Queen's University - Utility Bar

Queen's University Library

A good place to start your research for primary sources is the library catalogue (QCAT). You can locate items in the library by searching QCAT by doing a keyword or subject search and then adding one of the special subject terms to your search:

correspondence
diaries
early works to 1800
interviews
pamphlets
personal narratives
sources
trials

Examples of keyword searches:

france and history and sources
world war and correspondence
revolution and france and "personal narratives"

Collections of primary sources often have the word documents in the title:

documents and england and reformation

In order to do a subject search, you will need to first identify the appropriate Library of Congress Subject Heading. One way to do this is do a keyword search and then look for relevant items. Note the subject headings assigned to the record and then pair subject headings with the specific subject terms that identify materials as primary sources.

For example:

Canada--History--19th century--Sources
Feminists--United States--Correspondence
United States--History--Civil War 1861-1865--Pamphlets
Women--Suffrage--Great Britain--History--Sources

Another approach is to look for works written by historical figures or organizations. To find such works, try an author search. For example:

Catherine II, Empress of Russia, 1729-1796
Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Woman's Christian Temperance Union of British Columbia
United Church of Canada


Last Updated: 10 August 2010