Tip #1: Add the word "sources" to a subject search to find primary sources. For example: baseball sources
Other keywords that help identify primary sources are: letters | correspondence | diaries | documents | interviews | photographs | manuscript | speeches | notebooks | narratives | oral history
Tip #2: Identify key sports figures and search for books by or about them.
Autobiographies of sports figures can be good primary sources. For example, Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues, is a first hand account by Frazier Robinson about his personal experience playing ball.
Here are a few primary source books that can be found on the third floor of Smith Library Center:
In addition to books, try these sources to find newspaper and magazine articles:
American Memory from the Library of Congress provides access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
Chronicling America from the Library of Congress allows you to search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924.
DPLA Digital Public Library of America provides access to more than 15,000,000 items from libraries, archives, and museums across the country.
HathiTrust Digital Library offers a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
The LA 84 Foundation Digital Library Collection includes articles, books, and other documents covering all aspects of sport, with a particular emphasis on Olympic information. The LA 84 Foundation operates the largest sports research library in North America.
The Portal to Texas History is a gateway to rare, historical, and primary source materials from or about Texas.
Sports Illustrated Vault contains a full historical run of the magazine all the way back to its first issue in August 1954. The Vault includes a search engine, allowing you to search by topic, person, team, etc.
Stark Center Electronic Archives is a collection of searchable, digitized materials from The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. The print collection is housed at UT Austin.
Primary sources are generally created by a participant in, or direct observer of, an event. They are usually first-person sources, and they reflect the observer’s or participant’s point of view. Examples are photographs, books or articles published during a time under study, recorded or transcribed interviews, government documents, films, letters, diaries, works of art, and published reports of experiments conducted by scientists or social scientists. Primary sources do not have to be used in their original form, however. They may be reproduced electronically, printed or published later and still be considered primary sources.
In different fields, typical examples of primary and secondary sources can vary, but in history a primary source might be a handwritten letter held by a library’s special collections department or the text of the same letter printed in its entirety in a published book. Or it could be a contemporary newspaper article reporting on an event. A secondary source could be an article or book that uses that letter or newspaper article as a source through which something about the life of a person or an event can be interpreted or drawn.
Both primary and secondary sources are important, and either or both types may be appropriate for historical research.