--20th century--Sources

  • ​Statistics

​​​​​​​Include this term in searches to retrieve statistics about a topic.

Example: Automobiles--Registration and transfer--Canada--Statistics