Find Primary Texts
What is a Primary Text?
Primary sources include written documents, images and artifacts from the period being studied. Primary sources need not be replicas or facsimiles of the original. For example, the text of the Declaration of Independence is still a primary source when written or typed out on a website. Depending on the project, some materials that we would often consider secondary sources can also serve as primary sources. An example: if one is using census data from the 1855 US census as support for an argument on poverty in American literature, then the census is a secondary source; but if one is analyzing the census itself, then the census is a primary source.
Full-text Databases of Literary Texts
- British and American Literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to 1999
- African-American Poetry from the 18thC to 1999
- National and Regional Literatures including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean and the West Indies
- Biographical information for over 4000 authors
- Criticism from 360 journals, 38 volumes of essays on the American novel, and 218 volumes of the Cambridge Companions to Literature
Full-text Databases of Literary, Cultural or Historical Texts
Full-Text Databases of Performances
Full-text Databases of Art and Music
- American Song
Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys; songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more.
- Classical Music Library
- British School at Rome Library and Archive Digital Collections
- Classical Music Library
Classical Music Library s the world's largest multi-label database of Classical music recordings for listening and learning in libraries. This ever growing collection includes recordings from the world's greatest labels including Hyperion, Bridge Records, Sanctuary Classics, Artemis-Vanguard, Hänssler Classic, Vox and many more. Coverage includes music written from the earliest times (e.g. Gregorian Chant) to the present, including many contemporary composers. Repertoire ranges from vocal and choral music, to chamber, orchestral, solo instrumental, and opera.
- Smithsonian Global Sound
Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries, produced in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, is a virtual encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions. The collection provides educators, students, and interested listeners with an unprecedented variety of online resources that support the creation, continuity, and preservation of diverse musical forms.
Note - What if these databases don’t provide the information you need?
Try checking James Harner’s Guide to Literary Research [call no. PR 83 .H34] for a list of print indexes which indicate where literary texts are reprinted in anthologies or magazines.