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ENGLISH: SUBJECT GUIDE: Primary Sources

Research starting points for English Studies

Featured Resource

Early English Books Online

Literary Magazines - Databases

These databases contain the full text of several literary magazines.

Student Literary Magazines

Crosscurrents 

Sound Ideas, the digital repository for the University of Puget Sound, has digitized recent issues of two student publications:

  • Crosscurrents, the University of Puget Sound student literary and art magazine.
  • Black Ice, the magazine of the Black Student Union at the University of Puget Sound

 

Black Ice

Searching for Literary Works by Author/Title

Searching Collins Library Primo Search for a novel or play, or for all the works by a specific author, is pretty straightforward:

 

Searching Collins Library Primo Search for a specific poem or short story by a particular author is a bit trickier:

  • For poetry and short story collections published after about 1990, the tables of contents may be included in the cataloging record.  You certainly can try to search by the title of the poem or short story, but if you don't find it that way, don't give up--try the steps below!
  • Try to find out the title of the collection in which the poem or short story was published and then search by that title.  There are several strategies for finding such titles:
    • Search the lists of publications by author in Literature Resource Center.
    • If the short story or poem is no longer under copyright, try searching Google Books or Project Gutenberg for the full text.
    • If the poem or short story was not published in a book-length collection or anthology, it probably was published in a literary magazine or other magazine that publishes fiction and poetry.  To get the original source of the publication, you will need to consult an index.  Collins Library has old volumes of the Short Story Index (through 2004) as well as several poetry indexes in the print reference section.

Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, English

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.

Original medieval manuscript leaves and a few facsimiles.

Watts, Isaac, Logic; or, The right use of reason in the inquiry after truth, 1825.

Cobb, Lyman, Cobb's spelling book : being a just standard for pronouncing the English language, 1812.

Bills of Sale for the Purchase of Slaves, 1835, 1837, 1845.

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).

 

Search for Anthologies and Collections of Literary Works

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

ARTstor

Artstor logo

Visual materials, including images, are examples of primary sources. There are many image collections in ARTstor that are pertinent to English Studies, including the Languages and Literature featured group which "highlights Artstor content related to languages and literature, including images of renowned authors and depictions of literary characters, as well as examples of foreign languages from a variety of cultures around the world."

Learn more about ARTstor collections (pdf handout) relevant to Language and Literature.

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.

Visiting the Archives & Special Collections

In addition to open hours, the Archives & Special Collections are available by appointment.  A few things to be aware of when visiting the Archives & Special Collections:

  • Materials in the Archives & Special Collections do not circulate.  They are available for use only in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • Pencil only, no pens.  We have pencils available if you forget to bring one.
  • Laptops are permitted.
  • Phones and cameras may be used with the permission of the Archivist.

Need Help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you.  If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!


Katherine "Katy" Curtis, Humanities Librarian
email: kcurtis@pugetsound.edu
Schedule an appointment
tel: (253) 879-3672
office:  Collins Library 140

If you can't find Katy, remember there are several ways to get help with your research

And don't forget about the Ask a Librarian 24/7 service: Anytime, anywhere! This instant messaging reference service lets you chat with a librarian no matter what time it is. Puget Sound librarians can email you to follow up if you leave your email address.