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ART & ART HISTORY: SUBJECT GUIDE: Primary Sources

Start your art research here!

Primary Sources from the Collection

Primary Sources in Art

Primary sources in art may take many forms, including:

  • artwork
  • autobiographies
  • film of the artist
  • interviews, diaries, speeches, letters
  • artifacts of the artist
  • photographs of artwork or artists

When searching Primo, try these terms to find primary sources:

ARTstor

ARTstor is a large collection of digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences from museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates.  Click on the ARTstor logo to begin your search.

Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, Art

The Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary source material documenting life at the University as well as collections representing regional, national and international issues. 

A small selection of material is listed below, for additional sources, please contact archives@pugetsound.edu.

The Abby Williams Hill papers, 1880s-1930s, include diaries, letters, photographs, and papers documenting the life and work of a female painter and social activist in the early 20th century.

Migeon, Gaston, Arts plastiques et industriels, 1927.

Remington, Frederic, Done in the open: drawings, 1902.

Art work of Tacoma and vicinity, Washington, 1907.

The Archives & Special Collections holds a wonderful collection of artists' books (limit the location to Archives & Special Collections on the left), representing local, regional, and national artists.

In addition, a small portion of photographshistorical documents, and digitized material are available online.  You can also browse archival and manuscript collections as well as rare books on Primo (limit the location to Archives & Special Collections on the left).

What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the humanities:

  • a novel
  • a painting
  • a theatre performance

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Example in the sciences:

  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Archives & Special Collections Hours

During the semester, drop in on the Archives & Special Collections (Collins Library, 2nd floor):

Mondays - Wednesdays 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Other times are available by appointment, please contact archives@pugetsound.edu.

A small selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.