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English: Primary Sources

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are original sources of information, typically created at the time of the events or individual being researched. The databases and websites listed on this page will help you to find primary sources that provide context for a literary work.

Primary sources have not yet been filtered through analysis, examination or interpretation. If you need help interpreting primary sources, try these links:

Key Primary Sources for English

University Library Special Collections

The University Library Special Collections holds a significant research collections of 11,000+ pre- and post-1800 books and manuscripts that showcase aspects of European civilization and culture from the Renaissance to the end of the 20th century. It has strengths in works by and about John Evelyn and John Locke, 17th century English history, politics and philosophy, 18th century poetry, travel and guidebooks, horticulture, European architecture, theology, Greek and Roman classics, science, philology, and Middle Eastern languages.


Primary Sources Worldwide

These are all great places to find Primary Sources!