Search website:
Libraries WSU
Vietnam Temple of Literature:

Welcome to the guide for Finding Primary Resources!

This guide will assist you in finding print and electronic primary resources in a number of disciplines. For additional assistance, please contact the subject librarian in the discipline you are studying.

Definition of a Primary Source
Digitized Collections & Archives
  • 19th Century Schoolbooks From the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Braodside Ballads From Oxford's Bodleian Library, over 30,000 ballads from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
  • Crace Collection Over 1200 maps of London and the surrounding area, from the British Library.
  • Dime Novels & Penny Dreadfuls Over 8,000 items from Stanford University's digitized Dime Novel & Story Paper Collection. Includes holdings from New York Ledger and Saturday Night.
  • Internet Shakespeare Editions A collection of Shakespeare's plays and poems, available in both plain text and facsimile. Also included are production reviews, artifacts, and additional resources regarding Shakespeare's life.
  • The Willa Cather Archive Letters, interviews, miscellaneous writings, multimedia and more. From the University of Nebraska.  
  • Mark Twain Project Online Texts, documents, and historical research from the California Digital Library. Includes over 2,300 digitized letters, as well as biographies, images, and other writings. A user guide can be found here
  • Bartleby Full text reproductions of classic literature, poetry, nonfiction, and reference sources.
  • Companion to Digital Literary Studies Edited by Ray Siemens and Susan Schreibam (Blackwell, 2008). Includes Annotated Overview of Selected Electronic Resources.
  • Humanities Text Initiative Collections include the American Verse Project and Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience, among many others. *Some texts restricted to University of Michigan affiliates.
  • Online Books Page Over 30,000 books are accessible on this site, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Works are indexed by author, title, and subject. An archival index is also available.
  • Project Gutenberg Contains over 25,000 free and downloadable books, all available electronically. Browse for eBooks, or use the Online Book Catalog or Advanced Search options to locate information. Also available as a mobile site.
  • Turning the Pages From the British Library, excerpts from a number of unique books (William Blake's Notebook, for example) in a format that allows users to virtually "turn" pages. Requires Adobe Shockwave or Microsoft Silverlight.
  • The Eserver An "arts and humanities e-publishing co-op based at Iowa State University where hundreds of writers, editors and scholars gather to publish over 35,000 works free of charge.
  • NINES Nineteenth-century scholarship online including digital archives, journals, and scholarly web sites.
  • CHILDE Images from collections of early European children's books.
In the Library ...

Early English Books Online

The library owns the microfilm set of Early English Books, an excellent resource for finding primary source material on all subjects published in the British Isles and America from the 15th through 18th centuries. The films and indexes are located along the east wall of the Periodicals room on the library's main floor. Items are individually cataloged in the library's Online Catalog. Subject, title, and author indexes can also be searched using the English Short Title Catalogue of the British Library.