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Japan Studies

This guides primarily describes resources available at the UMD Libraries for research on Japan Studies. The guide also directs researchers to collections and resources beyond the UMD Libraries.

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are usually defined as first hand information or data that is generated by witnesses or participants in past events.  Primary sources are characterized not by their format but rather by the information they convey and their relationship to the research question.  They include letters, diaries, journals, newspapers, photographs, and other immediate accounts. The interpretation and evaluation of these sources becomes the basis for research.

These materials are often located in the Special Collections of a library, rather than in the general collection. On this page, you will find some primary sources available to you at the UMD Libraries and in the Greater Washington, DC, area 

To learn more about primary sources, including how to cite sources, visit the tutorial, Research Using Primary Sources.


Archival Collections at the UMD Libraries

Primary Sources at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 

NARA is an independent Federal agency that preserves and oversees the management of all Federal records. A sizable portion of NARA's holding's may be searched online in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC).


Primary Sources at Other Institutions in Maryland and the DC Area