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Waidner-Spahr Library

Primary Sources: Finding Primary Sources Collected in Books

Primary Sources Collected in Books

Primary sources such as treaties, political correspondence, photographs, works of art and artifacts, letters, excerpts from diaries, speeches, oral histories, and interviews are often reproduced in books that analyze the source within a larger context. To find these sources:

  • Access the Catalog from the library homepage or from JumpStart.
  • Type the keywords relating to your topic on the first search line. Examples of search phrases might be “American history” or “Risorgimento” or “Impressionism” (without quotes).
  • On the second search line, type the phrase “documents or sources” (without quotes).  Your search will look like this:
    • Any field --- contains -- american history
    • AND -- Any field -- contains -- documents or sources
  • When you complete your search you will see a list of books that most likely have primary sources in the back of the book, or interspersed throughout the book.

To find even more documents collected in books:

  • Repeat your search in WorldCat to find items that Dickinson does not own. To access WorldCat, click on the “Databases” link from the from the left column of the library’s website then scroll all the way to the bottom of the database list, and click on WorldCat to access the database.
WorldCat Search - Documents or Sources
  • After you find a book you’d like to use, go back to the library’s website, click on the Borrow From Other Libraries” link under Frequently Used Pages, and use PALCI EZBorrow (our Interlibrary Loan service) to obtain the item from one of Dickinson’s partner libraries.