Skip to Main Content

Primary Sources

Learn about primary sources and discover a wealth of sources in UH Special Collections and around the world.

Finding Primary Sources in Special Collections

Special Collections entrance

What is Special Collections?

Special Collections is the department in the University of Houston Libraries which stores and provides secure access to rare and unique materials, including archives, manuscripts, rare books, or other original materials. Most of these materials are considered primary sources, although sometimes that categorization depends on the research question being asked.

Source: Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy

Special Collections is located on the 2nd floor of the Blue Wing, and has its own hours that are different than the rest of the library's hours. The staff in Special Collections are available to help you find primary source materials.

Finding Aids (Guides to Archival Collections)

Finding aids are descriptions of papers, records, or manuscript collections that provide information about the materials. At the University of Houston Libraries, finding aids can be found either via links from the library search box/catalog, or searched for on the website which is linked below:

Finding Aids

Library Search Box/Catalog (Rare Books, etc.)

The UH Libraries search box/catalog holds records for most of the materials that are housed in Special Collections. Enter a search term in the main search box, then under "Tweak your results" on the left hand side, select Library, and select UH/Special Collections to limit your results to Special Collections.

Library Search Box/Catalog

You can also start at the Advanced Search page if you wish to search by Title, Author./Creator, or Subject. You can select the Library Catalog button at the top to search only materials held by UH Libraries.