Contemporary Canadian Government & Politics:
A Practical Research Guide

Introduction   Starting   Clarifying   Bibliographies   Finding & Evaluating
Primary Sources   Special Topics   Citing Sources   Ask Your Librarian!   Detailed Table of Contents
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5. Using Primary Source Material
Introduction Selected Primary Sources and their Finding Aids

Selected Primary Sources and their Finding Aids: What Was Written -- Introduction

What Was Said Personal Papers Recorded Images What Is Happening Now

The official documents produced by political parties and the federal government are valuable primary source material for researchers and should not be overlooked. They not only show the workings of these institutions, they can contribute to an understanding of political and social change. They provide an excellent window on the issues of the day and reveal the motivations and thinking of those who would influence them. Click on the headings below for details on some of the key written records of Canadian political parties and the federal government.

See also Special Topics for primary source documents relevant to International Relations, Government Finance, Women in Politics, etc. and from provincial and local governments and political parties.

Political Party Publications:
  • Party platforms, Campaign literature, etc.
  • Special collections

Government Publications:
  • Reports (Departmental annual reports, Royal Commissions, Task forces)
  • Policy papers
  • In Parliament (Journals, Sessional papers, Committee reports)
  • Law and legislation (Acts, Bills, Regulations, Orders in Council)
  • Court reports

News Sources
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines and journals
For details on news sources see Part 4: Finding Information: Current Events/News and check which sources cover the time period relevant to your research.

For "news" from government and political parties see Part 5: What's Happening Now

What Was Said Personal Papers Recorded Images What Is Happening Now
Introduction Selected Primary Sources and their Finding Aids
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Introduction   Starting   Clarifying   Bibliographies   Finding & Evaluating
Primary Sources   Special Topics   Citing Sources   Ask Your Librarian!   Detailed Table of Contents

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Last Updated: August 11, 2007
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