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Hope Library Guides

Finding Primary Sources - the Definitive (and growing) Guide: Reference Books - Forgotten Tools

UNDER CONSTRUCTION! But published because it might be useful, at least a bit, for some projects already.

RUSA Guide to Using Primary Sources

Follow this link to a thorough guide - with good links - to intelligent searching for and use of primary sources. It was produced by the Reference and User Services section of the American Library Association.

Reference Books - Examples

I'm sure you've used reference books, or at least reference sources, at some point. We have a number of subject-specific reference books in our first-floor reference section, many of which will do wonderful things for your research process. Here are some of the best things you can get out of such books:

- Thorough overviews of complex subjects

- Citations of articles that you should read, as they're probably important

- References to, and sometimes actual presentations of, important primary source documents

- Ideas for further research

The books below are ONLY EXAMPLES, as there are many more. One of the best ways to find appropriate books is to go to the right call number section and just browse the shelves. For your topics, many of you will find numerous helpful books in the call number range beginning with 'E,' which deals, generally, with American history; you will also find much in subject-specific areas such as D and HN/HV, depending on your topic.

You can also try searching the catalog, and limiting your search to "Van Wylen Reference." (See "Primary Sources in hopeCAT" for an overview.)

Google: Primary Source Search Engine

Try this instead of plain old Google to do a focused search in selected educational and non-profit domains.