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“Brandeis

*World History

Resources and tips for historical research at Brandeis.

Searching for Primary Sources

The nature of a research project will determine what can serve as a primary text. Literary critics will use literary works as primary texts, in order to find passages that will support their arguments about the meaning of literary works and their place in literary history. Historians will use documents like diaries, newspaper articles, letters, and personal narratives as primary texts, in order to create a fresh interpretation of an historical event.

When you are looking for primary sources, you can use Library Catalog or WorldCat. Search by author for the name of a writer from the time period or enter a subject in combination with any of the subject headings used to define primary sources:

Autobiographies
Correspondence
Diaries
Documents
Early works to…
Government documents
Interviews
Legal documents
Letters
Manuscripts
Memoirs
Narratives
Pamphlets
Photographs
Reminiscences
Sources
Speeches

Digitized Primary Sources

In addition to searching our catalog and the holdings of other libraries, you can find primary sources in many of the library's databases:

Brandeis Archives & Special Collections

Depending on the focus of your research, the University Archives & Special Collections may have relevant primary source materials. Check out their Research Guides.

Search Primary Source Collections Beyond Brandeis