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Slavic Primary Sources: Home

How to Find Primary Sources

To find primary sources in library catalogs such as Bobcat or WorldCat, use a subject word (for example Soviet Union) along with the following genre words

Biography (for both biography and
Caricatures and cartoons
Description and travel
Oral History Czech, (or Poland, 
     Russia, etc.)
Notebooks, sketchbooks
Personal narratives Czech, 
     ( or Polish, Russian, etc.)
Pictorial works
Public opinion
Songs and music
Sources (for historical documents)
For example, "Soviet Union anecdotes" will bring up collections of underground anti-Soviet jokes, published from 1970 to the present. "Peasantry Russia sources" will bring up collections of documents concerning the Russian peasantry and the pre-Revolutionary peasant movement.

What are Primary Sources?

     Primary sources are the evidence left behind by participants or observers, providing firsthand evidence of historical events. These include written materials, such as archival documents, autobiographies, interviews, newspaper and magazine articles, and data of the period; audio materials such as oral histories, original recordings of music and speeches, radio broadcasts, and interviews; and visual materials, such as photographs, art, posters, maps, and films.

     In contrast, secondary sources, such as scholarly studies or encylopedias, synthesize and interpret primary materials.

     Whether primary or secondary, it is important to critically analyze your sources.

     The tabs above provide a few examples of the kind of written, visual, and auditory primary sources that can be found in the Bobst Slavic collection.

     For more general information about primary sources and the Bobst Slavic collection, see the research guides in the left column.


Subject Librarian