Q: What is a primary source? How can I access primary sources at JCL?
What is a primary source?
"Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format." -- http://www.yale.edu/collections_collaborative/primarysources/primarysources.html
Use Heritage Quest to search for primary records and secondary information related to U.S. history and genealogy. Primary sources such as U.S. Census records, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrent files, Freedman's Bank and memorials, petitions and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress reflected in the U.S. Serials Set are available. Heritage Quest also offers historical books and articles about U.S. citizens and places relevant to genealogy.