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WRI 146: Constructing the Past: Miscellaneous

Guide for using the library successfully in Emma Ljung's writing seminar.

Primary Sources

To identify primary source materials in the library catalog, look for the word sources within a subject term: e.g. perform a Subject (keyword) search: e.g. cultural sources; or, sources food, etc.

Additional Subject (keywords) or (regular) Keywords to bring up primary sources or books with primary source content include the following: (these are several examples of words that would identify a source as primary)

* charters
* correspondence
* diaries
* documents
* early works
* interviews
* letters
* manuscripts
* oral history
* oratory
* pamphlets
* personal narratives
* sources
* speeches
* transcripts

Firestone and Mudd Libraries comprise the Special Collections Department, which includes collections of unique or rare items like author manuscripts and other (unpublished) materials, letters, rare books, music manuscripts, works on paper (prints), coins, death masks, etc. There are great opportunities for you to work with original materials, some of which may never have been investigated or worked on before.

Check out the Guide to Topics ; and the Finding Aid search (archival collections). While you can find many of these collections in the library catalog, you can search by keyword here across collections within the guides that exist to help you navigate what’s contained in collections of papers for an important author, company, statesman, woman, etc.

PUL Digital Library: The old site is here, while the new digital platform is here. Take some time to browse for the unique and interesting content from Special Collections that has been digitized. 

We also have lots of databases that connect you to primary source content of different kinds too (I encourage you to browse the databases by subject in general: there are some amazing resources here).

Video holdings at Princeton

Interested in discovering what films you can get your hands on at Princeton? Consult this guide to find films using the library catalog. If PUL doesn't own a film, suggest a purchase or write to me directly.

Princeton also subscribes to a handful of video streaming resources: do a search for video at the DATABASES search.

Locating Book Reviews of Scholarly Books

Many databases index book reviews, including Articles+ and many subject databases (but not Google Scholar, typically). A lengthy book review can be a good source for learning enough about a particular title to warrant tracking it down or not as well as point to other authors and/or books on a similar theme.

To search for book reviews in Articles+, do a search, entering as many keywords as you'd like contained in the book title in question, and select Book Review under Content Type on the left-hand side.

Some general sources for book reviews: