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HIST 066: Disease, Culture, and Society in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives (SC): Primary Sources from the Tri-Co Libraries

History 066: Disease, Culture, and Society in the Modern World (Armus) Fall 2012

Finding Published Primary Sources

Use Keywords Wisely

A keyword search (in Tripod, JSTOR, and other places) can turn up published primary sources. Try entering terms like "correspondence," "diary" or "diaries," "broadsides," "records" and "documents."

Try Subject Headings

Librarians assign subject headings to describe published works.  You'll see them in Tripod records (example).

Here are some words to look out for in Library of Congress subject headings (the kind used by the Trico Libraries) that will alert you to possible primary sources.  These subheadings include:

  • "--Sources"
  • "--Personal Narratives"
  • "--Description and Travel"
  • "--Facsimiles"
  • "--Charters, Grants, Privileges"
  • "--early works to 1800"
  • "--periodicals"
  • "--Interviews"
  • "--Correspondence"
  • "--Pamphlets"

Primary Sources in the Tri-Co

Many primary sources are close by and easy to access.  The Tri-Co Libraries have collections of primary source documents that you can use in your research. Special Collections librarians are helpful for locating primary sources, so don't hesitate to ask for assistance.

How To Find Primary Sources Using Tripod

1. Search for your topic in Tripod (e.g. "suffrage").

2. Under the "Books and More" search results, click "More."

3. Under "Narrow Search" (at the right), try these different limits (one at a time). The links change based on the search results, so you might not be able to try all of these limits for a given search.

  • Find the section for "Format" and click on "Archives and Manuscripts."
  • Find the section for "Genre" and click on "Sources."  Also try "Early works to 1800," "Personal Narratives," and "Correspondence."  (Look at the "Subject Headings" list on the left for more "Genre" limits.)
  • Find the section for "Collection" and try limiting to Special Collections at one of the Tri-Co schools.