What are Primary Sources?
Primary sources vary from one discipline to another. For the historian, primary sources might include diaries, correspondence, or census data; for the literature researcher, poems, stories, or manuscripts; for the musician, sheet music, recordings, or instruments. While secondary sources analyze an event or interpret a creative work, primary sources provide the raw materials for scholarship.
Primary Sources at Kenyon
Begin with Research Guides by Subject and Course for suggestions of primary sources in a particular subject area.
Use Library of Congress subject headings in the CONSORTcatalog--identify the subject heading for a person, event, or topic, and then add one of the following subheadings:
- early works to 1800
- personal narratives
Limit your CONSORT search by year of publication, e.g., between 1932 and 1945.