Submit a Research Consultation Form to arrange a meeting with me. I generally respond within 24 hours and can meet with you within a couple days.
For immediate assistance, please feel free to contact the on-call librarian (sometimes it's me!)
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The notes and bibliographies of secondary sources are a great place to find citations for primary sources. With a citation you can locate a published primary source in Vassar Library's catalog or request it though InterLibrary Loan. Always ask a librarian for help if you can't locate a source you have a citation for.
What types of primary sources might be illustrative for my research questions? Some options to consider are:
Personal narrative sources - Diaries, letters, memoirs
Media sources - Newspapers, magazines (aka periodicals) Remember to seek out alternative press as well as mainstream publications.
Organizations' sources - Identify associations or groups that addressed issues related to your research topic. Organizations often have primary sources such as meeting minutes, member correspondence, publicity materials (posters, pamplets, magazines)
Government and legal sources - Court cases, Congressional Record, state and federal departments and agencies
Try Author and Subject searches for prominent people, organizations or movements
Identify the Library of Congress Subject Headings associated with your topic. They are effective keywords and browsing Subject Headings will lead you to sources you could otherwise overlook.
These keywords are Library of Congress Subject Heading vocabulary indicating primary sources:sources, letters, interviews, speeches, personal narratives, diaries, correspondence, sermons, notebooks, sketches, description and travel, treaties, pamphlets, biography (includes memoirs), newspapers, periodicals, pictorial works, art, architecture, portraits, caricatures and cartoons, cookery, decorative arts, furniture, material culture, guide books, maps, fiction, poetry, periodicals, newspapers, bibliography
If you are interested in working with archival material, you may choose to use sources from our Archives and Special Collections library. In addition to the Archives of Vassar College, this Library also contains material of general interest and significance to United States women's history after 1890.