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Objects of Interest in American Literature: Find Primary Sources

Research guide for Objects of Interest in American Literature (50:525:109:01), taught by Carol Singley.

What is a primary source?

A primary source is a document that was created during a particular time period. This may include first-hand accounts of historical events and time periods, such as speeches, diaries, letters, and news coverage. Creative works such as fiction, poetry, and art are also considered primary sources.

A secondary source is about a primary source. It analyzes, interprets, and comments on the rimary source. Books and scholarly journal articles are secondary sources.

Two examples:

Hamlet is a primary source. It was written during the Renaissance. Harold Bloom's Hamlet : poem unlimited, which is a book about Hamlet, is a secondary source. It was written in 2003.

A letter from a WWII soldier to his family is a primary source. A journal article about WWII soldiers and their families is a secondary source.

Find primary sources

Subject Guide

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Zara Wilkinson
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