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SoA Senior Thesis Research: Primary Sources

This guide will help ground you in resources available on campus while also offering research strategies developed to save you time but cover your bases.

Finding Primary Sources

Main Catalog: PUL has rich collections of primary sources in all sorts of formats.  It can get a little confusing when trying to determine if a particular resource is considered primary or not. If you need a hand figuring out whether or not your research materials are primary, please contact me and I can help.

Other Primary Source Search Gateways:

MASC:This database is specific to the holdings in PUL's Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections divisions.

PUL Finding Aid Database: Searches all archival collections organized with a finding aid, e.g. "Jean Labatut Papers, 1915-1983 (bulk 1920s-1970s): Finding Aid."

ArchiveGrid: Index to finding aids and other descriptive information about the holdings of manuscript and archival collections in libraries and research institutions throughout the world.

OAIsterOAIster is a union catalog of millions of records representing open archive digital resources that was built by harvesting from open archive collections worldwide using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Today, OAIster boasts more than 23 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,100 contributors. 

Special Collections on Campus:  Using special collections and archives takes a little more deliberation than walking into your favorite branch library on campus.  You will likely need to register as a user, follow additional rules or guidelines for use, and visit these collection during daily business hours, e.g. 9 to 5.  If you are new to special collection research, have a look at this tutorial. Below are a few of the many divisions of special collections at Princeton.  For a full listing, click here.

Graphic Arts Collection
Mudd Manuscript Library
Princeton University Archives
Rare Books Division

Historical Newspapers & Journals

Finding U.S. Newspapers at Princeton: A thorough overview of various strategies and resources.

19th Century U.S. Newspapers

Proquest Historical Newspapers (US Newspapers)

Historical Newspaper Indexes: (Features historical indexing and full text coverage of The Times of London and the New York Times.)

Illustrated London News Archive 

Gale News Vault: Cross searchable database of the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, 19th Century UK Periodicals, Financial Times Historical Archive, Illustrated London News Historical Archive, Daily Mail Historical Archive, Times Digital Archive, and the Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive.

Architecture-Related:

Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals  

Art & Architecture Archive: Archive of magazines comprising key research material in the fields of art & architecture, dating from the late-19th century to the 21st. Subjects covered include fine art, decorative arts, architecture, interior design, industrial design, and photography. The magazines are scanned from cover-to-cover and presented as full-color page images.  Includes American Craft, Apollo, Architects' Journal, Architectural Review, Art and Asia Pacific, Art MonthlyC, Canadian Architect, Ceramics Technical, Country Life, Craft Horizons, Eye: the International Review of Graphic Design, Graphis, Ornament, Print, Sculptors International, Sculpture, and Southwest Art.   Coverage dates vary by title.

Art Index(1929+) - Indexing to art and architecture journals.

Arts:Search: An important design-related resource containing 3 separate databases: Design Abstracts Retrospective (see Design and Applied Arts Index), Design ProFiles (information on artists, designers, firms, etc.), and ReVIEW (digitized versions of international art and design journals from 1870s-1920s). Free research guides also available.

Avery Index: Indexes architectural periodicals dataing back to the 1890s.

Burnham Index to Architectural Periodical Literature: Print index covering architectural literature dating back to the 1900s.

Nation Digital Archive - Includes art and architecture columns written by scholar over the years.