HIST 101: Research Seminar- Ballenger

Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources

Certain words and phrases [part of the Library of Congress Subject Headings thesaurus] will find primary sources in library catalogs.  Note them down; they are your friends:

-correspondence
-sources
-diaries
-personal narratives
-interviews
-speeches
-documents
-archives
-early works to 1800
-newspapers

Examples:

puerto rican* interviews
african american soldiers personal narratives
irish american* newspapers

Finding Primary Sources overview

Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:

For specific search strategies, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

 

Primary Source Searching - Names

One of the most powerful ways to find primary sources in the Library is to use the names of people.  An essential part of your background reading should be to note down names of people involved in your topics.

Names can be searched in the catalogs [Oskicat and Melvyl] in specialized ways: as authors or as subjects.  Even people you do not consider authors in the conventional sense may be listed as authors, if:

  • their correspondence is available
  • their manuscripts are available
  • interviews with them are available
  • their diaries are available
  • published versions of these are available

When searching for primary sources, it's a good idea always to search those names as authors, as well as keywords.  Works where the person is listed as an author will always be primary sources.

Last Update: December 20, 2012 12:07