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Searching for Primary Sources

UK Libraries provides access to a number of e-resources and databases which specialize in primary sources for historical research. To get started, visit our Finding Primary Sources Research Guide, which provides quick links to some of the most popular databases for primary sources.

Kentucky & Regional Collections

UK Libraries also houses an array of archival and primary source materials documenting the history of Kentucky, Appalachia, and the Ohio River Valley region at the Special Collections Research Center. These materials include manuscript collectionsuniversity recordsrare booksphotographsoral histories, newspapersmapsgovernment publications, and more.

View all of our Kentucky & Regional Collections, or find more information about conducting research at the SCRC.


Use ExploreUK to search our extensive holdings of archival materials, primary sources, and other rare and unique materials. 

Free and publicly accessible, ExploreUK is also your gateway for browsing the many archival and primary source materials that have been digitized.

Collection guides contain detailed information about particular collections of papers or records, and often contain an inventory list. They can help you determine if materials are relevant to your research.

Search for collection guides by filtering your search results by format.

SPOKEdb Oral History Catalog

Use SPOKEdb to browse our extensive collection of oral history interviews. These span an incredible breadth of topics, touching particularly on the lived experiences of 20th century Kentuckians.