Scan the text and footnotes for references to key organizations, individuals, publications, dates and events related to your topic. These may provide leads to specific documents, or types of documents, you can look for.
Some examples of primary sources on the theme of the moral regulation of girls in Canada:
The Primary Source tabs on the top left of this guide includes excellent primary document collections. Use them.
Google is an excellent tool for finding primary sources. With Google, add a term to your search that might be used to describe an online primary source collection (to avoid secondary content), such as:
primary sources, sources, primary documents, documents
Sample Google search: Chinese head tax Canada "primary documents"
Individual primary sources are often stored inside a database or search tool internal to a website, making a Google search ineffective. First, try finding a website that is likely to hold the content you need, then search more specifically within its collection.
Once inside a primary source collection, search using terms common to the historical period you are researching. For example:
Great War vs. World War I
North-West Territories vs. Alberta
Note that this advice is particularly important when researching topics related to racial or ethnic groups
Not sure where to begin? Try one of the following tools:
Primary documents - particularly those found via Google searches rather than via a library-based collection - need to be evaluated carefully for credibility. Consider the following questions as you evaluate these sources:
See Lafayette College Library's guide to Evaluating Primary Sources for more excellent advice.