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HIST 486/586: Resources for Local & Regional History

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Subject headings for Primary Source Materials

SUBJECT KEYWORDS for primary source materials


The following are some subject keywords that can be used in combination with other search terms to find primary source materials using the library catalog:



personal narratives


oral history






Subject Headings & Call Numbers for U.S.-Mexico Border

Some useful subject headings for finding books about the U.S.-Mexico Border region:

Mexican-American Border Region 

Mexican-American Border Region--History

Mexican-American Border Region--Economic conditions

Mexican-American Border Region--Social conditions

Mexico--Emigration and immigration


Library of Congress Call Numbers relating to border topics:

F786 - F790 Mexican American Border Region; Southwest, New

E184 - E185 Ethnic groups in the United States (including Mexican Americans)

JV6465 Immigration and Emigration Mexico



"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research." (Source: Using Primary Sources on the Web, a website created by the History Section of the American Library Association's Reference and User Services.)

Open Access Primary Sources--selected

A very short list of public domain / open access digital resources available through the internet.

NMSU Archives & Special Collections Websites

NMSU Library Special Collections/Rio Grande Historical Collections/University Archives

For more in-depth research and to find primary sources on many southwest and New Mexico topics, you may want to consult with an Archivist. The Archives and Special Collections Search Room (4th Floor, Branson Library) is open from 9:00-4:00 M-F. Special Collections contains rare and unique published materials relating to New Mexico history. Materials in Archives include manuscript collections, oral history tapes and transcripts, and photographs. Catalog records for many archival collections can be found in the Library Catalog. For access to photographs, oral histories and other materials in the Archives, consult Archives web pages.

NMSU Library Databases for Primary Source Material

The following databases can be used to find primary source materials, mainly those published in newspapers and periodicals from a particular time and place that may provide contemporary accounts of historical events. 

Special Collections @ University of Texas at El Paso

The C. L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department is located on the sixth floor at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. The book collections include the Chicano Collection, the Judaica Collection, the S. L. A. Marshall Military History Collection, the Southwest and Border Studies Collection, as well as collections of art and rare books. In addition to printed sources, the department has manuscript and archival collections available. There is also an oral historycollection documenting the region.


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