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Jewish Studies and Holocaust & Genocide Studies: Primary Sources

Primary source collections

Primary sources are documents or objects that were written or created at the time under investigation. They provide first-hand accounts or personal viewpoints of an event or time period. They can be as diverse as an eyewitness account, diary entry, newspaper report, or an interview of an event that reflects the time period in which it was conducted. The History library guide contains descriptions of the online collections of primary sources relevant to particular areas of history listed under the relevant tabs. For further information on finding and using primary sources, please see the Primary sources for humanities library guide.

The Library holds a collection of primary source materials in different formats: books and dvds, online collections, and in microfilm or microfiche.

Primary sources can be found using:

  • Search, the Library catalogue
  • online databases
  • newspapers
  • microfilm collections
  • Monash University Library's Special Collections

Find primary sources using Search

1. Go to Advanced Search.

2. Change the default any to in subject

3. Use any of the below terms, which will bring up primary sources:

  • sources
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • trials
  • pamphlets
  • manuscripts
  • "personal narratives"

Combine them with OR to search for more than one 'type' of primary source.

4. In the next box type a keyword that describes your topic.

5. Change the Search Scope from All resources to Library Collection

For example if you were looking for writings by early settlers in Australia that described their relationships with Australian Aborigines, you could search as follows:

Screenshot of search results

The asterisk retrieves all the words which start with aborigin, ie: aboriginal and aborigines. The quotation marks around "personal narratives" ensures that the two words are found as a phrase.

Primary source databases for Jewish studies & Holocaust studies

These databases and websites contain first-hand accounts of witnesses and survivors of the Holocaust.