Content Warning: Digitized primary sources often contain harmful language when referencing minoritized groups of people, and the search tools almost always require that researchers use the terminology of the original authors in order to bring back relevant search results. This can make the research process quite painful. Please feel free to reach out to me or your professor for assistance navigating this research process.
More and more libraries and archives are making their materials accessible online. Finding these can be tricky, but here are a couple of strategies.
Often this is an extremely effective way of finding primary source in any field. Start by finding and reading scholarship related to your research question and take careful note of the kinds of evidence those scholars used, and where they found that evidence. Then examine that evidence yourself or explore evidence from the same or a similar source.
In general, selecting a primary source from a collection is a matter of exploration and imagination. It is very unlike finding a book or article, where those that reference the same concepts as you are generally relevant to your research. Here the two most common and effective strategies:
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