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English Literature

This guide includes titles, databases and links that may prove useful in researching English course subjects including literature, etc.

Preparing your research...

Think about the time period your topic takes place in. Make a list of what types of primary sources might have been produced during that time. Focus on those objects/documents related to your topic.

  • Examples:
    • Photographs
    • Books
    • Advertisements
    • Magazines/Newspapers
    • Movies
    • Audio recordings/Interviews
    • Letters
    • Governement documents
    • Diaries
    • Etc.

Use secondary sources to assist you in gaining an understanding of your topic and its background.

What is a primary source?

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs).  They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon.  It is generally at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources.  Examples include:  scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.


Finding primary sources...

Visit the Archives and Collections - Online page of this guide to find links to various online collections including:

  • Newspapers
  • Library Collections
  • Museums
  • Art
  • Text Documents

Visit this American Library Association website which provides information and links to assist with primary source location and evaluation on the internet: ALA RUSA Primary Sources