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Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Research Guide: Finding Primary Sources

Digitized Primary Resources

Primary Sources

Yale University Library is known for it's unique collections of primary source materials. They can be found in a variety of formats (print, electronic, microfilm, ephermera) in a variety of places (Beinecke Rare Books Library, Manuscripts & Archives, microfilm collections and online databases). Because of this they can sometimes be challenging to locate.  A list of databases containg digitized primary sources is to the left.  

Beinecke Rare Books Library has a rich array of resources to support women's and gender scholarship. These include personal artifacts and correspondance of Gertrude Stein, Georgia O'Keefe and Zora Neale Hurston among many, many others.

Manuscript & Archives located at the Sterling Memorial LIbrary also has numerous primary resources and can be found on their useful guide.

What Are Primary Sources?

Teacher researcher examines sketches of a Japanese internment camp; photo by Susan DeBlasio Primary sources provide firsthand evidence of historical events, the "actual records that have survived from the past" and are generally unpublished materials such as personal papers, letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, maps, artifacts, audio and video recordings, oral histories, postcards, and posters. In some instances, published materials can also be viewed as primary materials for the period in which they were written. In contrast, secondary materials are accounts of the  past, such as textbooks which synthesize and interpret primary materials.


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Jennifer Snow