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Business and Economic History: Newspapers and other Primary Sources

Historical Newspapers and Journals

Primary Sources

A primary source is material that was created at the time being studied. It can be a document, a recording or an artifact. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources which usually are analysis, commentary or a filtered account of the topic.  

Types of primary resources in the business & economic history fields can include:

  • Ledgers
  • Correspondence
  • Legal briefs
  • Rules, by-laws, and regulations
  • Financial records
  • Contracts
  • Public Relations materials (press kits, advertisements, photographs, etc.)
  • Statistical data

Chicago Area Special Collections

Archival databases


  • ArchiveGrid can be used to find primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies. It includes company histories.

HathiTrust Digital Library

UIC Microfilms Holdings

Federal Reserve System.  Call No. MICROFILM HG-2.  (Select records and reports.)

Federal Trade Commission. Call No. MICROFILM Hd-30.  (Select records and reports.)