Tools for Locating Primary Sources in Archives and Online

Wednesday, 12/9/2020
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

This webinar is intended for librarians who are new to working with patrons who need to find primary sources. It will cover using four important electronic databases, and several prominent printed resources, to locate primary sources in archives and in online databases.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Find primary sources by consulting secondary sources
  • Find primary sources through using electronic databases
  • Find primary sources by consulting biographical dictionaries
  • Find and use printed catalogs of manuscript collections

Who Should Attend

Librarians who have taken on new duties in subjects (such as history, area studies, religion or literature) whose scholars need to consult primary sources.This webinar will introduce them to basic tools that will enable them to help patrons find archives or online collections of digitized materials. 


Steve A. Knowlton, Librarian for History and African American Studies, Princeton University. He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles based on research using primary sources and regularly coaches graduate students and undergraduates in performing archival research. 



Individual registration rates are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $45
  • ALA members: $55
  • ALA student & retired members: $25
  • Non-members: $77

Group rate: $99 single login

*DURING THIS TIME OF COVID-19 RELATED LIBRARY CLOSURES:  For purposes of group registration, RUSA will define a group as up to 20 staff from the single library system working remotely and logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webinar broadcast. It will be the responsibility of the registrants to share the webinar login information with members of their staff who wish to participate. 

How to Register

Register Online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat. 

For assistance for the deaf or hard of hearing, please send your request via email to Ninah Moore at by November 20, 2020.


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!