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WRI 167/168: Picture This: Primary Sources

Guide to the library for use in this 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. cultur* sources; or, sources food, etc.

Additional Subject (keywords) or (regular) Keywords to bring up primary sources or books
with primary source content that is visual in nature include the following: 

* caricatures and cartoons

* case studies

* charts, diagrams, etc.
* illustrations
* manuscripts

* maps
* pamphlets

* pictorial works
* sources

Tips for finding and evaluating primary source materials can be found here.

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Special Collections Department, which includes collections of unique or rare items like author manuscripts and other (unpublished) materials, letters, rare books, music manuscripts, works on paper (prints), coins, death masks, etc.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, or historical records, documents, ephemera, author papers, correspondence, photographs, etc.). 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, organization, statesman, woman, or collections centered around a particular theme, etc.

PUL Digital Library: click here. Take some time to browse for the unique and interesting content from Special Collections that has been digitized. 

Works of art are primary sources. The "all-search" on the main library website includes the PU Art Museum as a search facet. Museum websites in general can be useful places to search for information and images related to original objects. See lists for finding art museums at the very BOTTOM of this page .

Databases may also be good sources for primary source materials and content. One can browse our Database list by Subject at the top left, or search for a keyword (in title or description) in the search box.