Search Preston Library's catalog @ http://vmi.worldcat.org/advancedsearch
Upon receiving the results of a keyword or advanced search you must examine the left-hand menu under "format." You will find listed "archival material." Check the box and you will immediately have a list of primary sources.
"A primary source provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, audio and video recordings, speeches, and art objects. Interviews, surveys, fieldwork, and Internet communications via email, blogs, listservs, and newsgroups are also primary sources. In the natural and social sciences, primary sources are often empirical studies—research where an experiment was performed or a direct observation was made. The results of empirical studies are typically found in scholarly articles or papers delivered at conferences." - @ https://ithacalibrary.com/sp/subjects/primary
Explore the VMI Archives for information about the Institute from its founding days to present.
Search for primary sources which can be letters, diaries, photographs and more @ http://www.vmi.edu/archives/home/
Here is an example of a cadet's diary:
Find the full record @ http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15821coll11/id/37