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Stony Brook University

HIS 441: Colonial Histories and Literary Representations: PRIMARY SOURCES

Finding Primary Sources

To find primary sources at Stony Brook, use STARS, the Library Catalog. 

You can include various words in your search that will help you locate primary source material.  A good general word to include would be sources.

For example, if you are looking for primary sources on the Philippines, you can do a KEYWORD ANYWHERE search in STARS for Philippines and sources.

Also try these Library of Congress subject headings that are often used for primary sources:

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Personal narratives

Search for material written by key figures involved in your topic.  If you're studying the Irish War of Independence, for example, search for Eamon de Valera.

Primary Source Examples

Audio and Visual Resources

There are an increasing number of excelent web sites that have audio-visual proimary source material.

Internet Archive - Probably the best overall collection of audio-visual material that could be used for primary sources. The Archive currently contains almost 400,000 moving images and nearly 700,000 audio items, along with software and other material.

YouTube - Great resource for finding speeches and hidtoric news items, as well as musical and cinematic trasures.

Access to Other Research Libraries

Through the University's membership in various Library consortiums, Stony Brook students, staff and faculty have access to, and/or borrowing privileges at, numerous other research libraries on Long Island, in the greater New York area, and throughout the U.S., Canada, and other countries.

Research Libraries Group (RLG)

The University Libraries' membership in the Research Libraries Group (RLG) consortium allows Stony Brook students, staff, and faculty with current ID cards to enter and use many major libraries in the United States, Canada and abroad.

In our geographical region, other libraries in the program include: Columbia, NYU, The New York Public Library, The New School, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New-York Historical Society, Cornell, Princeton, Rutgers, The University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Full List of RLG Member Libraries

Stony Brook ID holders visiting these institutions may use materials; however, borrowing privileges are not usually available.

Students, staff, and faculty are urged to call ahead to a particular library, before actually going there, to confirm that they will be granted access at their time of arrival. Also, if they need to use a branch library within one of the participating library systems, it should be confirmed beforehand that the branch also takes part in the program and will allow access.

Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC)

The Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC) is a regional multi-type library organization serving academic, special, public, hospital and school libraries and library systems in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
 
The LILRC Research Loan Program (RLP), a reciprocal borrowing agreement between member libraries, allows Stony Brook students, staff and faculty to use and borrow material from numerous institutions on Long Island, including Adelphi University, Dowling College, Nassau and Suffolk Community Colleges, St. Joseph's College, Touro Law Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Nassau and Suffolk Public Library Systems.

Students, staff and faculty interested in borrowing material through the Research Loan Program must visit the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room of Melville Library for an RLP pass.

Full List of LILRC Member Libraries

New York Public Library

Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. This gives researchers the opportunity to use important collections in the NYPL system, check out material, and access a wide array of useful electronic resources from on-site or, in a few cases, from home. See the NYPL web site for more information on getting a card.

See their list of databases.

State Univeristy of New York Libraries

Stony Brook students, staff, and faculty have direct borrowing privileges at most other SUNY libraries.

Subscription Databases: Historical Newspapers (Use Net ID)

Open Access: Historical Newspapers

Primary Sources on the Web

Magazine & Journal Collections (Use Net ID)

  • American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection 

    The American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection is the largest collection of North-American-focused historical periodicals available for purchase. Comprised of over 10 million pages, this collection contains approximately 7600 distinct periodical titles, all published between 1691 and 1877. The collection touches on a range of subject areas, including, but not limited to: science, technology, medicine, Native American and African American populations, law, politics, government, music, the arts, literature, language, publishing, agriculture, business and industry, advertising and marketing, religion, philosophy, social movements, military matters, and leisure activities.

  • American Periodicals Series 

    Full-text. 1741-1930. Over 1,100 American magazines spanning 200 years and covering nearly every aspect of American culture, especially its history, science, literature, music, legal structures, agriculture, theater, and politics. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine (first published in 1741) and America's first scientific journals, Medical Repository, as well as Scientific American, to literary and professional journals, specialized titles, and such well-known popular magazines as Vanity Fair, Ladies' Home Journal and The Dial.

 

 

 

Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives select, acquire, preserve and provide access to rare, valuable, and scarce primary and secondary materials  in a variety of formats in support of the educational and research endeavors of Stony Brook University's students, faculty, and staff.

The department also extends its services to researchers in the wider geographic region, nationally, and internationally. 

The collection includes: books, manuscripts, and maps dating from the 15th century; the University Archives; audio/visual materials;  and a digital repository. All are welcome to explore the library's unique collections.