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Gould Library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

Primary Sources

Art, Art History, CAMS, Dance, Music, and Theater

Primary Sources in these disciplines are often a work of art or performance or reproductions of those works. Criticism is often a secondary source for these disciplines. However, in some cases, critical works are the only remaining recorded observation of the work (this is particularly true for performances). For similar reasons, newspapers can also sometimes be a primary source, depending on the nature of your project. Below are some good places to start for finding primary sources in these disciplines. Tips for finding musical scores can be found on the "Western Art Music Resources" page on the Music guide. Please reach out to Matt Bailey (mbailey@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in any of these disciplines!

Classics

Primary sources in this discipline range from classical texts to maps, architecture, and works of art. Below are some good places to start finding primary sources in Classics, including how to contact Special Collections to access maps and other rare materials. Please reach out to Claudia Peterson (cpeterson3@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in this discipline!

English

Primary sources in English are the texts with which you are working for your project. Individual poems can be harder to find because almost all poetry is published as part of a larger work, but please look at the Poetry section of the English guides' "Finding Literary Primary Texts" page. Searching for kinds of authors (e.g.: female authors of color) is also difficult in Catalyst and other more traditional places to find books, but searching on Wikipedia author lists can be a great starting place. Finally, if you cannot find the kind of text that you are looking for, start looking for secondary sources on your general topic and read the bibliographies of those sources to see what texts those scholars are using. Please also reach out to Iris Jastram (ijastram@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in English!

History, European Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Primary sources in History and the related fields of European Studies and Medieval and Renaissance Studies comprise of material from the time period that you are studying. This can range from newspapers and other publications to legal or institutional documents to personal documents such as correspondence to books to audio/visual material. Many of these types of sources can be found in archives or special collections, as well as in the main library or online. Below are some places to start looking for primary sources in these disciplines. Please reach out to Sarah Calhoun (scalhoun@carleton.edu) if you need help finding primary sources in these disciplines, particularly if you are looking for archival material for Comps research!

Language Studies (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish)

Primary sources in these disciplines often include literature both in the language and in translation, newspapers and other cultural artifacts, data about cultures, among other resources. Often works of criticism are considered to be secondary sources. Below are some places to start to find these resources. Please see the following sections for other resources for the following language studies disciplines: Classics for Ancient Greek and Latin, and Asian Studies for Chinese and Japanese.

Here are some tips to find translated works: search trans* with your other keywords and then look in the details of a given result's record to see if there are any notes on whether or not it is a translation. One tip for finding data relating to cultures is to think about who may have collected the information, and then think about where that place might store its information.

Please reach out to Iris Jastram (French, German, and Russian) (ijastram@carleton.edu) or Claudia Peterson (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish) (cpeterson3@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in these disciplines!

Philosophy

Primary sources in this discipline are philosophical texts. Secondary sources often include criticism of these works. Many of these primary sources can be found in the Library, or through online resources listed below. Philosopher's Index is particularly useful for finding secondary sources. Please reach out to Emily Scharf (escharf@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources for Philosophy!

Religion

Primary sources in this discipline commonly include religious texts and translations of religious texts, religious histories, and religious art and architecture. Many of these resources can be found in physical book form either in a modern edition or in a facsimile edition (facsimile = copy that strives to be as close as possible to the original). Carleton's Special Collections also has lots of religious texts (either from the time period or very high quality facsimiles). The art and architecture sources are often reproductions or photographs, more information for which can be found in the Art and Art History section of this page or through some of the resources below. Below are some places to start looking for these resources in addition to Catalyst.

One tip for searching for religious texts or histories on a particular subject (e.g. the history of Yoga) is to think creatively if your initial search terms are not producing results (e.g. rather than "yoga" try "yoga history" or "yoga origins").

Please reach out to Claudia Peterson (cpeterson3@carleton.edu) if you need help finding primary sources in this discipline!