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Prof. Shapiro Fall 2013

Primary Sources

Primary Sources
•Not edited or analyzed 
•Direct "witness" of an event or person
•"Raw material" for further analysis


Examples of Primary Sources:
•Letters (including letters to newspapers)
•Blog Commentaries
•Oral Histories (interviews)
•Documents, such as mission statements of an organization
•Government Documents
•Design Sketches, Drawings
•Political/Activist Pamphlets
•Company/Organization web sites
•Photos, videos
•Sound recordings (Interviews)


Source Databases

The following databases are New School Libraries subscriptions and provide priamry source materials for cultural studies.Selelct them from the Databases A-Z list


Finding Primary Sources

Use BobCat to find books, audio and video recordings that contain primary sources such as letters, interviews, oral histories, etc

Use Advanced Search

Use In Subject Sources and combine withyour own keyword(s)

•Other Subject words that help you find primary material:

Oral history, letters, diaries, personal narratives

Government Documents

Start your research with Government Documents by using the Bobst Library Guide to US Government Documents

•The Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital Sysytem provides the most comprehensive online access to current and historic government publications

NYU's Bobst Library has been a partial US Government documents depository since 1967

New York Public Library has been a full US Government documents depository since 1884. The documents are located in the SIBL branch of NYPL at 34th Street and Madison Ave. SIBL also houses some NY State and City documents and selected documents from international organizations and foreign countries. See their Research Guide


•Use this Introduction to Archival Research  to start.

Society of American Archivists

•Archives & Manuscripts Databases via New School subscriptions

Archives beyond Bobst by Andrew Lee at NYU, includes some European archives sites

Specialized Archives and Museums in NYC:

The Museum of the Moving Image

The Paley Center for Media (Museum of Television and Radio)

Anthology Film Archives Collections

Digital History

American history, with timeline, documents, biographies, images, glossary and links; from the University of Huston

European Documents Online - Eurodocs